Reading Guide for Livy pp. 1-165

Romulus vs. Remus

Why is this story important to the Romans? 

The rape of the Sabine women  is often depicted in Roman poetry as an almost comic event. How does Livy tell the story here? 

How does Romulus die? 

Numa Pompilius

What kind of religious and cultural reforms did Numa's reign as king establish? How did they strengthen the state?  What makes a good ruler? What does Livy think of foreign customs? 


What does the story of Horatius's sister tell us about loyalty to the community versus loyalty to family? What happens to Horatius after he kills his sister?

What does the story of Servius Tullius and Tarquin tell you about Roman values?  What does Tullia do when she sees Servius Tullius' body? 


Why does she commit suicide?

What does the story of Lucretia tell us about private vs. public life in ancient Rome?

How does her death cause the start of the Roman republic?

The Capitoline

What role does the Capitoline hill (also called the Capitol and the citadel in your reading) play in Roman history?  When (under what conditions) and where (in speeches, as part of the narrative, etc.) does Livy mention the site?  How does the physical topography of Rome serve as an advantage to the Romans?

Patricians and Plebeians

What is the relationship between the patricians and the plebeians in the early Republic? 


Who was Coriolanus and why did he end his days exiled from Rome?

Horatius, Mucius Scaevola, and Cloelia

What is a hero in ancient Rome?  Do female heroes differ from male ones?