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LIVIUS 93.71%
Livius Andronicus, the founder of Roman epic and dramatic poetry. He was by birth a Greek of Southern Italy, and was brought as a slave to Rome, after the conquest of Tarentuin in 272 B.C., while still of tender age. His master, a Livius, whose name he bears, gave him his liberty, and he imparted instruction in the Greek and Latin languages. This employment probably gave occasion for histranslation of the Homeric Odyssey into Saturnian metre; in spite of its imperfections, this remained a school-book in Rome for centuries. In 240 B.C. he brought on the Roman stage the first drama composed after a Greek model, and with such success that thenceforward dramatic poetry was well established in Rome. According to ancient custom he appeared as an actor in his own pieces. His dramatic compositions, tragedies, and comedies were faithful but undoubtedly imperfect translations of Greek originals. He attempted lyric poetry also, for he was commissioned by the State to write a march in honour of Iuno Regina Scanty remains of his works are all that have come down to us.
 
LIVIUS 52.99%
Titus Livius, the celebrated Roman historian, was born at Patavium, (59 B.C.), apparently of good family. He was carefully educated, and betook himself early (certainly before 31 B.C.) to Rome, where he soon became acquainted with the most distinguished men of the time. Even Augustus entertained friendly relations towards him in spite of his openly expressed republican convictions, for which he called him a partisan of Pompey. He does not seem to have taken public office, but to have lived exclusively for literature. Esteemed by his contemporaries, he died in his native town in 17 A.D. He must have begun his great historical work between 27 and 25 B.C.; it can only have been completed shortly before his death, as he did not publish the first twenty-one books until after the death of Augustus (14 A.D.). He recounts the history of Rome in 142 books, extending from the foundation of the city (whence the title Ab Urbe Condita libri) to the death of Drusus (9 A.D.). His own death must have prevented its continuation to the death of Augustus, as he doubtless proposed. He published his work from time to time, in separate parts. He arranged his material--at least for the first ninety books--as far as possible in decads (portions consisting of ten books), and half-decads; the division into decade was however first carried through in the 5th century, probably for convenience of handling so vast a series of books. There still remain only the first decad (to 293 B.C.), the third, fourth, and half of the fifth decad (218-167); of the remainder, with the exception of a fairly large portion of book 91, only inconsiderable fragments. We also possess from an unknown pen, summaries (periochoe) of all the books except 136 and 137, and a scanty extract from the account of the portents (prodigia), which appeared in 249 B.C. and following year; this is by a certain Iulius Obsequens, and perhaps dates from the 4th century. Livy's importance rests more on the magnitude of his patriotic undertaking and the style of his narrative than upon his thoroughness as a historic inquirer. His preliminary studies were inadequate, and his knowledge of Roman law, and still more of the military system of Rome, was insufficient. He was content to select what seemed to him the most probable and reasonable statement from the authorities which happened to be familiar and accessible to him, without regard to completeness, and without severely scrutinising their value,--a method which necessarily led to numerous inaccuracies and serious errors. Primarily, his great aim was not critical research into the history of his country. He desired rather by a lively and brilliant narrative, which should satisfy the more exacting taste of the time, to rekindle the flagging patriotism of his countrymen, and to raise his politically and socially degraded contemporaries to the level of their ancestors' exploits. And his narrative in fact deserves the fullest admiration, especially for its descriptions of events and the actors in them, and for the speeches which are inserted in the work. The latter show his rhetorical training in all its brilliance. His language is choice and tasteful, although in details it marks a decline from the strictly classical standard. Asinius Pollio, in allusion to the author's birthplace, charged it with a certain patavinitas. This can only mean a provincial departure from the peculiar language of the metropolis, which is to us no longer perceptible. Livy's work enjoyed the greatest renown down to the latest days of Roman literature, and has been the great mine of information for knowledge of the past to all succeeding generations.
 
NAEVIUS 14.71%
A Roman epic and dramatic poet. Born apparently in Campania, about 270 B.C., be served in the Roman army during the first Punic War; and, settling after this at Rome, he brought his first play upon the stage in 235, i.e. soon after the first appearance of Livius Andronicus. Owing to the license and recklessness with which he incessantly attacked the Roman nobles, especially the Metelli, he was thrown into prison, and though liberated thence by the tribunes of the people, was afterwards banished from Rome. He died in exile at Utica about 200. His poetical account of the first Punic War (Bellum Poenicum), written in old age in the Saturnian metre, made him the creator of the Roman national epic. The work originally formed one continuous whole, but at a later time was divided into seven books by the scholar Octavius Lampadio. The fragments preserved give the impression of its having been little more than a chronicle in verse. Indeed, even in its plan, it bears a close resemblance to the prose chronicles of the Roman annalists: for here, as there, the real subject of the poem was preceded by an account of the early history of Rome, dating from the flight of Aeneas from Troy. Naevius also made an important departure in the province of dramatic poetry by creating a national drama. Besides imitations of Greek tragedies, of which seven alone are known by name and by extant fragments, it was he who first attempted to adapt the materials of his country's history to the dramatic form handed down by the Greeks. Thus, in the Romulus or Lupus, he treats of the youth of Romulus and Remus; and, in the play Clastidium, of a contemporary historical event. From the number of titles of his comedies still preserved (over thirty), and from the verdict of antiquity, we may infer that his forte lay in comedy: he appears to have been no mere translator of his Greek originals, but to have handled them with considerable freedom. It was in his comedies especially that he introduced his attacks on men and events of the day.
 
