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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


V. The Establishment of the Military Monarchy

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 XII - Religion, Culture, Literature, and Art


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 22

Literary Effort - Greek Literati in Rome

In the literature of this period we are first of all struck by the outward increase, as compared with the former epoch, of literary effort in Rome. It was long since the literary activity of the Greeks flourished no more in the free atmosphere of civic independence, but only in the scientific institutions of the larger cities and especially of the courts. Left to depend on the favour and protection of the great, and dislodged from the former seats of the Muses(6) by the extinctioof the dynasties of Pergamus (621), Cyrene (658), Bithynia (679), and Syria (690) and by the waning splendour of the court of the Lagids--moreover, since the death of Alexander the Great, necessarily cosmopolitan and at least quite as much strangers among the Egyptians and Syrians as among the Latins-- the Greek literati began more and more to turn their eyes towards Rome.

6. The dedication of the poetical description of the earth which passes under the name of Scymnus is remarkable in reference to those relations. After the poet has declared his purpose of preparing in the favourite Menandrian measure a sketch of geography intelligible for scholars and easy to be learned by heart, he dedicates--as Apollodorus dedicated his similar historical compendium to Attalus Philadelphus king of Pergamus

--athanaton aponemonta dexan Attalo
teis pragmateias epigraphein eileiphoti-- --

his manual to Nicomedes III king (663?-679) of Bithynia:

--ego d' akouon, dioti ton non basileon monos basilikein chreistoteita prosphereis peiran epethumeis autos ep' emautou labein kai paragenesthai kai ti basileus est' idein, dio tei prothesei sumboulon exelexamein ... ton Apollena ton Didumei... ou dei schedon malista kai pepeismenos pros sein kata logon eika (koinein gar schedon tois philomathousin anadedeichas) estian--.

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