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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 50

Character of Latin Art

Let us now turn from Etruria to glance at Latium. The latter, it is true, created no new art; it was reserved for a far later epoch of culture to develop on the basis of the arch a new architecture different from the Greek, and then to unfold in harmony with that architecture a new style of sculpture and painting. Latin art is nowhere original and often insignificant; but the fresh sensibility and the discriminating tact, which appropriate what is good in others, constitute a high artistic merit.

Latin art seldom became barbarous, and in its best products it comes quite up to the level of Greek technical execution. We do not mean to deny that the art of Latium, at least in its earlier stages, had a certain dependence on the undoubtedly earlier Etruscan;(43) Varro may be quite right in supposing that, previous to the execution by Greek artists of the clay figures in the temple of Ceres,(44) only "Tuscanic" figures adorned the Roman temples; but that, at all events, it was mainly the direct influence of the Greeks that led Latin art into its proper channel, is self-evident, and is very obviously shown by these very statues as well as by the Latin and Roman coins.

43. Cf. I. XV. Earliest Greek Influences

44. Cf. I. VI. Time and Occasion of the Reform

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