The earliest operas are few, and their history is a history of particulars: of the interests of individual Renaissance humanists; of the ways in which certain musicians sang; of the development of Italian poetry for music; and of the theatrical traditions within which the new genre was accepted and propagated. Recent music history has tended to stress the sixteenth-century antecedents for these aspects of opera, without forgetting, however, that the common inspiration for Dafne, Anima e Corpo and Euridice – as well as for some earlier Florentine intermedi – was the desire to emulate the effects of the music of the ancient Greeks and Romans. In Florence this was realised at the granducal court with the help of its satellite circles of educated nobles. In Rome, knowledge of the ancients was the province of professional scholars, the priests and religious who taught in the seminaries and colleges, and for whom Seneca and Terence would have been more familiar fare than Tasso and Guarini. Thus after Cavalieri staged his Rappresentatione di Anima et di Corpo under the auspices of the Oratorians, it is not surprising that the next Roman musical drama is a carnival school play given by boys and composed by their professor. In Rome, furthermore, the princes and prelates of the Church exercised their tastes for fine literature with transformations of Pindar and Horace designed to inspire Christian devotion.