Cornelius Cossusの決闘伝説とLivius [in Japanese] Livy on Cornelius Cossus and the spolia opima [in Japanese]
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There was a disagreement in the Late Republic concerning the military rank of A. Cornelius Cossus at the time when he dedicated the spolia opima to the temple of Iuppiter Feretrius. The annalistic tradition said Cossus was a tribunus militum ; but the antiquarian scholar Varro asserted that only a dux could dedicate the spolia, which hehad taken from the enemy he had killed in a duel, to the temple of Iuppiter Feretrius. In the time of Augustus, when the requirements for dedicating spolia opima became a political issue, antiquarians such as Verrius Flaccus were ordered by Augustus to settle the disagreement, and the ruler himself furnished some historical evidence to aid them-an epigraph Augustus alleged he had found in the temple of Iuppiter Feretrius (Liv., IV, 20, 6f.)-which indicated that Cossus had been a consul at the time of the dedication. Augustus informed Livy of the epigraph when he found out that Livy was writing about the legend of the duel of Cossus in his history. Livy, who often judged the trustworthiness of evidence according to the auctovitas of the witness, believed Augustus and expressed his trust by writing in a note that Cossus was a consul when he presented the spolia opima. However, in his actual textual treatment of the legend, Livy followed the annals as his source, and therefore described Cossus as a tribunus militum. Livy took this tack because he aimed at making his narration consistent, retelling the contents of the annalistic tradition in a style that matched the subject he was dealing with, rather than pondering the authenticity of his sources.