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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 75

He was not a great poet, but a man of graceful and sprightly talent, throughout possessing the vivid sensibilities of a poetic nature, but needing the tragic buskin to feel himself a poet and wholly destitute of the comic vein. We can understand the pride with which the Hellenizing poet looked down on those rude strains --

-quos olim Faunei vatesque canebant,-

and the enthusiasm with which he celebrates his own artistic poetry:

-Enni foeta, salve,
Versus propinas flammeos medullitus.-

The clever man had an instinctive assurance that he had spread his sails to a prosperous breeze; Greek tragedy became, and thenceforth remained, a possession of the Latin nation.

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