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History of Roman Literature from its Earliest Period to the Augustan Age. Volume I   By:

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First Page:

HISTORY

OF

ROMAN LITERATURE,

FROM

ITS EARLIEST PERIOD TO

THE AUGUSTAN AGE.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

BY John Dunlop, AUTHOR OF THE HISTORY OF FICTION.

FROM THE LAST LONDON EDITION.

VOL. I.

PUBLISHED BY E. LITTELL, CHESTNUT STREET, PHILADELPHIA. G. & C. CARVILL, BROADWAY, NEW YORK. 1827

James Kay, Jun. Printer, S. E. Corner of Race & Sixth Streets, Philadelphia.

CONTENTS.

Preface Etruria Livius Andronicus Cneius Nævius Ennius Plautus Cæcilius Afranius Luscius Lavinius Trabea Terence Pacuvius Attius Satire Lucilius Titus Lucretius Carus Caius Valerius Catullus Valerius Ædituus Laberius Publius Syrus Index Transcriber's note

PREFACE.

There are few subjects on which a greater number of laborious volumes have been compiled, than the History and Antiquities of ROME. Everything connected with its foreign policy and civil constitution, or even with the domestic manners of its citizens, has been profoundly and accurately investigated. The mysterious origin of Rome, veiled in the wonders of mythological fable the stupendous increase of its power, rendered yet more gigantic by the mists of antiquity its undaunted heroes, who seem to us like the genii of some greater world its wide dominion, extended over the whole civilized globe and, finally, its portentous fall, which forms, as it were, the separation between ancient and modern times, have rendered its civil and military history a subject of prevailing interest to all enlightened nations. But, while its warlike exploits, and the principles of its political institutions, have been repeatedly and laboriously investigated, less attention, perhaps, has been paid to the history of its literature, than to that of any other country, possessed of equal pretensions to learning and refinement; and, in the English language at least, no connected view of its Rise, its Progress, and Decline, has been as yet presented to us. When the battles of Rome have been accurately described, and all her political intrigues minutely developed when so much inquiry and thought have been bestowed, not only on the wars, conquests, and civil institutions of the Romans, but on their most trivial customs, it is wonderful that so little has been done to exhibit the intellectual exertions of the fancy and the reason, of their most refined and exalted spirits.

It cannot, indeed, be denied, that the civil history of Rome, and her military operations, present our species in a lofty aspect of power, magnanimity, and courage that they exhibit the widest range and utmost extent of the human powers in enterprize and resources and that statesmen or philosophers may derive from them topics to illustrate almost every political speculation. Yet, however vast and instructive may be the page which unfolds the eventful history of the foreign hostilities and internal commotions of the Roman people, it can hardly be more interesting than the analogies between their literary attainments and the other circumstances of their condition; the peculiarities of their literature, its peculiar origination, and the peculiar effects which it produced. The literature of a people may indeed, in one sense, be regarded as the most attractive feature of its history. It is at once the effect of leisure and refinement, and the means of increasing and perpetuating the civilization from which it springs. Literature, as a late writer has powerfully and eloquently demonstrated, possesses an extensive moral agency, and a close connection with glory, liberty, and happiness(1); and hence the history of literature becomes associated with all that concerns the fame, the freedom, and the felicity of nations... Continue reading book >>


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