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Charles Thomas Cruttwell

Great literary activity of all kinds was, after the third Punic war, liable to continual interruption from political struggles or revolutions. But between each two periods of disturbance there was generally an interval in which philosophy, law, and rhetoric were carefully studied. As, however, no work of this period has come down to us except the treatise to Herennius, our notice of it will be proportionately general and brief. We shall touch on the principal studies in order. First in time as in importance comes Law, the earliest great representative of which is P.

The short artificial elegy of Callimachus and Philetas had, as we have seen, found an imitator in Catullus. But that poet, when he addressed to Lesbia the language of true passion, wrote for the most part in lyric verse. The Augustan age furnishes a series of brilliant poets who united the artificial elegiac with the expression of real feeling; and one of them, Ovid, has by his exquisite formal polish raised the Latin elegiac couplet to a popularity unparalleled in imitative literature.

A CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE OF ROMAN LITERATURE, FROM LIVIUS TO THE DEATH OF M. AURELIUS. [1]

Public oratory, which had held the first rank among studies under the Republic, was now, as we have said, almost extinct. In the earlier part of Augustus's reign, Pollio and Messala for a time preserved some of the traditions of freedom, but both found it impossible to maintain their position. Messala retired into dignified seclusion; Pollio devoted himself to other kinds of composition.

INTRODUCTION

[1] Quint. I. 5, 72. The whole chapter is most interesting.

[2] How different has been the lot of Greek! An educated Greek at the present day would find little difficulty in understanding Xenophon or Menander. The language, though shaken by rude convulsions, has changed according to its own laws, and shown that natural vitality that belongs to a genuinely popular speech.

[3] See Conington on the Academical Study of Latin. Post. Works, i. 206.

[4] See esp. R. II. Bk. 1, ch. ix. and xv.

BOOK I.

CHAPTER I.

The present work is designed mainly for Students at our Universities and Public Schools, and for such as are preparing for the Indian Civil Service or other advanced Examinations. The author hopes, however, that it may also be acceptable to some of those who, without being professed scholars, are yet interested in the grand literature of Rome, or who wish to refresh their memory on a subject that perhaps engrossed their early attention, but which the many calls of advancing life have made it difficult to pursue.

NOTE I.—A fragment translated from Seneca's Suasoriae, showing the style of expression cultivated in the schools.

The subject (Suas. 2) debated is whether the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae, seeing themselves deserted by the army, shall remain or flee. The different rhetors declaim as follows, making Leonidas the speaker:—

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