The Nature Of Rome 's Relationship

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On the Nature of Rome’s Relationship to the Individual and the Collective Livy’s history tells in detail the events that sum up to the life of Rome, from its inception to Augustus’ rule. Not a modern historian, his writing is a milieu of transcribed cultural memory, creative narrative and more ‘legitimate’ historical writing. While there are undoubtedly moments of falsehood, it is equally true that Livy captured many authentic historical facts in his work. In addition, this text became immensely popular after its publishing, and so the vast audience the book enjoyed may have transformed literary fallacy into accepted truth. What is certainly true is that Livy was writing in one of the most tumultuous moments in Roman history; for the…show more content…
Livy’s History portrays in early Rome the superior power of individuals over the collective in shaping the world, their ability to enact change they themselves desire correlating to their consideration of the collective’s interest. Opposition to such a claim might make the correct observation that, over time, power appears to dilute, slowly acquired by more and more of the populus romanus. kings make way for consuls, patricians lose political monopolies to the plebs, etc. While the number of people with real political power does in fact increase, collective action is almost never the impetus for any action in Livy’s writings. To start at the beginning, it is a series of kings transform an empty land to a sizeable city state. After much warring, Numa established treaties and tempered the overly aggressive Roman with religion (The Rise of Rome 24). Servius Tullius created the census, perhaps the greatest tool of Roman governance (The Rise of Rome 50). But there was king Tarquinius Superbus. Not only did he fail to contribute to the glory of Rome, but did he not also fall into exile by the hands of a collective? No. He made the fatal error of crossing a powerful individual: Lucretia. After her rape by the king, she summoned to her side other individuals with not
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