4
Past and Present

INTRODUCTION

In 171 Q. Marcius and A. Atilius reported to the Senate that they had negotiated a truce with Perseus and that, best of all, they had done so by tricking him into believing that there might be a settlement and a lasting peace (42. 47. 1). Livy offers the following description of the Senate's reaction:

Haec ut summa ratione acta magna pars senatus adprobabat;
ueteres et moris antiqui memores negabant se in ea legatione
Romanas agnoscere artes. Non per insidias et nocturna proelia,
nec simulatam fugam improuisosque ad incautum hostem reditus,
nec ut astu magis quam uera uirtute gloriarentur, bella maiores
gessisse; indicere prius quam gerere solitos bella, †denuntiare
etiam interdum† locum finire in quo dimicaturi essent. Eadem
fide indicatum Pyrrho regi medicum uitae eius insidiantem;
eadem Faliscis uinctum traditum proditorem liberorum. haec
Romana esse, non uersutiarum Punicarum neque calliditatis
Graecae, apud quos fallere hostem quam ui superare gloriosius
fuerit. Interdum in praesens tempus plus profici dolo quam
uirtute; sed eius demum animum in perpetuum uinci cui confessio
expressa sit se neque arte neque casu, sed conlatis comminus
uiribus iusto ac pio esse bello superatum. Haec seniores, quibus
noua ac nimis callida minus placebat sapientia; uicit tarnen ea pars
senatus cui potior utilis quam honesti cura erat.1

1 A majority of the Senate approved of these steps as having been taken
with the best possible reasoning; the old men, who were mindful of traditional
practice, said that they did not recognize Roman ways in this embassy. Their
ancestors had not conducted war through trickery and night-battles, nor by
false retreats and sudden renewals of battle against an unsuspecting enemy,
nor had they gloried in deceit more than in true courage; they were
accustomed to declare war before waging it, even to announce and sometimes
establish the place in which they intended to fight. With the same sense of
honour had his doctor been denounced to King Pyrrhus when he was plotting
against his life; and with the same sense of honour had the betrayer of their
children been bound and turned over to the Faliscans. This was Roman
behaviour, not the ways of Carthaginian trickery or Greek cunning, among

-106-

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Livy's Exemplary History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations and Editions Used xi
  • Introduction: Livy's Use of Exempla 1
  • 1: Caudium as Event and Exemplum 32
  • 2: Speaker, Audience, and Exemplum 50
  • 3: Reading the Past 73
  • 4: Past and Present 106
  • 5: Precedents and Change 137
  • 6: Livy, Augustus, and Exempla 168
  • Conclusion: Continuity and Change 197
  • Appendix: Models for Imitation and Avoidance 203
  • Works Cited 215
  • General Index 231
  • Index Locorum 239
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