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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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Page 31

The aspiration of the Scipionic circle after literary correctness, especially in point of language, finds critically its most finished and most clever representative in Lucilius. He dedicated his very first book to Lucius Stilo, the founder of Roman philology,(20) and designated as the public for which he wrote not the cultivated circles of pure and classical speech, but the Tarentines, the Bruttians, the Siculi, or in other words the half-Greeks of Italy, whose Latin certainly might well require a corrective.

20. Cf. IV. XII. Course of Literature and Rhetoric

Whole books of his poems are occupied with the settlement of Latin orthography and prosody, with the combating of Praenestine, Sabine, Etruscan provincialisms, with the exposure of current solecisms; along with which, however, the poet by no means forgets to ridicule the insipidly systematic Isocratean purism of words and phrases,(21) and even to reproach his friend Scipio in right earnest jest with the exclusive fineness of his language.(22)

21. -Quam lepide --legeis-- compostae ut tesserulae omnes Arte pavimento atque emblemate vermiculato-.

22. The poet advises him--

-Quo facetior videare et scire plus quant ceteri---to say not -pertaesum- but -pertisum-.

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