The only work written by the ancient Roman historian Livy was a multi-volume history of Rome that modern scholars consider to be long as literary value, but rather wanting in historical fact. At one time the full history written by Livy spanned more than one-hundred volumes, but only thirty-five managed to make it to the modern era. The first five books have been translated and edited by Oxford Press in a number of editions under the title The Rise of Rome to reflect that these surviving volumes cover the period in which Rome was elevated to a powerful city-state.
For Livy, this is the crucial period in the history of Rome and the five book covering this era can be read as the thematic center to which the rest of his work is compared and look upon with a tragic sense of nostalgia. The very act of writing about the past when Rome was rising to become the most powerful and influential civilization in the known world makes The Rise of Rome simultaneously a textbook on how to stop the contemporary behavior leading to exorable degeneracy.
The nostalgic for greater days carries a pervasive positive call to order that despite the low state to which Rome had sunk by the time Livy began writing his history, it was not too late to save from utter moral bankruptcy. In this vein, many of the more famous episodes from the past are utilized far less for their historical accuracy than for the less they can provide to future generations.