The influences which stimulated the growth of Roman literature were
of a character altogether peculiar and hardly paralleled in any other
nation. To estimate them correctly, it is necessary in the first
place that we should glance at the instruction of the people and
its recreations during this period.
Knowledge of Languages
Language lies at the root of all mental culture; and this was
especially the case in Rome. In a community where so much importance
was attached to speeches and documents, and where the burgess, at an
age which is still according to modern ideas regarded as boyhood, was
already entrusted with the uncontrolled management of his property and
might perhaps find it necessary to make formal speeches to the
assembled community, not only was great value set all along on the
fluent and polished use of the mother-tongue, but efforts were early
made to acquire a command of it in the years of boyhood.