Ancient Romans claimed descent from Greeks, in fact the Great Roman poet Virgil wrote an epic poem entitled Aeneid where he tells that Romans come from Aeneas line who escaped from the Trojan fire to save his royal descent. He landed at Italy where married a princess named Lavinia. That means you have to consider Roman literature as an evolution of Greek literature: Romans learn from Greek but progress. Greek and Roman literature is wide and it includes: tragedies, comedies, poems, epics etc. You can’t compare these forms of literature all together but one by one. So I want to compare for you the Greek Tragedy and The Roman Tragedy The best tragedian in Greece were Aeschylus; Sophocles and Euripides. Their tragedies were mythological stories. The Roman tragedies instead showed Roman historical characters. Plays, in Rome, were free and people of all ranks and classes were admitted to the theater including women and slaves, the same thing appended in Athens, the only exception was women were excluded from the theater. What remains today of the all tragic Latin works is only a few fragments of Livius Andronicus, Nevio, Ennio, Pacuvio and Accio. The Roman tragedy inherited from Greek tragedy masks and costumes and a musical-rhythmic structure. That means the actors’ performance was varied. Some parts were simply recited, other parts were accompanied by flute and other parts were sung by the actors or by the choir. The Greek tragedy talked about conflicts involving religious, moral and political issues. Roman tragedies talked about tyrannical characters and showed bloody scenes. The only myth that Romans loved was the Trojan War and that for two reasons: because they were descendants of the Trojans and because the Trojan War offered them the opportunity to enhance the virtus (courage), which is best expressed in war, and the pietas (religious respect) towards the homeland and family. Both (virtus and pietas) are the basics of the Roman morals.
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