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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates

THE HISTORY OF OLD ROME

II. From the Abolition of the Monarchy in Rome to the Union of Italy

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson


The History of Old Rome

CHAPTER IX - Art and Science

ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

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» Contents of this Chapter

The Roman National Festival-- The Roman Stage ||| Ballad Singers, -Satura- -- Censure of Art ||| Roman Historical Composition - Registers of Magistrates ||| Capitoline Era - Annals ||| Family Pedigrees ||| Roman Early History of Rome ||| Greek Early History of Rome ||| Stesichorus ||| Timaeus ||| Jurisprudence ||| Opinions-- Table of Formulae for Actions ||| Language ||| Technical Style - Philology ||| Instruction ||| Exact Sciences-- Regulation of the Calendar ||| Structural and Plastic Art ||| Architecture-- Etruscan ||| Latin-- The Arch ||| Plastic and Delineative Art ||| Campanian and Sabellian ||| Latin ||| Character of Etruscan Art ||| North Etruscan and South Etruscan Art ||| Character of Latin Art


The Roman National Festival-- The Roman Stage

The growth of art, and of poetic art especially, in antiquity was intimately associated with the development of national festivals. The thanksgiving-festival of the Roman community, which had been already organized in the previous period essentially under Greek influence and in the first instance as an extraordinary festival, --the -ludi maximi- or -Romani-,(1) --acquired during the present epoch a longer duration and greater variety in the amusements. Originally limited to one day, the festival was prolonged by an additional day after the happy termination of each of the three great revolutions of 245, 260, and 387, and thus at the close of this period it had already a duration of four days.(2)

1. Cf. I. XV. Earliest Greek Influences

2. The account given by Dionysius (vi. 95; comp. Niebuhr, ii. 40) and by Plutarch (Camill. 42), deriving his statement from another passage in Dionysius regarding the Latin festival, must be understood to apply rather to the Roman games, as, apart from other grounds, is strikingly evident from comparing the latter passage with Liv. vi. 42 (Ritschl, Parerg. i. p. 313). Dionysius has--and, according to his wont when in error, persistently--misunderstood the expression -ludi maximi-.

There was, moreover, a tradition which referred the origin of the national festival not, as in the common version, to the conquest of the Latins by the first Tarquinius, but to the victory over the Latins at the lake Regillus (Cicero, de Div. i. 26, 55; Dionys. vii. 71). That the important statements preserved in the latter passage from Fabius really relate to the ordinary thanksgiving-festival, and not to any special votive solemnity, is evident from the express allusion to the annual recurrence of the celebration, and from the exact agreement of the sum of the expenses with the statement in the Pseudo-Asconius (p. 142 Or.).


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