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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 17

Naturally, therefore, the proceedings were not too orderly; children cried, women talked and shrieked, now and then a wench prepared to push her way to the stage; the ushers had on these festivals anything but a holiday, and found frequent occasion to confiscate a mantle or to ply the rod.

The introduction of the Greek drama increased the demands on the dramatic staff, and there seems to have been no redundance in the supply of capable actors: on one occasion for want of actors a piece of Naevius had to be performed by amateurs. But this produced no change in the position of the artist; the poet or, as he was at this time called, the "writer," the actor, and the composer not only belonged still, as formerly, to the class of workers for hire in itself little esteemed,(14) but were still, as formerly, placed in the most marked way under the ban of public opinion, and subjected to police maltreatment.(15)

14. Cf. III. XII. Moneyed Aristocracy

15. Cf. II. IX. Censure of Art

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