Detail map of Ercolano, Campania, Italy Overview map of Ercolano, Campania, Italy

A: Ercolano, Campania, Italy

Latin Literature Probably Begins About 300 BCE

Circa 300 BCE
Busto maschile

Painting from Herculaneum, circa 100 CE, depicting a young Roman man reading a papyrus roll. Museo archeologico nationale di Napoli (inv. no. 9072).

"Athough written records may have existed from very early times, Latin literature did not begin until the third century B.C. Inspired by Greek example, it was probably committed from its first beginnings to the form of the book which had long been standard in the Greek world, the papyrus scroll" (Reynolds & Wilson, Scribes and Scholars, 3rd. ed. [1991] 8-19).

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