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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


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Page 73

Universal History - Nepos

A novelty in the Roman literature of this period is the appearance of universal history or, to speak more correctly, of Roman and Greek history conjoined, alongside of the native annals. Cornelius Nepos from Ticinum (c. 650-c. 725) first supplied an universal chronicle (published before 700) and a general collection of biographies--arranged according to certain categories--of Romans and Greeks distinguished in politics or literature or of men at any rate who exercised influence on the Roman or Greek history.

These works are of a kindred nature with the universal histories which the Greeks had for a considerable time been composing; and these very Greek world-chronicles, such as that of Kastor son-in-law of the Galatian king Deiotarus, concluded in 698, now began to include in their range the Roman history which previously they had neglected. These works certainly attempted, just like Polybius, to substitute the history of the Mediterranean world for the more local one; but that which in Polybius was the result of a grand and clear conception and deep historical feeling was in these chronicles rather the product of the practical exigencies of school and self-instruction.

These general chronicles, text-books for scholastic instruction or manuals for reference, and the whole literature therewith connected which subsequently became very copious in the Latin language also, can hardly be reckoned as belonging to artistic historical composition; and Nepos himself in particular was a pure compiler distinguished neither by spirit nor even merely by symmetrical plan.

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