The testimony of Livy book 31, when supplemented by fragments of Polybius, reveals Roman intentions at a critical point in Greco-Roman history. Intertextual exegesis affirms the coherence of Livy’s narrative, while also illuminating his technique. Reconstruction of the chronological sequence of events shows that the differences between Polybian and Roman sources are not as great as generally maintained. Acceptance of the integrity of Livy’s text has profound implications for the question of Roman imperialism. With consummate calculation, the Romans prepared to declare war and mount an overseas invasion. The Straits of Otranto and a base were secured, a propaganda mission despatched, thus lessening the urgency for invasion itself.
Franz Steiner Verlag