chapter  4
31 Pages

ROMAN RENEWAL: CICERO AND LUCRETIUS

Hellenistic didactic epic was formed by the process of literacy. It was written in partial response to the freedoms offered by the Hellenistic explosion in literacy and in writing. Such enthusiasm could not last. The novelty of literacy and of visual game-playing was bound to wear off. We can witness this falling-away, if not at first in didactic verse, at least in poetry generally. The phenomenon is more evident in Rome than in Greece.