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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 37

Latin-- The Arch

In Latium too, during the first century and a half of the republic, it is probable that they moved solely in the previous track, and it has already been stated that the exercise of art rather sank than rose with the introduction of the republic.(32)

32. Cf. II. VIII. Building

There can scarcely be named any Latin building of architectural importance belonging to this period, except the temple of Ceres built in the Circus at Rome in 261, which was regarded in the period of the empire as a model of the Tuscanic style. But towards the close of this epoch a new spirit appeared in Italian and particularly in Roman architecture;(33) the building of the magnificent arches began.

33. Cf. II. VIII. Building

It is true that we are not entitled to pronounce the arch and the vault Italian inventions. It is well ascertained that at the epoch of the genesis of Greek architecture the Greeks were not yet acquainted with the arch, and therefore had to content themselves with a flat ceiling and a sloping roof for their temples; but the arch may very well have been a later invention of the Greeks originating in more scientific mechanics; as indeed the Greek tradition refers it to the natural philosopher Democritus (294-397).

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