Narrative and Notice in Livy's Fourth Decade: The Case of Scipio Africanus
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This paper argues for the importance of Livy's annalistic notices in structuring the author's aims and the reader's reception of the history, as against the standard conception of the notices as archaic memoranda. Taking the later career of Scipio Africanus the Elder as a test case, the paper demonstrates the tension between the formal features of the narrative and the actual content of the notices. As summarized in the eulogy for Africanus (38.53.9-11), Livy constructs a narrative of Scipio's decline emphasizing his peripeteia after the Hannibalic war. This narrative finds corroboration in the confinement of Africanus' subsequent actions chiefly to the annalistic notices. The notices themselves, however, provide a counter-narrative to the main text, albeit in fragmentary and marginal form. Through the interaction of narrative center and periphery the notices thus offer a space for Livy, and the reader, to explore alternative visions of Roman history.