c.265 - c.202 BC
Roman Poet

Gnaeus Naevius was a Roman poet and originator of historical plays.

He produced half a dozen tragedies and more than 30 comedies. In his plays he often put in critical remarks of Roman daily life and politics, which lead to his imprisonment and perhaps exile.

He chronicled the events of the First Punic War (264-261) in his 'Bellum Poenicum' relying for facts upon his own experience in the war.

Naevius' history of the war against Carthage became the first Roman national epic.

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