Robert Maxwell Ogilvie

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Robert Maxwell Ogilvie (born June 5, 1932 , † November 7, 1981 in St Andrews , Scotland ) was a Scottish classical philologist .


Ogilvie taught Latin literature and classical philology at the University of St. Andrews and was co-editor of The Classical Quarterly from 1976 until his death in 1981. In 1972 he was elected a member ( Fellow ) of the British Academy . In 1979 he was inducted into the Royal Society of Edinburgh .

His commentary on Titus Livius ' Ab urbe condita is considered a magnum opus .


Comments on Livy

Over a hundred years after W. Weissenborn's commentaries appeared , Robert Maxwell Ogilvie published his commentaries on the first five books of Titus Livius in 1965 . The commentaries discuss the historical background, legal and religious aspects and the linguistic peculiarities of Livy. At the end of the book there is an extensive index collection. References to supplementary or basic literature can be found throughout the book on the relevant topics.

In the introduction, the author explains who he wrote the comments for:

"The aim of my commentary ought to be to make it easier for a reader to appreciate the ancient text. (...) I have not, therefore, written it specifically for the needs of the schoolboy or the undergraduate or the scholar but rather for the use of anyone who wants to read Livy. "

Upon publication, The Classical Review wrote that the commentaries would be an excellent introduction to Livy for many years, and that the author would no doubt be able to edit Books IV better than has ever been done before. The strength of the comments would come from a. when it comes to Livy’s narrative techniques, how he focused on individual topics and / or transformed the annalistic narrative scheme. The tendency of the comments to dogmatism and the exclusion of several possibilities is criticized. In addition, a number of footnotes are listed that are not convincing. The author's attitude towards early Roman history is described as " skeptical-conservative " and he himself makes it clear that archeology has a lot more to say than Livius research for the truth of the history of ancient Rome.

Since their publication, the commentaries have developed into a standard work and can be found in every major library with an ancient studies section.

Fonts (selection)

  • Robert Maxwell Ogilvie: Titi Livi Ab urbe condita , Libri I – V, Oxford 1974, ISBN 0-19-814661-2 .
  • A commentary on Livy. Books 1–5 . 1965. Reprinted by Clarendon Press, Oxford 2003, ISBN 0-19-814432-6 .
  • De vita Agricolae . 1967.
  • The Romans and their gods in the age of Augustus , 1970.
    • German: ... and rebuilt the temples. The Romans and their Gods in the Age of Augustus . Translated by Florian Weidenfels. dtv, Munich 1984, ISBN 3-423-04427-6 .
  • Early Rome and the Etruscans , London 1976.
    • German: Early Rome and the Etruscans . Translated by Irmgard Götz. dtv history of antiquity. dtv, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-423-04403-9 .
  • Roman literature and society . Penguin Books, Harmondsworth 1980, ISBN 0-14-022081-X .
  • The library of Lacentius . Clarendon Press, Oxford 1978, ISBN 0-19-826645-6 .
  • Ancient Rome . Translated by Irmgard Götz. Albatros, Düsseldorf 2006, ISBN 3-491-96168-8 (together with Michael Crawford and Colin Wells).
  • Latin and Greek. A history of the influence of the classics on English life from 1600 to 1918 . Routledge & Kegan Paul, London 1964.
  • Introduction by Robert Maxwell Ogilvie in The Early History of Rome , Books I – V of The History of Rome from Its Foundations, Translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt, Penguin Books, London 2002.


  • Anthony Arthur Long: Robert Maxwell Ogilvie . In: The Classical Quarterly , NS Vol. 32 (1982), p. 1, ISSN  0009-8388 .
  • Russell Meiggs : Robert Maxwell Ogilvie . In: Proceedings of the British Academy , 68 : 627-636 (1982), ISSN  0068-1202
  • AD Leeman: Review of the comments in Mnemosyne . A Journal of Classical Studies, Leiden January 1967.
  • FRD Goodyear: Review of the comments in The Classical Review . Cambridge March 1966.

Individual evidence

  1. Anthony Arthur Long: Robert Maxwell Ogilvie. In: The Classical Quarterly, 1982.
  2. ^ Former Fellows of The Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002, The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. p. 705. Retrieved January 22, 2019 .
  3. ^ Discussion in Mnemosyne . A Journal of Classical Studies, AD Leeman, Leiden January 1967. p. 359.
  4. ^ Review in The Classical Review . F. R. D. Goodyear, Cambridge March 1966, pp. 60–63, Retrieved January 29, 2019.