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If you compare, for example the writings between Titus Livius and his Greek counterpart from a century earlier, Polybius, does Livy prove himself credible with his fantastical writing styles and trying to add an emotional narrative to the history that is being described?

For example, when Hannible crossed the alps, Livy writes:

On top of that, the horses caused particular mayhem in the Carthaginian column. They went mad with terror at the wild shouts, which echoed and re-echoed ever more loudly from the forests and mountain sides, while chance blows and wounds so panicked them that they wrought havoc among the men and their equipment alike. 33.7. The cramped conditions combined with the fact that there were sheer cliffs and precipices on either side meant that many (including soldiers in full armour) were hurled to their death. Worst of all, even baggage animals with full loads on their backs were sent tumbling to destruction.

While an excerpt from Polybius writes:

This time it was all too probable that Hannibal’s whole army would have perished if he had not, even now, suspected some such outcome. In anticipation of it and as a precaution, he had placed the baggage train and the cavalry at the front of the column and kept his hoplites as a rearguard. 53.2. Since they were fully alert for an attack, casualties were less serious and they were able to beat back the tribesmen’s attack

Polybius writes in a much more stoic and objectively than Livy. I cannot recall where I read it, but I also have read that Livy was known to simply copy and embellish what other historians have already written.

Is this true, and if so, can Livy be considered a respectable Roman historian?

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    Seems like it ought to be possible to tweak this into a good question about the relative histiographical value of Livy compared to other sources like Polybius – T.E.D. Mar 27 '17 at 13:46