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This chapter defines international societies as a set of polities that share foundational collective beliefs—a collective imagination regarding the nature and purposes of political and social organization. It discusses two challenges to ahistorical, positivist social science and international relations scholarship. Constructivist theory has convincingly demonstrated how international systems are social systems and that ideas and interests are inextricably linked. Similarly, the English School has championed the need for historical analyses and contextual nuance. This chapter acknowledges the affinity as well as differences between these approaches and my analysis. Furthermore, it articulates a methodology to conduct contextual, interpretative, and empirical analysis. Such an analysis demonstrates that political communities and international order do not depend solely or even primarily on material capabilities. In order to understand how political communities and order are constituted, one must acknowledge the importance of the ceremonial and the symbolic.
This brief paper begins by asking whether examples of hexameter rhythm in Sallust and Livy, two of Tacitus’ principal models, are allusions to, or even quotations from, Ennius’ Annals. After a brief survey of the rhythmical sequences in Tacitus’ Annals, the main focus of the paper is his obituary of Piso the Pontifex (Ann. 6.10.3), which, it is argued, constitutes an allusion to one of Ennius’ most famous fragments, the so-called “good companion” passage. I failed to mention Ennius in my recent commentary on Book 6, but the case for Ennian influence seems stronger than the parallels adduced by Skutsch and has interesting implications for the workings of allusion.
This paper considers the various approaches one might take to commenting on a text as fragmentary as the Annals. I begin with some general remarks about fragments and look at their specific implications for Ennius. I then focus on some details from the two English language commentaries on the Annals to date, those of Otto Skutsch and his precursor, Ethel Mary Steuart. Comparing sample notes and larger structures in the two commentaries, showing how both commentators were seduced – to varying degrees – by a desire for completeness and copia, and how the poems that emerge from these commentaries differ. Though Steuart was rigorously trained in the same basic stable as Skutsch, her work is too far inferior – in accuracy and in sophistication of methodology – to his and to other available editions of the Annals to stand up against them. But it is also the work of a learned scholar with a different voice and a heterodox vision of the poem, a useful presence in a world where Skutsch’s Ennius may no longer be our Ennius.
This paper outlines some of the historiographical tools and perspectives the Annals may have received from Livius Andronicus’ Odyssey and Naevius’ Punic War. The topics of allegory and authority structure the discussion. Section 1 explores the Annals’ construction of the past in relation to that of its Latin epic predecessors, particularly their use of allegory in the representation of history. Section 2 argues that Ennius’ unique blend of auctoritas is an expansion of Naevius’ simultaneous evocation of Hellenic historiographical authority of first-hand experience (theōria, empeiria, autoptēs) and divine inspiration from the Muses. The analysis here brings Cato’s Origins into dialogue with the authorizing techniques that are central to the historiographical personae of Rome’s first epicists. I conclude by suggesting that the genealogies outlined in Sections 1 and 2 explain the generic hybridity of Ennius’ res atque poemata.
In view of Lucretius’ apparently overt and insistent Ennianizing poetics, many scholars have suggested that Latin poetry, and especially epic poetry, was dominated by Ennian aesthetic principles until these were finally rejected by Catullus and the other New Poets writing around the time of Lucretius. In order to assess more accurately the generic impact of Ennius’ Annals, I analyze the remains of republican epic before Lucretius without the benefit of Lucretian hindsight, showing that the evidence, such as it is, for reflexive imitation of Ennius by subsequent Latin epicists can be rejected on two counts. On the one hand, many of the extant fragments show no evidence of Ennian influence or imitation. On the other, where we can detect engagement with Ennius, we see not inert imitation but the kind of sophisticated, self-conscious allusive gestures that characterize much of Hellenistic and Latin poetry. I conclude by highlighting some aspects of the Annals that were productive for subsequent poets’ engagement with Ennius.
My paper considers Lucilius’ relationship to Ennius within the evolving culture of literary appreciation and professionalization in Rome at the end of the second century BCE, when generic boundaries between epic and satire are newly forming and the emerging priorities for literary culture do not necessarily align with the canon-forming tendencies of later periods. Instead of letting, for example, Horace’s version of the relationship of satire to epic orient us to expect parody, a Lucilius-first perspective on Ennius creates a productive sort of dislocation with an eye to the multifarious nature of Ennius’ output, including his satires. A capacity to do literary criticism is prominent in Lucilian satire, and it creates differentiation from Ennius along lines not only defined by a generic hierarchy. On this score I discuss the case of what looks like feed-back of interpretation into the Annals in light of post-Ennian developments in satire, namely the assertion that the “good companion” passage is an Ennian self-portrait.
This chapter examines the commentary tradition of a one-line fragment of Ennius’ Annals, qui vicit non est victor nisi victum fatetur (513 Skutsch). Although modern commentators have adduced a broad range of comparanda, their selection of historical parallels reflects preconceived notions of what the line must mean. By returning to the line’s original context in a late-antique scholium on the Aeneid, we are better able to appreciate the line as an epic fragment. Parallels drawn from Ennius and other poets allow for a different reading of the fragment, and suggest alternative methodologies for the use of fragments in historical arguments.
