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 93

That mathematics and physics were stimulated by the increased Hellenistic and utilitarian tendencies of the monarchy, is apparent from their growing importance in the instruction of youth (41) and from various practical applications; under which, besides the reform of the calendar,(42) may perhaps be included the appearance of wall-maps at this period, the technical improvements in shipbuilding and in musical instruments, designs and buildings like the aviary specified by Varro, the bridge of piles over the Rhine executed by the engineers of Caesar, and even two semicircular stages of boards arranged for being pushed together, and employed first separately as two theatres and then jointly as an amphitheatre.

41. Cf. V. XI. Sciences of General Culture at This Period 42. Cf. V. XI. Reform of the Calendar

The public exhibition of foreign natural curiosities at the popular festivals was not unusual; and the descriptions of remarkable animals, which Caesar has embodied in the reports of his campaigns, show that, had an Aristotle appeared, he would have again found his patron-prince. But such literary performances as are mentioned in this department are essentially associated with Neopythagoreanism, such as the comparison of Greek and Barbarian, i. e. Egyptian, celestial observations by Figulus, and his writings concerning animals, winds, and generative organs.

After Greek physical research generally had swerved from the Aristotelian effort to find amidst individual facts the law, and had more and more passed into an empiric and mostly uncritical observation of the external and surprising in nature, natural science when coming forward as a mystical philosophy of nature, instead of enlightening and stimulating, could only still more stupefy and paralyze; and in presence of such a method it was better to rest satisfied with the platitude which Cicero delivers as Socratic wisdom, that the investigation of nature either seeks after things which nobody can know, or after such things as nobody needs to know.

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 :