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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 7

And if the Italian literature and art for long looked steadily towards the east, Greek literature and art now began to look towards the west. Not only did the Greek cities in Italy continue to maintain an active intellectual intercourse with Greece, Asia Minor, and Egypt, and confer on the Greek poets and actors who had acquired celebrity there the like recognition and the like honours among themselves; in Rome also, after the example set by the destroyer of Corinth at his triumph in 608, the gymnastic and aesthetic recreations of the Greeks-- competitions in wrestling as well as in music, acting, reciting, and declaiming--came into vogue.(7)

7. The statement that no "Greek games" were exhibited in Rome before 608 (Tac. Ann. xiv. 21) is not accurate: Greek artists (--technitai--) and athletes appeared as early as 568 (Liv. xxxix. 22), and Greek flute-players, tragedians, and pugilists in 587 (Pol. xxx, 13).

Greek men of letters even thus early struck root in the noble society of Rome, especially in the Scipionic circle, the most prominent Greek members of which--the historian Polybius and the philosopher Panaetius--belong rather to the history of Roman than of Greek development. But even in other less illustrious circles similar relations occur; we may mention another contemporary of Scipio, the philosopher Clitomachus, because his life at the same time presents a vivid view of the great intermingling of nations at this epoch.

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