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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 53


The Roman, who established the investigation of the Latin language and antiquities in the spirit of the Alexandrian masters on a scientific basis, was Lucius Aelius Stilo about 650.(35)

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

He first went back to the oldest monuments of the language, and commented on the Salian litanies and the Twelve Tables. He devoted his special attention to the comedy of the sixth century, and first formed a list of the pieces of Plautus which in his opinion were genuine. He sought, after the Greek fashion, to determine historically the origin of every single phenomenon in the Roman life and dealings and to ascertain in each case the "inventor," and at the same time brought the whole annalistic tradition within the range of his research.

The success, which he had among his contemporaries, is attested by the dedication to him of the most important poetical, and the most important historical, work of his time, the Satires of Lucilius and the Annals of Antipater; and this first Roman philologist influenced the studies of his nation for the future by transmitting his spirit of investigation both into words and into things to his disciple Varro.

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