Test Your Knowledge of Silver Age Latin Literature with Our Quiz!



9 Questions

What is Classical Latin?

What is Latinitas?

What is the Golden Age of Roman Literature?

What is Silver Latin?

What is the Silver Age of Latin literature?

Which of the following is a characteristic of Silver Latin?

Who are some of the writers of the Silver Age of Roman Literature?

What is the definition of style in Latin literature?

What is the difference between Golden Latin and Silver Latin?


Classical Latin is the literary standard recognized by writers of the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire, used from 75 BC to the 3rd century AD, when it developed into Late Latin. The word Latin is now understood by default to mean "Classical Latin". Latinitas was the higher register of Latin, sometimes translated as "Latinity". Classical Latin was spoken and written and was the language taught in schools, with prescriptive rules applied to it. Classical Latin authors did not evidence rigidity in their writing, with the exception of repetitious abbreviations and stock phrases found on inscriptions. "Good Latin" in philology is known as "classical" Latin literature, referring to the canonical relevance of literary works written in Latin in the late Roman Republic, and early to middle Roman Empire. The term classicus was devised by the Romans to translate Greek ἐγκριθέντες, and "select" which refers to authors who wrote in a form of Greek that was considered model. Teuffel's definition of the "First Period" of Latin was based on inscriptions, fragments, and the literary works of the earliest known authors. The Golden Age of Roman Literature was dated 671–767 AUC (83 BC – 14 AD), according to Teuffel's own recollection. The timeframe is marked by the dictatorship of Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix and the death of the emperor Augustus. Augustan writers include Virgil, Horace, and Ovid. The Silver Age of Roman Literature included the period from the death of Augustus to the death of Trajan (14–117 AD).The Silver Age of Latin literature - a summary

  • The Silver Age of Latin literature encompasses both the Silver Age and the centuries now termed Late Latin.
  • The last iteration of Classical Latin is known as Silver Latin, which is the first of the Imperial Period.
  • The Silver Age is divided into die Zeit der julischen Dynastie (14–68); die Zeit der flavischen Dynastie (69–96), and die Zeit des Nerva und Trajan (96–117).
  • The Silver Age is characterized by the fact that anything like freedom of speech had vanished with Tiberius.
  • The idea of a decline had been dominant in English society since Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
  • The Silver Age furnishes the only two extant Latin novels: Apuleius's The Golden Ass and Petronius's Satyricon.
  • Writers of the Silver Age include Pliny the Elder, Seneca the Younger, and Tacitus.
  • The second century was a happy period for the Roman State, the happiest indeed during the whole Empire.
  • Silver Latin is distinguished by a preference for prepositions rather than simple case endings, and by a decline in natural language and spontaneity.
  • The ancient authors themselves first defined style by recognizing different kinds of sermo, or "speech".
  • Style was to be defined by deviation in speech from a standard. Teuffel termed this standard "Golden Latin".
  • Silver Latin is to be distinguished by its "utter unreality", its rhetorical and stylistic excess, and its preference for new and dazzling mannerisms.


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