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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


IV. The Revolution

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 XII - Nationality, Religion, and Education


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Page 5

The ancient Gallic, and in fact the modern French, type of character, sprang out of that settlement, and are in their ultimate origin creations of Gaius Gracchus. But the Latin nationality not only filled the bounds of Italy and began to pass beyond them; it came also to acquire intrinsically a deeper intellectual basis.

We find it in the course of creating a classical literature, and a higher instruction of its own; and, though in comparison with the Greek classics and Greek culture we may feel ourselves tempted to attach little value to the feeble hothouse products of Italy, yet, so far as its historical development was primarily concerned, the quality of the Latin classical literature and the Latin culture was of far less moment than the fact that they subsisted side by side with the Greek; and, sunken as were the contemporary Greeks in a literary point of view, one might well apply in this case also the saying of the poet, that the living day-labourer is better than the dead Achilles.

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