Gnaeus Naevius


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Naevius, Gnaeus

 

Born circa 270 B.C.; died circa 201 B.C. Roman poet. Fought in the First Punic War.

Naevius began his literary career by imitating the Greek tragedy. Later he became the first to write praetextae, tragedies on national subjects. Naevius also laid the foundations of Roman national comedy; when translating Greek comedies, he imparted a Roman flavor and political topicality. He was the first to use contamination. Naevius compiled the Roman national historical epic Carmen belli poenici (The Song of the Punic War), comprising seven books and written in Saturnian meter. The works of Naevius survive in fragments.

WORKS

In E. H. Warmington. Remains of Old Latin, vol. 2. London, 1936.

REFERENCE

Tronskii, I. M. Istoriia antichnoi literatury, 3rd ed. Leningrad, 1957.