While it may have been the ancient Greeks who got the ball rolling when it came to the writing of plays that ultimately became the precursor to the modern day theater, the tradition was certainly expanded on by other civilizations over the years.
Romans had a rich history of showmanship and pageantry: much of these, they learned from the Greeks after conquering several Hellenic Territories around 270 and 240 years b.C.
As they learned and studied the Greek tragedies and comedies, they were also set on the business of expanding the Roman Empire which they did quite dramatically over the next centuries – it’s like this that many other cultures were exposed to their knowledge of theater and the arts. This of
course included the early English.
By that time the Romans had also been busy producing their own works by their own writers and philosophers and many important works from individuals like Livius Andronicus and a few years later from Gnaeus Naevius emerged in the periods.
The two men both specialized in a different discipline, one wrote comedies and the other tragedies and this separation produced distinct disciples.
The influence of the early Greeks who they conquered and then learned from is easily show by the fact that of the surviving Roman dramas and tragedies that are known to exist are all based on the Greek stories they had learned from the Greeks.
While it is true that none of the written works of the great Roman writers is still known to exist today there is enough documentation that shows there were some very respected early Roman writers who did write original Roman dramas and tragedies over and above the two mentioned previously.
It remains a fact though that without the Romans spreading of the theater far a wide it may well not have been the same had the alternative been true instead.