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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 36

But the Roman police was not disposed like the Attic to hold stage- invectives and political diatribes as privileged, or even to tolerate them at all. Naevius was put in prison for these and similar sallies, and was obliged to remain there, till he had publicly made amends and recantation in other comedies.

These quarrels, apparently, drove him from his native land; but his successors took warning from his example--one of them indicates very plainly, that he has no desire whatever to incur an involuntary gagging like his colleague Naevius.

Thus the result was accomplished--not much less unique of its kind than the conquest of Hannibal--that, during an epoch of the most feverish national excitement, there arose a national stage utterly destitute of political tinge.

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