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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 79

In addition to Cato's "poem on Morals" to be noticed afterwards, which was presumably written in Saturnian verses after the precedent of the older first attempts at a national didactic poetry,(52) there came under this category especially the minor poems of Ennius, which that writer, who was very fertile in this department, published partly in his collection of -saturae-, partly separately.

52. Besides Cato, we find the names of two "consulars and poets" belonging to this period (Sueton. Vita Terent. 4)--Quintus Labeo, consul in 571, and Marcus Popillius, consul in 581. But it remains uncertain whether they published their poems. Even in the case of Cato this may be doubted.

Among these were brief narrative poems relating to the legendary or contemporary history of his country; editions of the religious romance of Euhemerus,(53) of the poems dealing with natural philosophy circulating in the name of Epicharmus,(54) and of the gastronomies of Archestratus of Gela, a poet who treated of the higher cookery; as also a dialogue between Life and Death, fables of Aesop, a collection of moral maxims, parodies and epigrammatic trifles--small matters, but indicative of the versatile powers as well as the neological didactic tendencies of the poet, who evidently allowed himself the freest range in this field, which the censorship did not reach.

53. Cf. II. IX. Roman Historical Composition

54. Cf. III. XII. Irreligious Spirit

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