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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 107

The work did not include Latin grammar, which consequently cannot as yet have attained that formal development which is implied in a properly scientific instruction in language; and it excluded music and the whole cycle of the mathematical and physical sciences. Throughout it was the directly practical element in science which alone was to be handled, and that with as much brevity and simplicity as possible.

The Greek literature was doubtless made use of, but only to furnish some serviceable maxims of experience culled from the mass of chaff and rubbish: it was one of Cato's commonplaces, that "Greek books must be looked into, but not thoroughly studied." Thus arose those household manuals of necessary information, which, while rejecting Greek subtlety and obscurity, banished also Greek acuteness and depth, but through that very peculiarity moulded the attitude of the Romans towards the Greek sciences for all ages.

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