Livy (Titus Livius), the great Roman historian, was born at Patavium (Padua) in 64 or 59 BC where after years in Rome he died in AD 12 or 17.
Livy’s history, composed as the imperial autocracy of Augustus was replacing the republican system that had stood for over 500 years, presents in splendid style a vivid narrative of Rome’s rise from the traditional foundation of the city in 753 or 751 BC to 9 BC and illustrates the collective and individual virtues necessary to achieve and maintain such greatness.
Of its 142 books, conventionally divided into pentads and decads, we have 1–10 and 21–45 complete, and short summaries (periochae) of all the rest except 41 and 43–45; 11–20 are lost, and of the rest only fragments and the summaries remain.
The third decad constitutes our fullest surviving account of the momentous Second Punic (or Hannibalic) War, and comprises two recognizable pentads: Books 21–25 narrate the run-up to conflict and Rome’s struggles in its first phase, with Hannibal dominant; Books 26–30 relate Rome’s revival and final victory, as the focus shifts to Scipio Africanus.
This edition replaces the original Loeb edition by B. O. Foster.