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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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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


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


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Page 18

Greek Early History of Rome

It was Greek story and fiction that undertook the task of connecting Rome and Greece. Greek legend exhibits throughout an endeavour to keep pace with the gradual extension of geographical knowledge, and to form a dramatized geography by the aid of its numerous stories of voyagers and emigrants. In this, however, it seldom follows a simple course. An account like that of the earliest Greek historical work which mentions Rome, the "Sicilian History" of Antiochus of Syracuse (which ended in 330)--that a man named Sikelos had migrated from Rome to Italia, that is, to the Bruttian peninsula --such an account, simply giving a historical form to the family affinity between the Romans, Siculi, and Bruttians, and free from all Hellenizing colouring, is a rare phenomenon.

Greek legend as a whole is pervaded--and the more so, the later its rise--by a tendency to represent the whole barbarian world as having either issued from the Greeks or having been subdued by them; and it early in this sense spun its threads also around the west. For Italy the legends of Herakles and of the Argonauts were of less importance--although Hecataeus (after 257) is already acquainted with the Pillars of Herakles, and carries the Argo from the Black Sea into the Atlantic Ocean, from the latter into the Nile, and thus back to the Mediterranean--than were the homeward voyages connected with the fall of Ilion.

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