|Author||Marion Mills Miller|
|Publication Date||June 22, 2012|
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I tINTRODUCTION THE ROMAN HISTORIANS HE early quasi-historical writings of the Romans have already been discussed in the article entitled The Beginnings of Latin Literature which serves as an introduction to volume one. The first Roman historians proper were Fabius Pictor and Cincius A limentus, who lived in the time of theS econd Punic War, and were undoubtedly inspired to write history by the memorable events of this the most crucial period in the life of the nation. QuiNTUS Fabius Pictor called by Livy scriptorum antiquissimus, most ancient of writers, was born about B.C. 254. The cognomen of Pictor, Painter, came into the family from his grandfather, Caius Fabius, who was one of the earliest of Roman artists, having acquired a knowledge of the fine arts by residence among theE truscans, who excelled all the Italian tribes in these matters. Quintus Fabius served in theS econd Punic War, and was present at the battle of Lake Thrasimenus. After the defeat at Cannae he was sent by the senate to inquire from the oracle at Delphi what would be the issue of the war, and to learn by what supplications the wrath of the gods might be appeased. After the war, he set about writing a history of Rome in Greek, beginning with neas and ending with theS econd Punic War. He derived his materials from the archives of leading Roman families, and from the legends concerning Italy which he found in the writings of the Greeks. In particular, as we are told by Plutarch in his life of Romulus, Fabius followed an obscure Greek author, Diodes, in his account of the foundation of Rome, and from this source have flowed all the stories concerning Mars, the Vestal, theW olf, Romulus andR emus, etc.
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