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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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Persons and Peoples

Persons and Peoples

(p.164) 3 Persons and Peoples
Livy on the Hannibalic War

D. S. Levene (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Livy's characterizations, demonstrating that while his characters appear to the modern eye stereotyped and uninvolving, when seen in the light of ancient approaches to character, they make more sense. Livy's work is shaped by ancient preconceptions: but it also extends them in surprising and challenging ways, focusing far less than most ancient writers do on creating a consistent picture of each individual, and more on examining the dynamic of how different character-types relate to one another. It further looks at racial stereotyping in these books. Here too, Livy is informed by contemporary ideas, but is not replicating them: he, like other writers of the Augustan age, recognises the complexities of Roman and non-Roman ethnic identity, but has an individual and highly pessimistic response to them, seeing the growth of the empire, and the inevitable consequent assimilation of foreigners into Rome, as destructive to Roman values.

Keywords:   character, race, racial sterotyping, ethnic identity, assimilation

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