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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 106

His treatise --the "-Tripartita-" as it was called--was a work on the Twelve Tables, which appended to each sentence of the text an explanation--chiefly, doubtless, of the antiquated and unintelligible expressions--and the corresponding formula of action. While this process of glossing undeniably indicated the influence of Greek grammatical studies, the portion treating of the formulae of action, on the contrary, was based on the older collection of Appius(69) and on the whole system of procedure developed by national usage and precedent.

69. Cf. II. IX. Language

Cato's Encyclopaedia

The state of science generally at this epoch is very distinctly exhibited in the collection of those manuals composed by Cato for his son which, as a sort of encyclopaedia, were designed to set forth in short maxims what a "fit man" (-vir bonus-) ought to be as orator, physician, husbandman, warrior, and jurist. A distinction was not yet drawn between the propaedeutic and the professional study of science; but so much of science generally as seemed necessary or useful was required of every true Roman.

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