Much of the literature of the world has been greatly influenced by the literature of the ancient Romans. During what is considered the “Golden Age of Roman Poetry,” poets like Virgil, Horace, and Ovid produced works that would have an everlasting impact. Ovid’s Metamorphoses, for example, inspired authors such as Chaucer, Milton, Dante, and Shakespeare. Shakespeare, in particular, was fascinated by the ancient Romans, who served as the inspiration for some of his plays including Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra.
Roman literature was, from its very beginning, heavily influenced by Greek authors. Some of the earliest works we possess are historical epics telling the early military history of Rome, similar to the Greek epic narratives of Homer, Herodotus, and Thucydides.
Read: Roman Literature (link below)
Link (Links to an external site.)
Select a Roman author (see link above ) and research the author’s collection of works and select a single work by that author.
What themes are present in the author’s collection of works and how is it represented in the work you have selected? Can you recognize similar themes in contemporary literature, film, podcasts, etc.
You may select an Orator (Cicero), Playwright (Plautus, Menander), Mythologist (Ovid), Poet (Horace), Historian (Pliny)–one of these, or any other Roman author you wish to discuss.
Virgil represents the pinnacle of Roman epic poetry. His Aeneid tells the story of the flight of Aeneas from Troy, and his settlement of the city that would become Rome. As the Republic expanded, authors began to produce poetry, comedy, history, and tragedy.
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