TRAGEDY 11.80%

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ROMAN TRAGEDY was founded entirely on that of the Greeks. In early times there existed crude dramatic productions (see SATIRE), which provided an opening for the translation from the Greek dramas brought on the stage by Livius Andronicus. He was a Greek by birth, but was brought to Rome as a captive about 200 B.C. It is to him that Roman tragedy owes its origin. His dramas and those of his successors were more or less free versions of Greek originals. Even the tragedies, or historical plays, drawn from national Roman materials, called fabuloe proetextoe or proetextatoe, (see PRAeETEXTA), the first writer of which was his immediate successor Noevius (about 235 B.C.), were entirely modelled on the Greek. The most noteworthy representatives of tragedy under the Republic were Ennius (B.C. 239-170), Pacuvius (220-130), and Accius (170-104), besides whom only a few other poets produced any works about this time. It is true that the scanty fragments we possess of these dramas admit of no positive judgment as to their merit, but there is no doubt that they rank far below the original creations of the Greeks. It may also be clearly inferred from the fragments, that declamation and pathos formed a characteristic attribute of Roman tragedy, which was intensified by a studied archaism of expression. Moreover, the titles of their plays that have come down to us show that preference was given to subjects relating to the Trojan epic cycle; this is to be explained by the Trojan origin claimed by the Romans. Next to this the most popular were the myths of the Pelopidae, of the Theban cycle, and of the Argonauts. Euripides was the favourite model; after him Sophocles: rarely Aeschylus. Roman tragedy, like Greek, was made up of spoken dialogue in iambic trimeters and musical portions called cantica (q.v.). On the chorus in Roman tragedy see CHORUS (near the end). In the time of Augustus the representatives of tragedy were Asinius Pollio, Varius, and Ovid; under Tiberius, Pomponius Secundus; under Nero and Vespasian, Curiatius Maternus, of whose works scarcely a line has been preserved. The only tragedies of Roman antiquity which we possess are those of the philosopher Seneca, which show great mastery of form and a fertile imagination, but suffer from an intolerable excess of rhetorical declamation. It is doubtful whether they were intended for the stage at all, and not rather for public recitation and for private reading.
 
GAMES 10.80%
 
COMEDY 10.03%

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Roman. Like the Greeks, the Italian people had their popular dramatic pieces; the versus Fescennini, for instance, which were at first associated with the mimic drama, first introduced in 390 B.C. from Etruria in consequence of a plague, to appease the wrath of heaven (see FESCENNINI VERSUS). From this combination sprang the satura, a performance consisting of flute-playing, mimic dance, songs, and dialogue. The Atellana (q.v.) was a second species of popular Italian comedy, distinguished from others by having certain fixed or stock characters. The creator of the regular Italian comedy and tragedy was a Greek named Livius Andronicus, about 240 B.C. Like the Italian tragedy, the Italian comedy was, in form and contents, an imitation, executed with more or less freedom, of the Greek. It was the New Greek Comedy which the Romans took as their model. This comedy, which represents scenes from Greek life, was called palliata, after the Greek pallium, or cloak. The dramatic satura, and the Atellana, which afterwards supplanted the satura as a concluding farce, continued to exist side by side. The Latin comedy was brought to perfection by Plautus and Terence, the only Roman dramatists from whose hands we still possess complete plays. We should also mention Naevius and Ennius (both of whom wrote tragedies as well as comedies) Caecilius, and Turpilius, with whom, towards the end of the 3nd century B.C., this style of composition died out. About the middle of the 2nd century B.C. a new kind of comedy, the togata, (from toga) made its appearance. The form of it was still Greek, but the life and the characters Italian. The togata was represented by Titinius, Atta, and Afranius, who was accounted the master in this kind of writing. At the beginning of the 1st century B.C. the Atellana assumed an artistic form in the hands of Pomponius and Novius; and some fifty years later the mimus, also an old form of popular farce, was similarly handled by Laberius and Publilius Syrus. The mimus drove all the other varieties of comedy from the field, and held its ground until late in the imperial period. The Roman comedy, like its model, the New Comedy of the Greeks, had no chorus, the intervals being filled up by performances on the flute. The play consisted, like the Roman tragedy, partly of passages of spoken dialogue in iambic trimeters, partly of musical scenes called cantica. (See CANTICUM)
 
