The last event covered by Livy is the death of Drusus in 9 BC. About 25% of the work survives, the History of Rome originally comprised 142 books, thirty-five of which — Books 1–10 with the Preface and Books 21–45 — still exist in reasonably complete form. Damage to a manuscript of the 5th century resulted in gaps in Books 41 and 43–45, that is. Livy was abridged, in antiquity, to an epitome, which survives for Book 1, but was itself abridged in the century into the so-called Periochae. The Periochae survive for the work, except for books 136 and 137. In Oxyrhynchus, a summary of books 37–40 and 48–55 was found on a roll of papyrus that is now in the British Museum classified as P. Oxy. IV0668. There is another fragment, named P. Oxy. XI1379, which represents a passage from the first book, however the Oxyrhynchus Epitome is damaged and incomplete. The entire work covers the periods, Books 1–5 – The legendary founding of Rome, the period of the kings. Books 6–10 – Wars with the Aequi, Volsci, Etruscans, Books 11–20 – The period from 292 to 218 BC, including the First Punic War. Books 21–30 – The Second Punic War, from 218 to 202 BC, Books 31–45 – The Macedonian and other eastern wars from 201 to 167 BC. Books 46 to 142 are all lost, Books 46–70 – The period from 167 to the outbreak of the Social War in 91 BC, Books 71–90 – The civil wars between Marius and Sulla, to the death of Sulla in 78 BC. Books 91–108 – From 78 BC through the end of the Gallic War, Books 109–116 – From the Civil War to the death of Caesar. Books 117-133 – The wars of the triumvirs down to the death of Antonius, Books 134-142 – The rule of Augustus down to the death of Drusus. The first book has one of the most significant sources of the various accounts of the traditional legend of Romulus and Remus. His version of the legend is told in chapters 3-7 of the first book, Livy states that the twins were born to a vestal named Rea Silvia. Proca, her grandfather had willed the throne to his son Numitor but he was deposed by her uncle. She was forced to take the Vestal oath to prevent her from producing a rival to his rule and she became pregnant after taking her vows and claimed that she had been raped by Mars, the roman god of war. Livy speculates that the claim may have made to conceal an earthly affair
Stories from Livy I.4, on an altar panel from Ostia. Father Tiber looks on at the lower right while the national lupa (wolf) nourishes Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome. The herders are about to find them. One of their goats can be seen. Small animals denote the wildness of the place. The national aquila (eagle) is portrayed.
Fragment of P. Oxy. 668, with Epitome of Livy XLVII–XLVIII.