Archive for March, 2012

Latin literature VIII: Novel Posted by on Mar 29, 2012

Apuleius The golden ass

Novel The novel was a minor genre cultivated late. In Rome Petronius with his Satyricon (1st century AD.) and Apuleius with his Golden Ass (2nd century AD.) had a great influence on posterity. With Satyricon Petronius got a totally new and original work, which suited well to the tastes of the time and perfectly represented…

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Latin literature VII: Oratory Posted by on Mar 28, 2012

The oratory was for the ancient the art of persuading people through speaking correctly. His teaching and techniques are called rhetoric. In Rome, following the models of classical Athens, oratory took on enormous importance. From the 2nd century BC. Rome hosted a large number of Greek rhetoricians, while some Romans traveled to Greece to learn…

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Latin literature VI: Theater Posted by on Mar 26, 2012

Latin comedy masks

The genre of theater in Rome had a double origin. On the one hand dramatic poetry was born in Greece in the heat of religious festivals in honor of Dionysus. On the other hand in the preliterate period there were a variety of theatrical performances of indigenous nature, as the fable atelana, mime, etc.. We…

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Latin literature V: Historians Posted by on Mar 22, 2012


Historians: The first Latin historians we know began to write some History in the form of Annals in the last third of the 3rd century BC. In the 1st century B.C. in time of Sulla,  the first great authors that changed the course of Latin historiography were born: Caesar and Sallust. With these two authors…

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Latin literature IV: Lyric Posted by on Mar 20, 2012

Lyric This poetic genre includes diverse forms and themes. Most of the times the common subjects are about the private sphere of human beings, in contrast to the epic in which the subject is marked by a public or social man. Lyric was the poetry played on the lyre, hence its name, and it was…

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Latin literature III: Epic Posted by on Mar 13, 2012

Epic The epic was born in Greece at a time that is lost in the mists of time. The world it evokes and recalls the Iliad and the Odyssey is the Mycenaean world, but the poems, as have reached us, were written many centuries later, about 8th century BC. They are the first literary works…

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