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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 11

Livius Andronicus

In the very earliest Roman author the later development appears, as it were, in embryo. The Greek Andronikos (from before 482, till after 547), afterwards as a Roman burgess called Lucius(6) Livius Andronicus, came to Rome at an early age in 482 among the other captives taken at Tarentum(7) and passed into the possession of the conqueror of Sena(8) Marcus Livius Salinator (consul 535, 547).

6. The later rule, by which the freedman necessarily bore the -praenomen- of his patron, was not yet applied in republican Rome.

7. Cf. II. VII. Capture of Tarentum

8. Cf. III. VI. Battle of Sena

He was employed as a slave, partly in acting and copying texts, partly in giving instruction in the Latin and Greek languages, which he taught both to the children of his master and to other boys of wealthy parents in and out of the house. He distinguished himself so much in this way that his master gave him freedom, and even the authorities, who not unfrequently availed themselves of his services--commissioning him, for instance, to prepare a thanksgiving-chant after the fortunate turn taken by the Hannibalic war in 547--out of regard for him conceded to the guild of poets and actors a place for their common worship in the temple of Minerva on the Aventine.

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