In the mid-Republican period Rome phil-Hellenic and anti-Hellenic Roman intellectuals were involved in a conflict over Greek influence. One author explains, "the relationship of Romans to Greek culture was frequently ambiguous: they admired it as superior and adopted its criteria, while they remained skeptical of some aspects; hence they adapted it selectively according to their own purposes." An anti-Hellenic movement emerged in reaction to the primacy of Greek led by the conservative and reactionary statesman Cato the Elder (234-149 BCE), who was the first to write a Roman history in Latin, and was prominent for his anti-Hellenic views. He saw Hellenism a threat to Roman culture, but did not find wide support, especially in the upper class. However, Erich S. Gruen argued that Cato's "anti-Greek 'pronouncements' reflect deliberate posturing and do not represent 'the core of Catonian thought'." The prominent philosopher and politician Cicero (106–43 BCE) was "highly ambivalent" about Greeks, and practiced "anti-Greek slur". The first-second century poet Juvenal was another major anti-Hellenic figure.
Following the East–West Schism of 1054, anti-Greek sentiment became widespread in the Latin West (dominated by the Catholic Church). It reached its climax during the Fourth Crusade and the 1204 sack of Constantinople, the Byzantine capital, and the establishment of the Latin Empire.