Thus there not only existed in Latium the same fundamental elements
out of which Greek culture and art grew, but Greek culture
and art themselves exercised a powerful influence over Latium in
very early times.
Not only did the Latins possess the elements
of gymnastic training, in so far as the Roman boy learned like
every farmer's son to manage horses and waggon and to handle the
hunting-spear, and as in Rome every burgess was at the same time
a soldier; but the art of dancing was from the first an object
of public care, and a powerful impulse was further given to such
culture at an early period by the introduction of the Greek
The lyrical poetry and tragedy of Greece grew out of songs
similar to the festal lays of Rome; the ancestral lay contained the
germs of epos, the masked farce the germs of comedy; and in this
field also Greek influences were not wanting.