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appreciation, he repeated the legends of the early days which had long ago become a part of the national mem
Conservatism. ory, not concealing the fact that they contained a large mythical element, but presenting them in their main features, with simplicity and dignity, doing away with a great accumulation of inappropriate additions of later times. But we are not to understand him as vouching for the truth of every story he relates. In this same conservative spirit he reports prodigies and miracles, realizing that they were in great part the creations of excited imagination, but not feeling called upon to question what the best men had believed and acted upon in the past, and considering them also an important feature in the pictures he drew of by-gone times, part of the scenery, so to speak, amid which the actors had moved. Remembering the age in which he lived, it is evident
Piety. that, though he was devout and imaginative, with a profound reverence for the mighty past and for the powers of the unseen world, he could not possess the childlike credulity of a primitive civilization.
The kindliness of his nature constantly appears in sympathy for the oppressed and unfortunate ; his indignation at wrong, deceit, and oppression is honest and spontaneous.
The warmth of his patriotism was such that it sometimes betrayed him into partiality to his countrymen and injustice toward their opponents : but this fault is only
Patriotic bias. the excess of a virtue which we can regard more charitably than the cold impartiality of those who have no patriotism to bias their judgments; and the essential candor of his disposition led him to appreciate what was great or good wherever he found it. However Livy has been criticised for his his
Literary torical methods, as a writer he has met with noth- excellence. ing but praise. His language is pure, rich, clear, harmonious,
- comparable in eloquence to that of the greatest orators. Quintilian, the prince of ancient critics, characterizes it most happily by the phrases “lactea ubertas,” and “clarissimus candor," (X. i. 32 and 101). In ordinary narrative, simple and easy,
i he rises without effort to eloquence, and his tone is always proportioned to the nature of his subject. He excels in painting the great scenes in the nation's life, the bitterness of party struggles, the passions of the masses, the joy and dread of multitudes. He lives with his characters, and makes their feelings his own. In the expression of emotions, and especially of pathos, he is unequalled.
His modern admirers cannot fail to rejoice that he enjoyed the good fortune of being appreciated by his contemporaries. So far as we know, there was but one dissenting voice, perhaps the voice of jealousy, amid the universal chorus of admi
ration. Quintilian says (VIII. i. 3), “In Patavinity.
Tito Livio .. putat inesse Pollio Asinius quandam Patavinitatem.” Evidently this was a charge of provincialism, which may have been intelligible at the time, but which to modern scholars has proved a subject of much inquiry more curious than profitable.
In point of language, Livy, together with Sallust and Nepos, is the connecting link between the golden and silver ages
of Latinity: he possesses the qualities of the Marks a transition in the Latin latter in such degree only as to enhance the language.
beauties of the former. He is the one great 1 Numerous theories upon this subject have been propounded. For instance, H. Mensel in the N. Jahrb. für Philol. 1885, pp. 402 sqq., makes clear that one of the points which may have offended Asinius was Livy's use of ab before consonants, which is abnormally extensive in comparison with the usage of Caesar and Cicero. Similar to this is the very large use of intensive and frequentative verbs, most extensive in the first decade, and constantly growing more restricted as the work goes on. An entirely different and very improbable hypothesis was, that Livy's Patavinity consisted in his sympathies with the Pompeian party.
prose writer among the poets of the Augustan age, as Catullus and Lucretius were the only great poets amid the prose authors of the Ciceronian period.
Livy's language is still pure and correct enough, but it is no longer that of Caesar and Cicero. Without speaking of new words and new expressions, his syntax is already sensibly modified, partly in consequence of natural development, partly through the influence of the language of poetry, and perhaps of the language of the people, — both of which in the imperial epoch penetrated more and more into the language of prose. This mixture, showing a little in Livy, is a sign of the approaching decadence; another sign is that certain words and certain forms have in his diction already lost their proper
His style, in short, with all its brilliancy and all its charm, has no longer the severity and simplicity of the preceding age.
The peculiarities of Tacitus' style have been conveniently put under three heads, - brevitas, varietas, color poeticus. Livy
has the last two, as decidedly as he lacks the
Peculiarities first. In the periods of Cicero we find always a
of style, carefully adjusted balance of the parts, perfect symmetry of clauses and phrases. In Livy and in Sallust there is a constant variety in the coördinate elements, and an intentional lack of symmetry, which in Tacitus develops into the most pronounced peculiarity.
Yet essentially Livy is a Ciceronian in style ; his sustained elevation, abundance, - at times a little exce
cessive, – rich coloring, vivid imagination, seem to be the actual
A Ciceronian. fulfilment of Cicero's own ideal of the historical style, which he says (Orator, XX. 66), differs from the oratorical “almost as much as the poetic style.” Quintilian says (X. i. 31), that history is like an "epic in prose," having the right to borrow of poetry some of its liberties. This theory Livy appears to have put into practice. In fact, next to the oratorical form of thought and expression, his most salient characteristic is the poetic coloring he assumes from time to time, consisting in the employment of words or constructions rare in prose, in the boldness of his images, and in turns of phrase unlike the ordinary manner of expression.
Among the more obvious features of Livy's diction and syntax the beginner will notice the following points :
Use of concrete singulars for collectives or plurals. eques habitually for equites or equitatus, e.g. p. 46, 1. 16;
similarly pedes, miles, Romanus, vestis in collective sense,
p. 104, 1. 20; Poenus for exercitus Punicus, p. 81, 1. 33. Abstract for concrete substantives. remigio for remigibus, p. 95, l. 17; servitia for servos,
p. 50, ). 9. Fondness for verbals of action in -us. traiectu, p. 6, 1. 12; saltatu, p. 25, 1. 19; ductu, p. 75,
1. 7; Vestitus, p. 77, l. 10. And verbals of agency in -tor or -sor, using the latter both substantiely and adjectively.
ostentator, p. 14, 1. 22; exercitu victore reducto, p. 14,
1. 21; liberator ille animus, p. 68, l. 22.
Of possession used predicatively. prope omnis senatus Hannibalis erat, p. 84, 1. 2; tutelae
essent, p. 9, 1. 15. Partitive with adjectives. in inmensum altitudinis, p. 107, 1. 4; aestatis reli.
quom, p. 158, 1. 19; circumfusos militum, p. 175, 1. 10.
Predicative or of service.
diis cordi esset, p. 49, 1. 17; ut usui essent, p. 100, 1. 24. Instead of accusative or ablative with prepositions, especially after compound verbs.
mare fluminibus invexit, p. 147, l. 21; adequitavit portis,
p. 188, 1. 7. Extensive use of dative of reference, and of agency with involved idea of interest.
Quaerentibus ratio initur, p. 29, 1. 6.
Adverbial or synecdochical.
adversum femur ictus, p. So, l. 24; apparitores hoc genus,
p. II, 1. 26.
Omission of direct object, especially with ducere (exercitum), p. 28, l. 14; tenere (cursum), p. 3,
Extensively used without prepositions, where they would normally be expected, — the local ablative constantly shading off into the modal or instrumental.
(in) carpento sedenti, p. 44, I. 14; lapides (de) caelo
cecidisse, p. 142, 1. 6; profectus (cum) sexaginta longis
navibus, p. 99, 1. 2. Names of towns unde, regularly take ab. Comparatio Compendaria.
omnium spe celerius, p. 79, I. 17.
Fondness for forms in -osus, -bundus, -cundus.
ab Hermandica profugi, p. 78, 1. 7; inferentis vim, p.
118, 1. 6.