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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 XIII - Literature and Art


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The morning mists fell; what had been begun in the fresh feeling of the national strength hardened amidst war, with youthful want of insight into the difficulty of the undertaking and into the measure of their own talent, but also with youthful delight in and love to the work, could not be carried farther now, when on the one hand the dull sultriness of the approaching revolutionary storm began to fill the air, and on the other hand the eyes of the more intelligent were gradually opened to the incomparable glory of Greek poetry and art and to the very modest artistic endowments of their own nation.

The literature of the sixth century had arisen from the influence of Greek art on half-cultivated, but excited and susceptible minds. The increased Greek culture of the seventh called forth a literary reaction, which destroyed the germs of promise contained in those simple imitative attempts by the winter-frost of reflection, and rooted up the wheat and the tares of the older type of literature together.

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