T. Livius, Ab Urbe Condita: 001-01

Translation of the book on Roman history Ab Urbe Condita by Titus Livius (Livy): Book 1 Chapter 1

Now first of all, everyone agrees that when Troy was taken there was brutality toward the Troians, except that the Achaeans forbore all prerogative of war toward two, Aeneas and Antenor, under the ancient right of hospitality because they were always advocates of peace and of returning Helen.

Then after various misfortunes Antenor with a large number of the Eneti, who were looking for both homes and a leader (they had been driven out of Paphlagonia by an insurrection and their king Pylaemenes had been lost at Troy), came into the innermost curve of the Adriatic Sea; and after the Euganei, who were living between the sea and the Alps, had been driven off, the Eneti and Troians occupied those lands. And the place where they first landed is called “Troy” and from that the region has the name “Troian”; the entire population are called “Veneti”.

Aeneas, a refugee from a similar disaster at home but with divine words guiding him to bigger historical beginnings, came first to Macedonia, from there was carried away to Sicilia looking for homes, and from Sicilia continued with his fleet to the territory of Laurentum. This place also has the name “Troy”.

When the Troians came ashore there, as almost nothing remained to them after their immense wandering except weapons and ships, they stole cattle from the fields. King Latinus and the Aborigines who were then occupying those places ran armed from the city and fields to prevent the violence of the strangers. From this point, the report is divided. Some hand down that Latinus, defeated in a battle, united in peace with Aeneas and later in a connection by marriage.

Others say that when the drawn up battle lines were standing face-to-face, before the signals sounded, Latinus went forward between the front ranks and called out the leader of the strangers for a discussion. Then he asked: What mortals were they? For what reason or because of what mishap had they left home? Or, seeking what had they gone out into the territory of Laurentum? After he heard that the crowd were Troians, that their leader was Aeneas, son of Anchises and Venus; and that, refugees from home because their homeland had been burned, they were looking for a home and a place to start a city; then, admiring the nobility of the folk and of the man and admiring that their spirit was prepared for either war or peace, he confirmed a promise of future friendship by offering his right hand. Then a treaty was struck between the leaders; a greeting was made between the armies; Aeneas was a guest in the house of Latinus; and there Latinus, in the presence of his household gods, joined a domestic treaty to the public one by giving his daughter to Aeneas in marriage.

For the Troians this event affirmed their hope of ending their wandering at last in a stable and certain home. They built a town; Aeneas called it “Lavinium” after the name of his wife. Soon there was also a male offspring from the new marriage to whom the parents gave the name “Ascanius”.

Remarks: Checks and Balances vs. Personal Agenda
Remarks: Preventing Invasions and War
Remarks: Mutually Beneficial Treaty

Translation Copyright 2009 Verbifex


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: