A History of Later Latin Literature from the Middle of the Fourth to the End of the Seventeenth Century

A History of Later Latin Literature from the Middle of the Fourth to the End of the Seventeenth Century

A History of Later Latin Literature from the Middle of the Fourth to the End of the Seventeenth Century

A History of Later Latin Literature from the Middle of the Fourth to the End of the Seventeenth Century

Excerpt

Latin literature should logically be regarded as one whole, and its history should extend from its first beginnings towards the end of the third century, B.C., when Plautus by an effort of genius which has hardly been appreciated created the Roman drama, down to the final stage of the Renaissance at the end of the seventeenth century, when Latin at last definitely ceased to be a universal language. There are several reasons why such a history has never at present been written, and one of them is the immense amount of work which is considered necessary to satisfy modern ideas of completeness. The standard German history by Martin Schanz starts at the beginning, and in seven stout volumes of some four thousand pages carries us down to the reign of Justinian. A continuation of Schanz was begun by Max Manitius, whose first volume, which appeared in 1909, dealt with the period from 480 to 968; a second volume of nearly 900 pages, treating of the tenth, eleventh and twelfth centuries came out in 1923; the third volume is yet to be published. A similar lesson may be drawn from that wonderful work, the Histoire littéraire de la France. Begun by the Benedictines of St Maur in the eighteenth century and now being continued by members of the Institute, it includes all writers born in France after the birth of Christ, whether they write in Latin or in French. Its first . . .

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