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 40

The more limited the stock of plays, the more the activity of the managing and executive staff as well as the interest of the public was directed to the scenic representation of the pieces. There was hardly any more lucrative trade in Rome than that of the actor and the dancing-girl of the first rank. The princely estate of the tragic actor Aesopus has been already mentioned;(13) his still more celebrated contemporary Roscius(14) estimated his annual income at 600,000 sesterces (6000 pounds)(15) and Dionysia the dancer estimated hers at 200,000 sesterces (2000 pounds).

13. Cf. V. XI. The Poor

14. Cf. IV. XIII. Dramatic Arrangements

15. He obtained from the state for every day on which he acted 1000 -denarii- (40 pounds) and besides this the pay for his company. In later years he declined the honorarium for himself.

At the same time immense sums were expended on decorations and costume; now and then trains of six hundred mules in harness crossed the stage, and the Trojan theatrical army was employed to present to the public a tableau of the nations vanquished by Pompeius in Asia. The music which accompanied the delivery of the inserted choruses likewise obtained a greater and more independent importance; as the wind sways the waves, says Varro, so the skilful flute-player sways the minds of the listeners with every modulation of melody.

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 :