In Short, the Republic: Florus and the (Re)Written Republic
This paper explores the legacy of ab urbe condita historiography under the Principate. Beginning with Fabius Pictor, historiography was born in Rome as a practice that sought to record the entire timeline of Roman history, yet this traditional mode of writing found both apex and end in Livy. After the Ab Urbe Condita, imperial Latin writers turned to abbreviated formats (i.e. epitomes) to write histories that attempted to record the full Roman timeline. Using Florus’ Epitome as a case study, the paper investigates the role that historical epitome played in revitalizing traditional modes of Republican historiography under the Principate. It situates Florus within the context of contemporary Latin literature of the 2nd century and argues that the author leverages the unique formal aspects of epitome to mediate the same perceived breakdown in public discourse that permeates his contemporaries’ writings.
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