Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Constantinople Home Page  

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 33

The ruin of the Italian nationality, accomplished in the creation of Caesar, nipped the promise of literature. Every one who has any sense of the close affinity between art and nationality will always turn back from Cicero and Horace to Cato and Lucretius; and nothing but the schoolmaster's view of history and of literature-- which has acquired, it is true, in this department the sanction of prescription--could have called the epoch of art beginning with the new monarchy pre-eminently the golden age.

But while the Romano-Greek Alexandrinism of the age of Caesar and Augustus must be deemed inferior to the older, however imperfect, national literature, it is on the other hand as decidedly superior to the Alexandrinism of the age of the Diadochi as Caesar's enduring structure to the ephemeral creation of Alexander. We shall have afterwards to show that the Augustan literature, compared with the kindred literature of the period of the Diadochi, was far less a literature of philologues and far more an imperial literature than the latter, and therefore had a far more permanent and far more general influence in the upper circles of society than the Greek Alexandrinism ever had.

Previous / First / Next Page of this Chapter

Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them

The History of Old Rome: Contents ||| The Medieval West | The Making of Europe | Constantinople Home Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Receive updates :

Learned Freeware

Reference address :