Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Constantinople Home Page  

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


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 116

National Opposition

As the Hellenico-Roman literature of this period was essentially marked by a dominant tendency, so was also its antithesis, the contemporary national authorship. While the former aimed at neither more nor less than the annihilation of Latin nationality by the creation of a poetry Latin in language but Greek in form and spirit, the best and purest part of the Latin nation was driven to reject and place under the ban of outlawry the literature of Hellenism along with Hellenism itself.

The Romans in the time of Cato stood opposed to Greek literature, very much as in the time of the Caesars they stood opposed to Christianity; freedmen and foreigners formed the main body of the poetical, as they afterwards formed the main body of the Christian, community; the nobility of the nation and above all the government saw in poetry as in Christianity an absolutely hostile power; Plautus and Ennius were ranked with the rabble by the Roman aristocracy for reasons nearly the same as those for which the apostles and bishops were put to death by the Roman government. In this field too it was Cato, of course, who took the lead as the vigorous champion of his native country against the foreigners.

Previous / First / Next Page of this Chapter

Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them

The History of Old Rome: Contents ||| The Medieval West | The Making of Europe | Constantinople Home Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Receive updates :

Learned Freeware

Reference address :