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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 36

Of poetry attaching itself to the Alexandrian school nothing occurs in Rome at this epoch except minor poems translated from or modelled on Alexandrian epigrams, which deserve notice not on their own account, but as the first harbingers of the later epoch of Roman literature. Leaving out of account some poets little known and whose dates cannot be fixed with certainty, there belong to this category Quintus Catulus, consul in 652(25) and Lucius Manlius, an esteemed senator, who wrote in 657.

25. Cf. IV. XIII. Dramatic Arrangements, second note

The latter seems to have been the first to circulate among the Romans various geographical tales current among the Greeks, such as the Delian legend of Latona, the fables of Europa and of the marvellous bird Phoenix; as it was likewise reserved for him on his travels to discover at Dodona and to copy that remarkable tripod, on which might be read the oracle imparted to the Pelasgians before their migration into the land of the Siceli and Aborigines--a discovery which the Roman annals did not neglect devoutly to register.

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