The Role of Greek and Roman Literature

A look at the importance of Greek and Roman literature, then and now.

The paper relates that Greek and Roman literature has served as a basic model for the development of later European literature. The paper also discusses how ancient Greek and Roman literature, including poetry and drama, has affected literally every phase of societal intelligence and mankind refers to these early writings for knowledge and expertise in directing their creative talents in a more precise and meaningful manner.
“Literature of ancient Greece and Rome has affected art, religion, philosophy, science and mathematics, medicine, drama, and poetry profoundly. It has served as a basic model for the development of later European literatures and as a result – the writings of the historians, geographers, philosophers, scientists, and rhetoricians are read today as sources of historical information and enjoyment.
“Alfred Whitehead, famous British philosopher-mathematician, once commented that “all philosophy is but a footnote to Plato” (Comptons Encyclopedia). A similar point can be made regarding Greek literature as a whole. The Greek world of thought was far-ranging and ideas discussed today were debated by the ancient writers. Until recently, in the Western culture, an acquaintance with classical Latin (as well as Greek) literature was basic to a liberal education. Roman literature such as epic and lyric poetry, rhetoric, history, comic drama and satire (the last genre being the only literary form the Romans invented) serve as today’s backbone for basic understanding of expression and artistic creativity, as well as history.”