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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 49

He felt full well, and in his epitaph expressed, what he had been to his nation:

-Immortales mortales si foret fas fiere,
Flerent divae Camenae Naevium poetam;
Itaque, postquam est Orci traditus thesauro,
Obliti sunt Romae loquier lingua Latina.-

Such proud language on the part of the man and the poet well befitted one who had witnessed and had personally taken part in the struggles with Hamilcar and with Hannibal, and who had discovered for the thoughts and feelings of that age--so deeply agitated and so elevated by mighty joy--a poetical expression which, if not exactly the highest, was sound, adroit, and national. We have already mentioned(31) the troubles into which his licence brought him with the authorities, and how, driven presumably by these troubles from Rome, he ended his life at Utica.

31. Cf. III. XIV. Political Neutrality

In his instance likewise the individual life was sacrificed for the common weal, and the beautiful for the useful.

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