An Introduction to Ancient Roman Literature

Video

Kelly Macquire
by and
published on 15 June 2023

From its infancy, Roman literature borrowed heavily from the Greeks. However, they were able to shake the shackles and create a vibrant literature of their own; poetry, prose, and history. The Roman authors influenced countless others in the decades and centuries that followed – Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, and many more. One cannot enter either a library or bookstore without seeing Roman poetry and prose on the bookshelves; Cicero, Tacitus, Suetonius, as well as Virgil and Horace. Western literature owes a debt of gratitude to the Romans for what they have given the world.

The Roman Empire and its predecessor the Roman Republic produced an abundance of celebrated literature; poetry, comedies, dramas, histories, and philosophical tracts; the Romans avoided tragedies. Much of it survives to this day. However, Roman Literature cannot stand alone. They owe a debt to their neighbor, the Greeks (more specifically Athens). Most educated Romans were well aware of their own literary inferiority, and because of this Roman writers could easily copy Greek classical themes, even going so far as to translate many of the notable Greek works into Latin. However, to many Romans, this exercise would have been needless, for a number of highly educated citizens could speak and read both Greek and Latin. Many young, upper-class Romans even continued their education in Athens. Although the link to Greek Hellenism would remain for years to come, the Romans would soon develop a rich literature of their own.

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— CHAPTERS —
0:00​ Introduction
0:51 Ancient Roman Literature
2:12 The Early Age
4:00 The Golden Age
5:38 The Silver Age
7:46 The Late Age
9:30 Outro

— WANT TO KNOW MORE? —
Roman Literature
https://www.worldhistory.org/Roman_Literature/
Horace
https://www.worldhistory.org/Horace/
Seneca,
https://www.worldhistory.org/Seneca/
Catullus
https://www.worldhistory.org/Catullus/
Suetonius
https://www.worldhistory.org/Suetonius/
Sallust
https://www.worldhistory.org/Sallust/
Plautus
https://www.worldhistory.org/Plautus/
Ovid
https://www.worldhistory.org/Ovid/
Pliny the Younger
https://member.worldhistory.org/Pliny_the_Younger/

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— ATTRIBUTIONS —
You can find all attribution and credits for images, animations, graphics and music here - https://worldhistory.typehut.com/roman-literature-images-and-attributions-17155

The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:
https://www.ancientlyre.com
https://open.spotify.com/artist/7Dx2vFEg8DmOJ5YCRm4A5v?si=emacIH9CRieFNGXRUyJ9
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ1X6F7lGMEadnNETSzTv8A

World History Encyclopedia
www.worldhistory.org

#history #ancientrome #romanhistory #ancientliterature

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2023, June 15). An Introduction to Ancient Roman Literature. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2968/an-introduction-to-ancient-roman-literature/

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "An Introduction to Ancient Roman Literature." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified June 15, 2023. https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2968/an-introduction-to-ancient-roman-literature/.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "An Introduction to Ancient Roman Literature." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 15 Jun 2023. Web. 19 Jun 2024.

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