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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 92

Apart from the fable of the origin of the city, the Greek historiographers had otherwise given themselves little or no concern as to the Roman commonwealth; so that the presentation of the further course of the national history must have been chiefly derived from native sources. But the scanty information that has reached us does not enable us to discern distinctly what sort of traditions, in addition to the book of Annals, were at the command of the earliest chroniclers, and what they may possibly have added of their own. The anecdotes inserted from Herodotus (61) were probably still foreign to these earliest annalists, and a direct borrowing of Greek materials in this section cannot be proved.

61. For instance the history of the siege of Gabii is compiled from the anecdotes in Herodotus as to Zopyrus and the tyrant Thrasybulus, and one version of the story of the exposure of Romulus is framed on the model of the history of the youth of Cyrus as Herodotus relates it.

The more remarkable, therefore, is the tendency, which is everywhere, even in the case of Cato the enemy of the Greeks, very distinctly apparent, not only to connect Rome with Greece, but to represent the Italian and Greek nations as having been originally identical. To this tendency we owe the primitive-Italians or Aborigines who were immigrants from Greece, and the primitive- Greeks or Pelasgians whose wanderings brought them to Italy.

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