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Defining Greek Narrative$
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Douglas Cairns and Ruth Scodel

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748680108

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748680108.001.0001

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Livy Reading Polybius: Adapting Greek Narrative to Roman History

Livy Reading Polybius: Adapting Greek Narrative to Roman History

(p.278) (p.279) 14 Livy Reading Polybius: Adapting Greek Narrative to Roman History
Defining Greek Narrative

Dennis Pausch

Edinburgh University Press

Both Polybius and Livy reflect on their readers and on the danger of boring them. Livy did not content himself with copying Polybius’ text as a source, but studied his methodology. This chapter examines three elements in particular: the use of the first person (Livy is sometimes emphatically present); summaries prefixed to the individual books and how they can be employed to make the reader more attentive (Livy prefers embedded and implicit previews to Polybius’ explicit guidance); and the arrangement of the historical events according to time and space, where Livy, though still annalistic, centers his narrative on Rome. Ironically the Greek writer is more driven by utility, the Roman by emotional engagement and literary concerns—Livy is more Greek than his Greek source.

Keywords:   Preview, Summary, First person, Annalistic narrative, Rome

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