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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 89

Professional Sciences. - Latin Philology - Varro

Of the sciences only a single one manifested vigorous life, that of Latin philology. The scheme of linguistic and antiquarian research within the domain of the Latin race, planned by Silo, was carried out especially by his disciple Varro on the grandest scale. There appeared comprehensive elaborations of the whole stores of the language, more especially the extensive grammatical commentaries of Figulus and the great work of Varro -De Lingua Latina-; monographs on grammar and the history of the language, such as Varro's writings on the usage of the Latin language, on synonyms, on the age of the letters, on the origin of the Latin tongue; scholia on the older literature, especially on Plautus; works of literary history, biographies of poets, investigations into the earlier drama, into the scenic division of the comedies of Plautus, and into their genuineness.

Latin archaeology, which embraced the whole older history and the ritual law apart from practical jurisprudence, was comprehended in Varro's "Antiquities of Things Human and Divine," which was and for all times remained the fundamental treatise on the subject (published between 687 and 709). The first portion, "Of Things Human," described the primeval age of Rome, the divisions of city and country, the sciences of the years, months, and days, lastly, the public transactions at home and in war; in the second half, "Of Things Divine," the state- theology, the nature and significance of the colleges of experts, of the holy places, of the religious festivals, of sacrificial and votive gifts, and lastly of the gods themselves were summarily unfolded.

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