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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


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Page 84


If there is anything wonderful in the case, it is in truth not the orations, but the admiration which they excited. As to Cicero every unbiassed person will soon make up his mind: Ciceronianism is a problem, which in fact cannot be properly solved, but can only be resolved into that greater mystery of human nature--language and the effect of language on the mind. Inasmuch as the noble Latin language, just before it perished as a national idiom, was once more as it were comprehensively grasped by that dexterous stylist and deposited in his copious writings, something of the power which language exercises, and of the piety which it awakens, was transferred to the unworthy vessel.

The Romans possessed no great Latin prose-writer; for Caesar was, like Napoleon, only incidentally an author. Was it to be wondered at that, in the absence of such an one, they should at least honour the genius of the language in the great stylist? And that, like Cicero himself, Cicero's readers also should accustom themselves to ask not what, but how he had written? Custom and the schoolmaster then completed what the power of language had begun.

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