Essay Latin Literature In History

Essay Latin Literature In History

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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”.
Numerous o...

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...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

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