Gnaeus Naevius

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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


Tronskii, I. M. Istoriia antichnoi literatury, 3rd ed. Leningrad, 1957.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The name derives from pallium, a cloak, and means roughly "play in Greek dress." The form was developed by the playwright Gnaeus Naevius in the 3rd century BC.