Date of Award

Spring 1966

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Foreign Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Wallach, Luitpold

Second Advisor

Conley, John

Third Advisor

Arnold, Richard E.


History is not merely a record of events which occurred in the past, but it is also a revelation of the kind of people who lived in the past. We could say that history is then a "man-centered" account of thoughts and deeds accomplished within various civilizations. Since man is in the center, he should receive the greatest attention. To this maxim Livy seems to have adhered. No efforts were spared to make his history interesting in reading and profitable in instruction. Hence, he places great emphasis upon the individuals with whom he deals in his writing. Thus we arrive at our proposed problem of the methods which Livy employs to reveal his characters to the reader. At first we shall present a summary of certain techniques of character portrayal as employed by ancient historians, both Greek and Roman. In this summary we shall show the gradual development in the methods of portraying persons in history. P.G. Walsh (Livy: His Historical Aims and Methods) observes that this historian very rarely employs the direct method of characterization of individuals. Instead he uses three predominant techniques belonging to the indirect method of portrayal. He desires to portray his characters in various ways: by the speeches and remarks ascribed to the character portrayed; by presenting to the reader the attitudes expressed by contemporaries of the characterized person. The third technique is that of showing the effects which the person under consideration has upon others. These effects can be reflected either through mental reactions or the course of action which they adopt in rejecting or accepting the speaker's proposals. Hence, in this thesis I shall endeavor to study the methods of characterization which Livy employs in the writing of history. After this analysis I shall attempt to assess the relative frequency and importance of each technique employed. My investigation will be confined to Books XXI and XXII of Livy's Ab Urbe Condita.