Roman Period: Latin literature is considered a branch of Greek literature. Greece had a strong cultural influence on Rome but these two cultures merged into a single one (metaphorically); this heritage was preserved through modern times.
This merger allowed for a better development of the people: on one hand, the poetic creativity of the Greek and on the other the Roman law and management. The Romans built the most impressive empire in history because they were practical and realist. They knew how to take advantage of Greece’s greatness to embody and enhance it with Rome’s.
Roman history begins in 753 B.C. with the very popular story of Romulus and Remus and ends with the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D.
- Focus on the grandiose.
- Imitation of Greek culture.
- Eminently practical and realist.
- Elegant style.
- Outstanding speakers.
Middle Ages: It is the 10 century period between the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 A.D. and the fall of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, in 1453 A.D.
After Charlemagne’s death the feuds were established; these were areas granted to the noble by the king. With the establishment of feudalism three groups were strongly consolidated: the Church, the Aristocracy and the People.
At the beginning of this age, paganism prevailed but little by little the Christian faith overthrew it turning the Church into the most politically powerful group. For this reason culture grew inside the monastic ambit.
In regard to literary production, Germanic literature appears first and then the French and lastly the Spanish. It comprises, then, seven centuries of European literature (VII to XIV). The first displays were verse poems of legendary origin called Eddas as well as prose compositions called Sagas.
During the first part of this period, the Greco-Roman influence is evident in all the activities and the most important transmission medium was language: Latin. Then, the romance languages were born. Oral literary production is in the hands of popular chanters called minstrels who were wandering singers that went around reciting poems in public squares and palaces; and also the troubadours, who wrote the poems besides singing them.
- Oral transmission of literature.
- Relevant influence of the Church.
- Development of sacred subjects.
- Simultaneous use of Latin and romance languages.
- Love, courage exaltation and loyalty were used as subjects.
- Popular and anonymous character.