Livius, Titus (DNB00)

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LIVIUS, TITUS (fl. 1437), historian, calls himself Titus Livius de Frulovisiis, of Ferrara. Hearne connects De Frulovisiis with Friuli, and calls him Forojuliensis. Whether Titus Livius was the historian's real name, or assumed in allusion to the historical model he set before himself, is disputed. He certainly bore it before writing the history by which alone he is now known, and Livius occurs as an Italian family name in the next century. As a boy his imagination was, he tells us, fired by the reports of the achievements of Henry V of England, and when, after the death of that king, a restless humour and family misfortunes drove him from Italy to seek his fortune, he made his way to England, where he found a patron in Humphrey, duke of Gloucester [q. v.] Gloucester made him his poet and orator, and ultimately procured for him letters of denization in 1437 (Fœdera, x. 661). At some date subsequent to this he wrote his ‘Vita Henrici Quinti, Regis Invictissimi’ at the instigation of and largely from information supplied by Gloucester. He dedicated it to Henry VI, who, according to a manuscript seen by Hearne (Preface, p. vii), made him one of his privy councillors. There is also attributed to him an ‘Elogium episcopi Bathoniensis’ in hexameter verse (Tanner, p. 483), which seems to be lost.

[Proem to the Vita, edited by Hearne, 1716; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib.; Gesta Henrici V, p. v. (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Tiraboschi's Storia della Letteratura Italiana, vi. 761, Florence, 1809.]

J. T-t.