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Orality In Livy’s Representation Of The Divine: The Construction Of A Polyphonic Narrative

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Chapter Summary

The author wishes to show that orality in a broader sense can contribute to building the structure of the whole narrative. The author also analyzes the role Livy ascribes to orality in his representation of the divine sphere. Orality plays an important and diverse part in Livy's written world. Religious passages particularly show that strategy. Each of the voices at work in the Ab Urbe Condita is given a specific function. The characters' speeches underline the importance of religion and define the nature of its presence in Roman society, thus creating one of the most important thematic threads in Livy's history. The gods' voices, in a work that does not easily stage divine interventions, prove Rome's special relationship with the gods, and therefore justify its power without Livy having to assert his own authority. Livy wants to write a total history and all the possible interpretations are in his work.

Keywords: divine; gods; historian; Livy; orality; polyphonic narrative; religion; Romans



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