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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 16

The women were probably separated at an early period, and were restricted to the uppermost and worst places; otherwise there was no distinction of places in law till 560, after which, as already mentioned,(12) the lowest and best positions were reserved for the senators.

12. Cf. III. XI. Separation of Orders in the Theatre


The audience was anything but genteel. The better classes, it is true, did not keep aloof from the general recreations of the people; the fathers of the city seem even to have been bound for decorum's sake to appear on these occasions. But the very nature of a burgess festival implied that, while slaves and probably foreigners also were excluded, admittance free of charge was given to every burgess with his wife and children;(13) and accordingly the body of spectators cannot have differed much from what one sees in the present day at public fireworks and -gratis- exhibitions.

13. Women and children appear to have been at all times admitted to the Roman theatre (Val. Max. vi. 3, 12; Plutarch., Quaest. Rom. 14; Cicero, de Har. Resp. 12, 24; Vitruv. v. 3, i; Suetonius, Aug. 44,&c.); but slaves were -de jure- excluded (Cicero, de Har. Resp. 12, 26; Ritschl. Parerg. i. p. xix. 223), and the same must doubtless have been the case with foreigners, excepting of course the guests of the community, who took their places among or by the side of the senators (Varro, v. 155; Justin, xliii. 5. 10; Sueton. Aug. 44).

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