SATIRE 8.77%
 
EDUCATION 6.44%
 
NAMES 5.70%
The Romans, in the republican times, bad their names in the following order: prcenamen (= our "Christian name"), nomen (name of race, gentile name), cognomen (surname, denoting the family). The gentile name, which originally (always in patrician names) had for derivative suffix -ius (e.g. Iunius, Cornelius, Tullius), was common to all those connected with the gens, men, women, clients, and freedmen. The prcenomen was given to sons on the third day after birth, the dies lustricus, and was officially confirmed when the toga virilis was assumed and the name was inscribed on the roll of citizens. The original meaning of the prcenomen, in which there was sometimes a reference to peculiar circumstances at birth (e.g. Lacius=born by day, Manius=born in the morning; Quintus, the fifth, Decimus, the tenth), came to be disregarded in the course of time, when the name was given. As a rule, the eldest son received the prcenomen of his father. Of these there was a comparatively limited number in the noble families; some were employed only by certain gentes, even by certain families, as for instance Appius exclusively by the Claudii, and Tiberius especially by the Nerones who belonged to this race; while others were actually prohibited in certain families, e.g. Marcus in that of the Manlii.[1] The prcenomen was usually written in an abbreviated form; thus, A. stands for Aulus, C. for Gaius, Gn. for Gnceus, D. for Decimus, L. for Lacius, M'. for Manius, M. for Marcus, P. for Publius , Q. for Quintus, Ser. for Servius, S. or Sex. for Sextus, Ti. for Tiberius, T. for Titus. The surname (cognomen), the use of which was, in early times, not customary among the plebeians, served to denote and distinguish the different families of the same race, which often included several, patrician and plebeian. Thus the gens Cornelia comprised the patrician families of the Scipiones, Sullce, etc., and the plebeian families of the Dolabellce, Lentuli, etc. [It is true that some patrician families had fixed cognomina (e.g. Nero), but it was quite common for plebeians to take cognomina or to have them given; e.g. Cn. Pompeius Magnus, C. Asinius Pollio, and his son Asinius Gallus. Some plebeians never took a cognomen, e.g. the Antonii. But the Tullii are Cicerones in the last century of the Republic. Cognomina, whether fixed or otherwise, are generally of the nature of nicknames, or, at any rate, add a description of some personal characteristic; e.g. Naso, Strabo, Gallus, Scrofa, Asina, Rufus.] To the surname there was sometimes added a second and even a third, in later times called the agnomen, to indicate a lateral branch of the family, for instance the Scipiones, Nasicoe; or, in memory of some remarkable exploit in war (e.g. Scipio Africanus, Asiaticus, etc.), or in consequence of a popular designation (e.g. Scipio Nasica Serapio) or of an adoption. It was the original custom for the adopted son, on passing from one gens to another, to add to the prcenomen, nomen, and cognomen of his adoptive father the name of his own former gens with the termination -anus. Thus the full name of the destroyer of Carthage, the son of L. Aemilius Paulus adopted by one of the Scipios, was P(ublius) Cornelius Scipio Africanus Emilianus. After about 70 A.D. there were many irregularities in the way these names were given,the tendency being to give very many. Women originally had only one name, the feminine form of the gentile name of their father, e.g. Cornelia. In later times they sometimes had prcenomen also, which they received on marriage. It was the feminine form of the husband's prcenomen, e.g. Gaia. Sometimes they had both names, e.g. Aula Cornelia. The prcenomen went out of use for a time during the later Republic, and it was afterwards placed after the nomen like a cognomen (e.g. Iunia Tertia). Under the Empire, they regularly had two names, either the nomen and cognomen of the father (e.g. Caecilia Metella) or the nomina of father and mother (e.g. Valeria Attia, daughter of Attius and Valeria). Slaves were originally designated by the praenomen of their master, e.g. Marcipor = Marci puer (slave of Marcus). Later, when the number of slaves had been greatly multiplied, it became necessary to give them names chosen at random. Freedmen regularly took the nomen, afterwards the prcenomen also, of the man who freed them (or of the father of the woman who freed them), while they retained their previous name as a cognomen; thus the name of the well-known freedman of Cicero was M. Tullius Tiro, and of a freedman of Livia (the wife of Augustus), M. Livius Ismarus.
 
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