Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Foreign Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Arnold, Richard E.

Second Advisor

Ganss, George E.

Third Advisor

Griffin, George R.


This thesis proposes to make a rhetorical and a psychological analysis of ten of the best speeches of the first decade of Livy's Ab Urbe Condita. Our concern lies particularly in determining how skillfully Livy used the rhetor's art in both subject-matter and style. The introduction briefly sketches the history of rhetoric. Chapter one defines the rhetorical figures used by Livy and cites representative examples. Chapter two analyzes selected speeches from the standpoint of determining what conclusions may be drawn as to the effectiveness of Livy's use of rhetorical as well as psychological art in attaining his purpose to portray the character and the destiny of the city of Rome. Finally, the conclusions obtained are evaluated in the light of Livy's desire to find an intellectual expression for his belief that man is all important and that time and place elements are of an incidental nature. Thus is shown the adaptability of the Ab Urbe Condita both to the problems of the empire and to the problems of our time. Hence, whether the ancient historian is praising or condemning man, our understanding and knowledge of man grows and deepens.