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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 3

Scipionic Circle

This reaction proceeded primarily and chiefly from the circle which assembled around Scipio Aemilianus, and whose most prominent members among the Roman world of quality were, in addition to Scipio himself, his elder friend and counsellor Gaius Laelius (consul in 614) and Scipio's younger companions, Lucius Furius Philus (consul in 618) and Spurius Mummius, the brother of the destroyer of Corinth, among the Roman and Greek literati the comedian Terence, the satirist Lucilius, the historian Polybius, and the philosopher Panaetius.

Those who were familiar with the Iliad, with Xenophon, and with Menander, could not be greatly impressed by the Roman Homer, and still less by the bad translations of the tragedies of Euripides which Ennius had furnished and Pacuvius continued to furnish. While patriotic considerations might set bounds to criticism in reference to the native chronicles, Lucilius at any rate directed very pointed shafts against "the dismal figures from the complicated expositions of Pacuvius"; and similar severe, but not unjust criticisms of Ennius, Plautus, Pacuvius--all those poets "who appeared to have a licence to talk pompously and to reason illogically"--are found in the polished author of the Rhetoric dedicated to Herennius, written at the close of this period.

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