Imme Laseur

Livy as a Stylistic Anchor: Female Portraits in Roman Historiography

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This project explores Livy’s enduring influence on Roman Imperial literature, specifically regarding the portrayal of women. The aim is to further develop a narratological-linguistic toolbox for stylistic analysis, in order to understand how Roman authors after Livy adopted or challenged Livy’s literary style in their portraits of ‘the female’.

The project explores Livy's impact on the literary tradition, focusing on his unique portrayal of women as catalysts for political change. The analysis, with a focus on passages from Tacitus, will uncover stylistic innovations in representing women and the extent to which Livy's style was an anchor.

Various style elements and narrative techniques, such as immersion, tone, diction, and emphasis of ideas, will be considered. The project will also explore the concept of 'common ground' and its relation to gender studies, shedding light on cultural norms regarding the ways in which women were represented in texts. Additionally, it will assess intertextuality to understand how Livy's successors, especially Tacitus, integrated their female characters into the broader framework of Roman literature.

Overall, this project aims to enhance our understanding of Livy's enduring influence on Roman historical literature, providing insights into evolving literary styles and the portrayal of women. Through rigorous language and narrative analysis, it contributes to the broader discussion of storytelling complexities in Roman literature, particularly concerning female characters.