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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 54

-Spectators, ad pudicos mores facta haec fabulast.
Neque in hoc subigitationes sunt neque ulla amatio
Nec pueri suppositio nec argenti circumductio,
Neque ubi amans adulescens scortum liberet clam suum patrem.
Huius modi paucas poetae reperiunt comoedias,
Ubi boni meliores fiant. Nunc vos, si vobis placet,
Et si placuimus neque odio fuimus, signum hoc mittite;
Qui pudicitiae esse voltis praemium, plausum date!-

We see here the opinion entertained regarding the Greek comedy by the party of moral reform; and it may be added, that even in those rarities, moral comedies, the morality was of a character only adapted to ridicule innocence more surely. Who can doubt that these dramas gave a practical impulse to corruption? When Alexander the Great derived no pleasure from a comedy of this sort which its author read before him, the poet excused himself by saying that the fault lay not with him, but with the king; that, in order to relish such a piece, a man must be in the habit of holding revels and of giving and receiving blows in an intrigue.
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