'People have it in their minds that he would have been a match for Alexander, had Alexander turned his arms on Europe.'
So Livy characterizes Papirius Cursor, one of Rome's famous generals in the fourth century BC. In Books 6 to 10 of his monumental history of Rome, Livy deals with the period in which Rome recovered from its Gallic disaster to impose mastery over almost the entire Italian peninsula in a series of ever greater wars. Along with Papirius, Livy paints vivid portraits of other notable figures, such as Camillus, who rescued the city from its Gallic captors in 390, young Manlius Torquatus, victor in
a David-versus-Goliath duel with a Gallic chieftain, and Appius Claudius who built Rome's first major highway, the Appian Way. Livy's blend of factual narrative and imaginative recreation brings to life a critical era for the rise of Rome, and Books 6 to 10 of his work are the one complete account we
have, as the city passes from myth and legend into the increasing light of reliable history.
John Yardley's fluent translation is accompanied by an introduction and notes that set Livy in the context of Roman historiography.
The complete Livy in English, available in five volumes from Oxford World's Classics.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
J. C. Yardley has translated Livy's The Dawn of the Roman Empire and Hannibal's War for Oxford World's Classics, as well as Tacitus' Annals. He has translated Quintus Curtius' History of Alexander for Penguin (1984). Dexter Hoyos wrote the introduction and notes to accompany J. C. Yardley's translation of Livy's Hannibal's War for Oxford World's Classics. He has published widely on Latin teaching and aspects of Roman and Carthaginian history. His books include The Carthaginians (Routledge, 2010), and A Companion to the Punic Wars (Blackwell, 2011).