The Ethics And Morals Of Ancient Rome Essay

The Ethics And Morals Of Ancient Rome Essay

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There is a minimal amount of background information about Publilius Syrus in history, and few know of his name, yet he still made a historic imprint with the few discovered pieces from his mines. From what historians have gathered, Publilius had an interesting life and was a brilliant man. He is mostly famously known by the collection of sentences and sayings from his mimes, the collection was titled The Sententiae. From The Sententiae, a reader can learn about the ethics of ancient Rome and be introduced to mines; “a dominant genre in Roman theater....”(Roman Period Theatre Vasiliki Karakitsou). Not only that, but as a reader, I was able to make connections with the ethics and morals of ancient Rome to the ones held in society today. Researching Publilius lead to me reading his inspiring and insightful sayings, learning about Mines and poetry, and discovering more about the achievements of a Roman freedman. Although Publilius’ background has limited knowledge, what historians have gathered and from what I have read, Publilius seems like a very achieved individual in history.

It is widely agreed that Publilius Syrus was a slave before he had become a freedman and a playwright, like Terence and Phaedrus. Though there is no evidence that he was born into slavery. Historians suppose that he became one when his native country, Syria, was turned into a Roman province. Around 64 B.C. Pompey had disposed of the monarchy that resided in Syria and reconstituted it as a Roman province (Pompey in the East). It is believed that Publilius Syrus was brought to Rome by Domitius -an officer of the Roman army- soon after the reconstitution of Syria and that Publilius was about twelves years old at the time. This is also when he received the nam...


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...reflect the ethics of the Romans in ancient Rome, such as the quote “An honorable death is better than a disgraceful life” (Publilius Syrus). It is widely known and understood that the Romans had a strong code of honor, and sacrificial deaths were thought to be honorable and were respected. There are many other quotes similar to this one and even if the reader does not know much about ancient Rome, they can easily theorize the morals that the ancient civilization had. I was pretty fascinated by how progressive some of these quotes were, thought this can also be due to my interpretation of them, but from reading about Publilius Syrus’ history I can imagine him as having been a progressive freedman. Even if there is not much to judge Publilius Syrus from, from the few saying we have, I can conclude that he was a brilliant man and an extremely successful author.







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