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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 XIII - Literature and Art


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Page 17

National Comedy - Afranius

We have formerly shown(7) that in all probability already in the course of the sixth century a national Roman comedy (-togata-) was added to the Graeco-Roman (-palliata-), as a portraiture not of the distinctive life of the capital, but of the ways and doings of the Latin land.

7. Cf. III. XIV. National Comedy

Of course the Terentian school rapidly took possession of this species of comedy also; it was quite in accordance with its spirit to naturalise Greek comedy in Italy on the one hand by faithful translation, and on the other hand by pure Roman imitation. The chief representative of this school was Lucius Afranius (who flourished about 66). The fragments of his comedies remaining give no distinct impression, but they are not inconsistent with what the Roman critics of art remark regarding him.

His numerous national comedies were in their construction thoroughly formed on the model of the Greek intrigue-piece; only, as was natural in imitation, they were simpler and shorter. In the details also he borrowed what pleased him partly from Menander, partly from the older national literature.

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