Livy, also known as Titus Livius, was a Roman Historian, which means he wrote about Roman History. Some of Livy’s works include some accounts of Rome that expand over seven hundred years. Sadly, some of those accounts did not survive to this day. He provides us with insight on Early Rome, but we cannot fully rely on them. If he cannot tell us much on ancient events or he does not know what happened, he either leaves out that part, or he fills in the blanks with his own thoughts of what happened.
Ovid, also known as Pūblius Ovidius Nāsō, was a Roman poet. He lived during the reign of Augustus. He also wrote “a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people”. This is titled Ab Urbe Condita. Sometime in 8 BC, Ovid was banished to the Black Sea region by Augustus. About the same time he began writing a book called Metamorphoses. In this book, he tells of the story of creation (the way he thinks it goes), all the way through time up to the death of Julius Caesar. There is a main theme in this book. It is the “change of the gods”.
Both of these authors start the story with creation and provide background to it. Later, they use this background to describe how Rome came to be an important part of western civilization. They both added their own accounts of origins of the city of Rome. Although their accounts are different, there are some similarities. Their stories of creation are basically the same as the great poet Hesiod’s in his book the Theogony. They are not exactly the same, however, they do follow the same storyline as the Theogony. They both include the corruption of man, but they follow different paths. Each of the author’s books each explained different ways of dealing with the corruption of mankind, but in different ways, however, they both end up in building up great hope for Rome.
Livy wrote his own account of the foundation of Rome. He explains that there was once two brothers, abandoned, and alone. Their names were Romulus and Remus. All they had, was each other. They were eventually found as baby’s by a mother wolf. They were raised in her protection and care as her own. They one day, they two brothers left the wolf and set out to build their own city. Not long after they left, they found the perfect place to build a city, but there was only enough room for one city. They soon decided that one of them could build and name the city, but the other brother would have to help the other one. After a long time of arguing about who should name the city, Romulus grew tired of the arguments and killed Remus. He therefore named the city Rome. In Ovid’s story, the god Jupiter saw the wickedness of man and sent a flood to destroy them all. The only survivors were two people named Deuclion and Pyrra. They repopulated the Earth by tossing stones over their shoulders which then turned into human beings.
In both stories, the basis for an optimistic view is hope.