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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


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 42

Metrical Annals

In recitative poetry metrical annals after the model of those of Ennius seem not to have been wanting; but they were perhaps sufficiently criticised by that graceful vow of his mistress of which Catullus sings--that the worst of the bad heroic poems should be presented as a sacrifice to holy Venus, if she would only bring back her lover from his vile political poetry to her arms.


Indeed in the whole field of recitative poetry at this epoch the older national-Roman tendency is represented only by a single work of note, which, however, is altogether one of the most important poetical products of Roman literature. It is the didactic poem of Titus Lucretius Carus (655-699) "Concerning the Nature of Things," whose author, belonging to the best circles of Roman society, but taking no part in public life whether from weakness of health or from disinclination, died in the prime of manhood shortly before the outbreak of the civil war. As a poet he attached himself decidedly to Ennius and thereby to the classical Greek literature.

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