Non-Elite Exempla and Pietas in Livy's First Pentad

Luke Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper argues for the presence and legibility of non-elite exempla within Livy’s first pentad and makes a case for the study of non-elite exempla in other Roman literary works. The paper makes use of several case studies to argue that non-elite exempla within Livy are treated differently, being built around specific non-threatening virtues, primarily pietas. It finds that Livian non-elite exempla are complex and have serious issues with regards to agency and the potential for emulation. The paper also examines why Livy deployed these non-elite exemplary stories. To conclude, the paper engages with Roller’s 2018 Model of Roman Exemplarity, ultimately arguing that this model does not account for the complications of Livy’s non-elite exempla, and that changes and allowances need to be made with Roller’s model in order to apply it to them.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages43
JournalClassical Philology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 Jul 2023


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