PhD Confirmation Seminar.
Scholars have not fully examined one of Livy's most famous heroes, Scipio Africanus, especially his connections with the traditional Roman virtues of pietas and virtus, for which Scipio was considered an exemplum. The neglect by scholars of Livy's Scipio perhaps reflects long-held beliefs that the historian and his history are second-rate when compared to his source, Polybius. Although pietas and virtus played a significant role in shaping Roman identity and culture, more can be done to investigate how, by Livy’s lifetime, these concepts changed and took on new meanings. Following on from a recent suggestion that Livy places more importance on his moral argument across a greater span of the narrative than he actually places on the moral contribution a character makes to the narrative, I argue in my talk that Livy's representation of Scipio Africanus embodies a greater theme than just a portrait of an exemplary life.