Titi Livii Historiarum Quod Extat

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by Livy

Titus Livius (59BCE – 17CE) was a Roman historian from Patavium, the wealthiest town in northern Italy. His original work “Books from the Foundation of the City” covered Roman history from the founding to 9BCE in 142 books. Only 35 of those still survive today, yet it can be seen from them that Livy wrote as an orator rather than a historian. He had an embellished style and made few references besides those to literary sources. His embellishments and additions create an atmosphere which makes the reader a part of the specific topic’s experience. “His aim was to chronicle the rise of Rome to mastery first of Italy, then of the rest of the Mediterranean world, and to highlight the virtues which produced this result and enabled Rome to defeat Hannibal.” [1]

Livy is our main source for early imperial Roman military history which he uncritically based on existing annals. The greater part of his work consists of descriptions of battles and wars in which the Roman contribution is exaggerated or distorted for the greater glory of the empire. As he himself had no military experience, his writings are mostly of literary interest, and have scant value for assessing ancient warfare. [2]

This particular book contains the portions of the still existing historical work of Livy, in the original Latin. It was published in Amsterdam in 1678.

Bibliographic Information

Author: Livy

Title: Titi Livii Historiarum Quod Extat

Publication Info: Amstelodami: Apud D. Elzevirium, 1678.


Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as Livius. p. f. and given by Thomas Jefferson to his grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The precise edition owned by Wythe is unknown. George Wythe's Library[3] on LibraryThing indicates as much and suggests no specific edition. The Brown Bibliography[4] lists the 1678 Amsterdam edition based on a copy of this edition owned by Jefferson (but not sold to the Library of Congress). The Wolf Law Library followed Brown's suggestion and purchased the 1678 Elzevir edition edited by J.F. Gronovius.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in dark green Jansenist morocco with gilt edges. Contains initials and typographical ornaments. Purchased from Hundersdorff Rare Books.

View this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

External Links

Google Books


  1. " Livy " in Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World, ed. by John Roberts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).
  2. Pieters 244; Rahir 1680; Willems 1548
  3. LibraryThing, s. v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on April 21, 2013, http://www.librarything.com/profile/GeorgeWythe
  4. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433