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  • Print publication year: 1982
  • Online publication date: March 2008

4 - Ennius' Annales



This chapter focuses on an important bearing on the shape and unity of Ennius' Annales as a whole. The cult of the Muses was introduced by M. Fulvius Nobilior, who built a Templum Herculis Afusarum to house statues of Hercules Musageta and the Nine Sisters taken with much other booty from what had once been Pyrrhus' palace in Ambracia. The title of Ennius' poem looks immediately to the priestly Annales, yearbooks, instituted by the Pythagorean king Numa Pompilius and kept by the pontifices. Ennius has achieved the rapidity of Homer by using a mixture of dactyls and spondees quite different from that in his tree-felling passage, and by keeping Homer's enjambments, essential to the impetus of a passage describing great and uncontrolled natural forces at large. He is essentially un-Homeric in calling the South Wind spiritus Austri imbricitor, that is Hellenistic baroque.
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