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 60

Varros' Menippean Satires

The Menippean satire was handled by Varro with equal originality of form and contents; the bold mixture of prose and verse is foreign to the Greek original, and the whole intellectual contents are pervaded by Roman idiosyncrasy--one might say, by a savour of the Sabine soil. These satires like the philosophico-historical essays handle some moral or other theme adapted to the larger public, as is shown by the several titles---Columnae Herculis-, --peri doxeis--; --Euren ei Lopas to Poma, peri gegameikoton--, -Est Modus Matulae-, --peri metheis--; -Papiapapae-, --peri egkomios--. The plastic dress, which in this case might not be wanting, is of course but seldom borrowed from the history of his native country, as in the satire -Serranus-, --peri archairesion--.

The Cynic- world of Diogenes on the other hand plays, as might be expected, a great part; we meet with the --Kounistor--, the --Kounorreiton--, the 'Ippokouon, the --'Oudrokouon--, the --Kounodidaskalikon-- and others of a like kind. Mythology is also laid under contribution for comic purposes; we find a -Prometheus Liber-, an -Ajax Stramenticius-, a -Hercules Socraticus-, a -Sesqueulixes- who had spent not merely ten but fifteen years in wanderings. The outline of the dramatic or romantic framework is still discoverable from the fragments in some pieces, such as the -Prometheus Liber-, the -Sexagessis-, -Manius-; it appears that Varro frequently, perhaps regularly, narrated the tale as his own experience; e. g. in the -Manius- the dramatis personae go to Varro and discourse to him "because he was known to them as a maker of books."

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 :