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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 45

Roman Chroniclers

In singular contrast to this grand conception and treatment of Roman history by a foreigner stands the contemporary historical literature of native growth. At the beginning of this period we still find some chronicles written in Greek such as that already mentioned(29) of Aulus Postumius (consul in 603), full of wretched rationalizing, and that of Gaius Acilius (who closed it at an advanced age about 612).

29. Cf. III. XIV. National Opposition

Yet under the influence partly of Catonian patriotism, partly of the more refined culture of the Scipionic circle, the Latin language gained so decided an ascendency in this field, that of the later historical works not more than one or two occur written in Greek;(30) and not only so, but the older Greek chronicles were translated into Latin and were probably read mainly in these translations.

30. The only real exception, so far as we know, is the Greek history of Gnaeus Aufidius, who flourished in Cicero's boyhood (Tusc, v. 38, 112), that is, about 660. The Greek memoirs of Publius Rutilius Rufus (consul in 649) are hardly to be regarded as an exception, since their author wrote them in exile at Smyrna.

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