Gnaeus Naevius (c. 235- 201 BCE)

Soldier, native Campanian, and the second Latin dramatist. Naevius was Italian though probably not a Roman citizen. Naevius wrote thirty-four comedies and seven tragedies; only fragments of these survive. His plays have freer movement and more lively language than the dramas of Livius. At least two of his plays were built upon historical events connected with Rome. Plays of this sort, with the theme taken from Roman history but composed in Greek form, were called praetextae or togatae, in distinction to the palliatae, which were Greek plots translated or freely adapted into Latin. Naevius was the first native poet of consequence and the first to write on Roman topics. Forced to leave Rome, he retired to Utica in Africa.
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