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Title: Landscapes of conquest: space, place, and environment in Livy's Ab Urbe Condita
Authors: Clark, Virginia Emily
Advisors: Feldherr, Andrew
Contributors: Classics Department
Keywords: Historiography
Subjects: Classical literature
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation deals with the topics of space, place, environment and geography in Livy's work. It examines the ways in which Livy uses images of the landscape and the environment to explore the themes of power, knowledge and authority in his narrative of Rome's conquests. Recent research on space and place in Livy has tended to concentrate on the first decade and on the monuments and topography of the city of Rome. My project, on the other hand, aims to bring more attention to the later decades, in particular the fourth and fifth, in which the history turns more towards Rome's expansion throughout the Mediterranean world. I argue that Livy's representations of landscapes and geography outside Rome can be read as a metaphor for his approach to history in general. By creating fluid, subjective spaces in his narrative, he draws attention to the importance of those qualities in historical narratives, and implies that it is not possible to represent either history or geography in an objective, singular way. By presenting multiple perspectives on the spaces and places of the history, and multiple possible readings of them, Livy emphasizes the idea, presented in his preface, that events can be interpreted in a number of different ways. Alongside that, I argue that his use of space and geography is fundamental to understanding his narratives of conquest and empire abroad. Livy's portrayals of individual places and larger conceptions of space become a means of exploring anxieties and tensions among the Romans themselves about their rapid military expansion. The characters' reactions to new places and the broadening of their geographic horizons are a particularly significant way of conveying both the virtues and the dangers of their successive conquests in Greece and Asia.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Classics

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