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Livy on the Hannibalic War$
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D. S. Levene

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780198152958

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198152958.001.0001

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Sources and Intertexts

Sources and Intertexts

(p.82) 2 Sources and Intertexts
Livy on the Hannibalic War

D. S. Levene (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Livy's uses of earlier literary texts. It demonstrates that Livy alludes to a wide range of literary material. It discusses the difficult issues that arise when an historian engages in such allusions, since the events being described may in real life have been modelled on earlier events. The chapter also includes traditional source-analysis, in particular proving that Polybius was a primary source in these books. It argues that a rigorous division between these two types of analysis cannot be sustained. Whenever Livy uses Polybius as a source, he is also alluding to him, writing in awareness that at least some of his readership will recognise the fact; and one can see him repeatedly playing with the readers' knowledge of the Polybian background.

Keywords:   allusions, source-analysis, Polybius, Polybian background, literary material

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