When Livy began his epic The History of Rome, he had no idea of the fame and fortune he would eventually attain. He would go on to become the most widely read writer in the Roman Empire and was eagerly sought out and feted like a modern celebrity. And his fame continued to grow after his death. His bombastic style, his intricate and complex sentence structure, and his flair for powerfully recreating the searing drama of historical incidents made him a favorite of teachers and pupils alike.
In this volume, Hannibal and Carthage are finally worn down by the grim determination of the Roman people, and their army is destroyed at Zama by Publius Scipio. And hardly is this over before the vengeful Romans cast their eyes eastward to Philip of Macedon, who had made the fatal error of backing the Carthaginians.
Livy's purpose in writing his famous history was to show how Rome had started out as a city state full of brave, idealistic and virtuous citizens, but had then descended into the voracious, debauched, and immoral empire it had become by his own time in the late 1st century B.C. And the evidence was compelling.