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Books VI-X of Livy's monumental work trace Rome's fortunes from its near collapse after defeat by the Gauls in 386 bc to its emergence, in a matter of decades, as the premier power in Italy, having conquered the city-state of Samnium in 293 bc. In this fascinating history, events are described not simply in terms of partisan politics, but through colourful portraits that bring the strengths, weaknesses and motives of leading figures such as the noble statesman Camillus and the corrupt Manlius vividly to life. While Rome's greatest chronicler intended his history to be a memorial to former glory, he also had more didactic aims - hoping that readers of his account could learn from the past ills and virtues of the city.
Titus Livy was bron in 59BC at Padua but later moved to Rome. He lived in an eventful age but little is known about his life. He worked on his History of Rome for over forty years. Betty Radice became joint editor of Penguin Classics in 1964. She has edited and introduced a huge range of works in the Penguin Classics, including Pliny and Dante. She died in 1985. Robert Maxwell Ogilvie was Professor of Humanity at the University of St Andrews from 1975 until his death in 1981. He was the author of many books on Roman religion.