L. Livius Andronicus
(284-204 BCE)

     94. Andronicus (c. 470/284 - 550/204) came as a young man, most probably at the time of the capture of Tarentum (a. 482/272), to Rome, and being a prisoner of war became the slave of a certain Livius, perhaps the same as the victor of Sena, M. Livius Salinator. He gained his living by private instruction in Latin and Greek, was manumitted and received the name of L. Livius Andronicus. For his pupils he translated the Odyssey into Latin saturnians, but awkwardly and not without flagrant mistakes. Being besides an actor, he wrote his own text-books; these he likewise translated from the Greek, esp. tragedies, in doing which he imitated the easier Greek measures and kept the popular alliteration. The first performance of a complete play of this kind took place a. 514/240, the year after the successful termination of the first Punic war. In the year 547/207 he was commissioned to prepare an intercessory hymn to the Aventine Juno; he composed, probably in the same year, a song of thanksgiving for victory, namely that of his patron at Sena. For his sake the poets received the grant of corporate rights, and a place was assigned them for their meetings and votive offerings in the temple of their tutelary goddess Minerva on the Aventine hill.

     1. The praenomen L. (GELL. 6, 7, 11. 17, 21, 42.    FEST. 297b, 7.    CASSIOD. see n. 2). The deviation of the praenomen from that of his former master is in accordance with the custom of this period; see EHÜBNER in IwMüller’s Handb. 1, 521. From a confusion with the name of the historian T. is several times erroneously given. (NON. 207, 23.   368, 25    HIERON. see n. 2)


Odissia (The Odyssey) English translation

Translation of Homer's Odyssey into Latin in Saturnian verse

Nine Tragedies:


Contains the most surviving lines

Ajax Mastigophorus (Ajax the Whipbearer)
Mirum videtur quod sit factum iam diu? - Does it seem wonderful because it was done a long time ago?



Equos Troianus (The Trojan Horse)




Several Fabulae Palliatae:

Gladiolus (The Dagger)

Ludius (The Gamester)


Related Sites: