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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 37

Character of the Editing of Roman Comedy - Persons and Situations

But the restrictions thus stringently and laboriously imposed by custom and police on Roman poetry stifled its very breath, Not without reason might Naevius declare the position of the poet under the sceptre of the Lagidae and Seleucidae enviable as compared with his position in free Rome.(23)

23. The remarkable passage in the -Tarentilla- can have no other meaning:--

-Quae ego in theatro hic meis probavi plausibus,
Ea non audere quemquam regem rumpere:
Quanto libertatem hanc hic superat servitus!-

The degree of success in individual instances was of course determined by the quality of the original which was followed, and by the talent of the individual editor; but amidst all their individual variety the whole stock of translations must have agreed in certain leading features, inasmuch as all the comedies were adapted to similar conditions of exhibition and a similar audience. The treatment of the whole as well as of the details was uniformly in the highest degree free; and it was necessary that it should be so.

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