Latin Literature in History
Greek literature was one of the numerous Greek accomplishments from which Romans drew immense influence. The Romans picked up first on the Greek embrace of rhetoric, which became an educational standard, given that a man’s rhetoric, his ability to “push the buttons” of the subject audience by way of speeches, supplemented the man’s rise to political power. But as rhetoric began to diminish from Roman daily life following Rome’s imperialization, identical persuasive technique began to show itself in Roman literature. But Greek themes were just a backbone in Roman literature, and as time, progressed, Rome established a unique literary style, which, alongside Greek Literature, had a profound influence on the future History of Europe.
One important early innovator is Quintus Ennius. Called the father of Latin poetry, he wrote a number of comedies in Latin as well. In addition, Ennius adapted Greek dramas to the Roman stage, and published a historical epic on Rome from its beginnings to the present (=around 200 BC). His most notable successors, Pacuvius and Accius, would write tragedies that built on previously used Greek themes, but individualized them enough to call the works their own.
More is understood of early Roman comedy than of its drama, due to the amount of its existing copies. Two playwrights in particular dominated early Roman comedy, and those are Plautus and Terence. While Plautus thrived on a rough, slapstick, rowdy, crowd oriented style, Terence’s comedy was more refined and domestic. It was Terence’s works that most immediately affected the comedic posterity, forming a basis for much humor found in French and British plays of the 1600’s and for some modern humor as well.
The writings of Cicero are the most crucial pieces of documentation of that period (80BC-43BC) available. They take the form of letters, rhetoric volumes, orations, and philosophy. They provide not only a vivid account of the life of the ruling class, but his invaluable volumes of oratory and philosophy were the backbone of Mediaeval moral philosophy, also a major influence on the speeches of European leaders. The period of his writing is rightfully referred to as the “Age of Cicero”.
... middle of paper ...
...dation for future history” is a massive task for literature to achieve, and it seems almost inappropriate to credit the Roman writings with that. No empires came to rise attributed to the teachings; no empires fell attributed to the teachings. Along the course of European History, the Roman teachings seem to have been symbolic of education, worldliness, wisdom, and literary standards. So much wisdom can be drawn from the texts that one cannot be fully rounded scholar without having brushed paths with the great ancient Latin writings. The texts provide an insight to themes not too distant from our lives. We can love the poetry and its imagery as in our own society; we can be swayed by a momentous political speech as they were by rhetoric. Perhaps the educated military and political leaders of the past drew on strategies and concepts presented in Rome’s historical accounts. Maybe philosophies have shaped in some way or form the way human beings interact and think. We may never be sure of the extent of the Classical influence, but it without a doubt holds something crucial to the foundation of the arts and limitless other institutions that has touched Europe for over a thousand years
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Magical Realism: History and Theory Magical Realism to me is the world's view of literature and art combined. It has a vast amount of characteristics that most, if not all, Magical realist fiction shares. Magical Realism has a lot of content to be studied in order to fully understand it. The term magical realism was first introduced by Franz Roh in 1925. He was a German art critic who started the idea of magical realism when he saw a new direction in painting. He used the term to characterize his paintings.... [tags: Realist Latin American Literature Essays]
957 words (2.7 pages)
- History and Theory The world is full of magical realism. Magical Realism may just become a word that people thought of in the 1930's; however, magical realism has been here for as long as the people have been able to tell and write stories. Whether the stories are true or made up, they are all magical realism. The first author who started associating the words of magical realism to out was a German art critic, by the name of Franz Roh. Roh considered magical realism an art category. It represented and responded to reality and depicted the enigmas of reality.... [tags: Magical Realism Latin American Literature Essays]
1025 words (2.9 pages)
- The Boom in Latin American Literature Simply defined, the "Boom" refers to the period in Latin American literature in which a number of writers achieved international acclaim for their work. It is primarily associated with the novel, although a few of the Boom writers were recognized for work in other forms as well. The Boom was in full swing throughout the 1960s and the early seventies, though precursors to the Boom, most notably Jorge Luis Borges, were internationally known as early as the 1940s.... [tags: Hispanic Literature Essays]
982 words (2.8 pages)
- 20th Century Latin American Literature Global literatures in English have always played a key role in developing international understanding and appreciation for the social realities and cultural developments beyond Western lifestyles and familiarity. For anthropologists seeking to perceive the social realities of 20th century Latin America, the work of popular authors and novelists of this century is invaluable. Popular authors are the modern mouthpieces of the people and societies who read and love them, and thus, novelists can serve as reliable representatives of the social climate from which they draw material and compose their works.... [tags: Essays Papers]
3309 words (9.5 pages)
- Literature which comes from the Latin word ‘litterae’ is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources, although, under circumstances unpublished sources can be exempt. In other words literature refers to writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. David Carr’s memoir, The Night of the Gun, can be considered to be part of literature because he uses his experiences and memories to portray important themes and messages about the effects of addiction.... [tags: Literature]
1262 words (3.6 pages)
- Literature is defined as writing or books that are influential and well-remembered. To me it is more than writing, its learning and discovering and entertainment. Literature has been an important part of culture since the Greeks and is constantly changing. If you try hard enough, I guarantee you’ll find something you’ll love to read. Greek literature is probably considered the earliest form of knowledgeable and truly devoted literature. It makes so much sense because Greece has long been hailed as the birthplace of learning and culture.... [tags: writing, books, culture, reading, Greeks]
1644 words (4.7 pages)
- History of English Literature I. INTRODUCTION English literature, literature written in English since c.1450 by the inhabitants of the British Isles; it was during the 15th cent. that the English language acquired much of its modern form. II. The Tudors and the Elizabethan Age The beginning of the Tudor dynasty coincided with the first dissemination of printed matter. William Caxton's press was established in 1476, only nine years before the beginning of Henry VII's reign. Caxton's achievement encouraged writing of all kinds and also influenced the standardization of the English language.... [tags: Literature Language Plays Essays]
4592 words (13.1 pages)
- Arthurian Literature: The Evolution of Merlin In all the long history of literature, some fictional characters have loomed above others, written about again and again by various authors of various eras. Arthurian literature is one area of fiction that has always been popular for writers to recreate in new versions, and one of the most intriguing characters of all Arthurian literature is Merlin, the magician/ prophet who aids Arthur early in his reign. As the Arthurian saga develops, so does Merlin, changing from an aloof, druidical character into a more human, magical being, though always retaining some traces of his Welsh origins.... [tags: Literature]
2341 words (6.7 pages)
- Postmodernism in Latin America Postmodernism is the 19th and 20th century reaction against the previously dominant western foundationalism, or modernism. Foundationalism is rooted in classic Cartesian philosophy: ontologically, an objective reality exists independent of our perception of this reality and we can gain access to it if our theories are logically based on some indubitable foundation. For Descartes, this indubitable, uncontroversial point of reference aligns with "I think, therefore I am." However, after each stated foundation posited the process of critical undercutting begins; we find no extant foundation upon which to build our ontologically relevant theories.... [tags: Hispanic Literature Essays]
713 words (2 pages)
- LITERATURE I. FICTION A. What fiction is Fiction (from the Latin fictio, “a shaping, a counterfeiting”) is a name for stories not entirely factual, but at least partially shaped, made up, imagined. It is true that in some fiction, such as historical novel, a writer draws upon factual information in presenting scenes, events, and characters. But the factual information in a historical novel, unlike that in a history book, is of secondary importance. Fiction as we know it today is considered to be a relatively new genre compared to poetry and drama.... [tags: essays research papers]
2725 words (7.8 pages)