Livy’s Political Philosophy: Power and Personality in Early Rome. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. xi + 209 pp. $90.00. isbn 9781107065673 (hbk).Vasaly’s Livy’s Political Philosophy is a welcome addition to a renaissance in Roman political thought, joining works by Atkins, Baraz, Connolly, Hammer, Strauman, and Zarecki, among others.1 Deeply attentive to the philological nuances of Livy’s writing along with his relationship to his Greek and Latin predecessors and contemporaries, Vasaly portrays Livy as a republican writer by stressing the didactic functions of Livy’s history, the moral dimensions of his use of exempla, and the centrality of concordia as a social and political ideal. The only recent English language monograph on Livy’s political thought in Ab urbe condita, it will be of interest to ancient historians, classicists, political theorist, and ancient philosophers.The book consists of six substantive chapters, along with an introduction and conclusion. In the introduction Vasaly situates her reading of Livy’s political thought against the backdrop of the tumultuous 1st century bce, highlighting Livy’s goal of ‘rebuilding the state’ (p. 8) through his historiography. Chapter 1, ‘The Historiographical Archaeology’, centers on a comparison between Thucydides, Polybius, Sallust, and Cicero’s archaeologies and the first pentad of Livy’s
Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought – Brill
Published: Apr 4, 2017
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