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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 8


More readable and adroit imitations of Greek tragedy were furnished by Pacuvius' younger contemporary, Lucius Accius, son of a freedman of Pisaurum (584-after 651), with the exception of Pacuvius the only notable tragic poet of the seventh century. An active author also in the field of literary history and grammar, he doubtless laboured to introduce instead of the crude manner of his predecessors greater purity of language and style into Latin tragedy; yet even his inequality and incorrectness were emphatically censured by men of strict observance like Lucilius.

Greek Comedy - Terence

Far greater activity and far more important results are apparent in the field of comedy. At the very commencement of this period a remarkable reaction set in against the sort of comedy hitherto prevalent and popular. Its representative Terentius (558-595) is one of the most interesting phenomena, in a historical point of view, in Roman literature. Born in Phoenician Africa, brought in early youth as a slave to Rome and there introduced to the Greek culture of the day, he seemed from the very first destined for the vocation of giving back to the new Attic comedy that cosmopolitan character, which in its adaptation to the Roman public under the rough hands of Naevius, Plautus, and their associates it had in some measure lost.

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