Structuring Roman History: the Roman Year and the Roman Consular Tradition

Remove ads - become a member

Article

by Rich, John
published on 05 January 2012

This article is concerned with the shaping of the annual narrative in historical writers working in the Roman annalistic tradition and contests the view that Livy and his predecessors conformed to a standard pattern from which Tacitus departed. It is true that Livy in Books 21-45 employs a regular internal–external–internal pattern based on the consuls’ movements between Rome and their provinces, with copious details on routine matters in the opening and closing domestic sections.

However, Livy manipulates this framework freely for his own purposes, especially when incorporating Polybian material. Moreover, the pattern is characteristic only of his account of the Middle Republic: the annual narratives of Books 1-10 do not conform to it, and Livy probably abandoned it when dealing with events from the Social War on. It seems likely that the annual narratives of most of Livy’s predecessors were varied and informal, like those of Livy Books 1-10, and this is corroborated by fragments of Claudius Quadrigarius and Sallust’s Histories. Livy probably derived his mid-republican pattern from Valerius Antias: it will have been an innovatory feature of his work, based on documentary research, especially in the archives of the senate. Assessment of Tacitus’ handling of his annual narratives should take account of the wide range of models available to him within the annalistic tradition.

Help us write more

We're a small non-profit organisation run by a handful of volunteers. Each article costs us about $50 in history books as source material, plus editing and server costs. You can help us create even more free articles for as little as $5 per month, and we'll give you an ad-free experience to thank you! Become a Member

Share This


Written by , linked by Jan van der Crabben, published 05 January 2012. Source URL: http://research.ncl.ac.uk/histos/documents/2011.01RichStructuringRomanHistory143.pdf.

Disclaimer: Ancient History Encyclopedia claims no authorship, intellectual property, or copyright on the material below. It is used solely for non-profit educational purposes, and none of the data is stored on our servers. If you want this content to be removed from the site, please contact us.

Cite this work

Help us write more

For as little as $5 per month you can support our work and get an ad-free reading experience! Become a Member

Advertisement

Remove ads - become a member

Newsletter

Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week:



AHE Greeting Cards @Etsy

Advertisement

Remove ads - become a member

Structuring Roman History: the Roman Year and the Roman Consular Tradition Books

 

Advertisement

Remove ads - become a member

Advertisement

Remove ads - become a member