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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


III. From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States

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 XIV - Literature and Art


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Page 103


Similar manuals of a general elementary character were composed by Cato on the Art of Healing, the Science of War, Agriculture, and Jurisprudence--all of which studies were likewise more or less under Greek influence. Physics and mathematics were not much studied in Rome; but the applied sciences connected with them received a certain measure of attention. This was most of all true of medicine. In 535 the first Greek physician, the Peloponnesian Archagathus, settled in Rome and there acquired such repute by his surgical operations, that a residence was assigned to him on the part of the state and he received the freedom of the city; and thereafter his colleagues flocked in crowds to Italy.

Cato no doubt not only reviled the foreign medical practitioners with a zeal worthy of a better cause, but attempted, by means of his medical manual compiled from his own experience and probably in part also from the medical literature of the Greeks, to revive the good old fashion under which the father of the family was at the same time the family physician. The physicians and the public gave themselves, as was reasonable, but little concern about his obstinate invectives: at any rate the profession, one of the most lucrative which existed in Rome, continued a monopoly in the hands of the foreigners, and for centuries there were none but Greek physicians in Rome.

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