Livy, History of Rome 1

LCL 114: 2-3

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T. Livi

Ab Urbe Condita

Liber I


Facturusne operae pretium sim,1 si a primordio urbis res populi Romani perscripserim, nec satis scio, 2nec, si sciam, dicere ausim, quippe qui cum veterem tum volgatam esse rem videam, dum novi semper scriptores aut in rebus certius aliquid allaturos se aut scribendi arte rudem vetustatem superaturos 3credunt. Utcumque erit, iuvabit tamen rerum gestarum memoriae principis terrarum populi pro virili parte et ipsum consuluisse; et si in tanta scriptorum turba mea fama in obscuro sit, nobilitate ac magnitudine eorum me qui nomini officient meo 4consoler. Res est praeterea et inmensi operis, ut quae supra septingentesimum annum repetatur, et


Book I


From the Founding of the City

Book I


Whether I am likely to accomplish anything worthy of the labour, if I record the achievements of the Roman people from the foundation of the city, I do not really know, nor if I knew would I dare to avouch it; perceiving as I do that the theme1 is not only old but hackneyed, through the constant succession of new historians, who believe either that in their facts they can produce more authentic information, or that in their style they will prove better than the rude attempts of the ancients. Yet, however this shall be, it will be a satisfaction to have done myself as much as lies in me to commemorate the deeds of the foremost people of the world; and if in so vast a company of writers my own reputation should be obscure, my consolation would be the fame and greatness of those whose renown will throw mine into the shade. Moreover, my subject involves infinite labour, seeing that it must be traced back

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.livy-history_rome_1.1919