Livy and Polybius on the Life of Hannibal from Carthage

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Livy and Polybius on the life of Hannibal from Carthage.

Hannibal, argueably the greatest war hero of the Ancient World, second to Alexander the Great was both loved and hated throughout the Hellenic world and has remained a major historical character studied through ancient history circles today. Livy and Polybius two brilliant ancient historians have left an invaluable insight into the life of Hannibal from Carthage and have documented in their writings the footsteps of this most famous warlords achievements against Rome. This essay will include an outlook on Hannibal from both authors perspectives, Livy and Polybius and will also include who the historians were, when they wrote and what type of works they performed.

Livy was a Roman historian who existed between 59 B.C- 17 A.D. Born Titus Livius in Patavium the most elegant city in Italy, came from Aristocratic blood and born into a world of opportunity and luxury. Livy lived many years after the battles between Hannibal and Rome approximately 150 years later so his sources of writing were not first hand accounts so therefore not entirely accurate. Livy moved to Rome at the age of 30 and after a brief stint writing and teaching philosophy began a large scale documentation on the history of the Roman empire. Due to a wealthy family inheritance Livy was financially free to live a quiet life of study in the library, becoming the most influential author of his era.

Livy,s writing was very colourful and dramatic with a very story telling style. He was brilliant at glamourising Rome stating history was written by the winners, making the enemy read bigger and bolder than they really were, a gross style of exaggeration to allow rome to seem like an unconquerable dynasty who defeated the undefeatable. A very imaginative story telling style that won many hearts throughout the Hellenic world. I am Roman, I am great, Rome is great. Livy had no political or military blood lines or experience in public office,...
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