If readers determine the fate of books, we might think the Annals of Quintus Ennius enjoyed but ephemeral success. Its fragments are few, its original audience and intent unclear. In this paper I ask how so vast a monument became such a ruin, and what the evidence of its survival reveals about the process of its destruction. Those who knew the poem best are among that handful of Romans – Cicero and Vergil prominent among them – whom we know best. What did “ordinary” Romans know, pretend to know, or could they be expected to know of it? Close attention to the poem’s reception suggests that it was best known through favored extracts and that the idea of the Annals was more firmly fixed in the Roman literary consciousness than the poem itself.
This paper explores the various roles Ennius plays as source and programmatic model in Livy’s Ab urbe condita, as a way of situating epic more fully within the range of models available to Roman historians. I address this complex issue here through the lens of citation practices. In the first section I discuss the uncharacteristically explicit quotation of Ennius in the eulogy of Fabius Cunctator and the consequent questions about the invisible intertextual networks that the quotation activates. In the second section I consider impersonal citations of the form fama est (vel sim.), focusing on the story of the Capitoline wolf, where Livy naturalizes Ennius within the dossier of sources with which he is working rather than pulling him out from the crowd. I conclude that Epic had a memorable and distinctive voice, and provided a language for speaking of Rome around and against which other genres could, and by necessity did, array themselves.
In this paper I use speeches taken over or adapted from speeches in Ennius’ Annals as a window onto the treatment of Ennius as a historical source and the attitudes of Roman prose writers to the representation and transmission of historical speech acts. I argue first that allusions to the content of speeches and the specific language of speakers in the Annals draw productively on Ennius’ cultural authority with or without the presumption of parallel episodes. Next, I consider the question of accuracy in relation to the citation of Ennius. Finally, I attempt to draw these two strands together through the Ennian speech in which Hannibal addresses his troops before one of the major battles of the second Punic War, as adapted by Cicero, Livy, and Silius Italicus, arguing that these allusions do not presume that the Ennian version offers a through line to what was really said, but rather incorporate the authoritative Ennian tradition in a self-conscious nod to the “culturally truest” account of the Roman past.
This paper investigates the largely inaccessible ancient audiences of early Roman epic and historiography, using points of intersection in our evidence for Ennius’ Annals and Cato’s Origins to consider each work’s audience in relation to the other’s. My means of approach are two. First, I explore differences in how Cicero responds to each of those works, with glances across to his surviving responses to Fabius Pictor’s history of Rome, finding that Cicero frequently cites the Annals to illustrate the forging and articulation of Roman ethical identity at exemplary moments in the past, but neither he nor any other source cites Cato or Fabius for any such purpose. Second, I consider the distribution of collectives across the surviving fragments of both works. Terms for the Roman collective are relatively abundant in Ennius’ Annals, and that collective is featured in heroic action, but in the Origins the Roman collective is much less obtrusive than might have been expected in a work notorious for suppressing the names of more recent historical leaders. The two findings suggest that it was the Annals that had the broader appeal, the readier ability to speak to and for Romans across the board.
This paper investigates the significance of philosophical themes to Ennius’ representation of Roman history in the Annals. In particular, it focuses on two recurring motifs in Ennius’ literary production – namely, the Empedoclean doctrine of the four elements and the destiny of souls after death – and interprets them as ways to speak about historical change and cultural transfer. Ultimately, I aim to show that the narrative of the Annals was articulated into multiple reading levels, and that the embedding of philosophy in historical epic stressed the role of political communities as links between the human and the divine sphere.
In this chapter I offer some thoughts about the models for Ennius’ divine apparatus and about the balance struck in the Annals among the Varronian theologies. Specifically, I suggest (1) that Ennius’ treatment of the gods owes as much to Hesiod as it does to Homer; (2) that this debt involves structural as well as thematic resemblances between the Annals and Hesiod’s genealogical poetry; (3) that Ennius represents the Olympians as a group very differently from Hesiod or Homer; and (4) that the rationalizing theology of Euhemerus’ Sacred History, which Ennius translated into Latin, is present in the Annals to a larger extent than is commonly assumed. On this basis I suggest (5) that the poem’s representation of the gods evolves in a way that represents the increasing eclecticism of philosophical ideas about divinity over time. The result is that the poem ends with a perspective that is overtly different from, but not fundamentally incompatible with the one with which it began.
In the present paper I explore the Annals looking for demonstrations of historiographical authority. More specifically, I look for traces of a historiographical response to the crisis of authority created by the existence of conflicting stories about the past. I begin by reviewing the the poem’s expressions of dubiety, to see whether any of them reflects narrative uncertainty. I then turn to the intractable historiographical uncertainties involved in recounting the reign of Numa, an episode of Rome’s long history made newly topical by an event contemporary with the composition of the Annals: the discovery, investigation, and destruction of books purporting to have been written by Numa. I ask whether the poet made use of historiographical dubiety to bolster his authority in the face of the unknowable, and if not, how else he might have validated his material, concluding that if Ennius’ Annals counted as Roman history for Cicero or Lucretius or even Livy, it was because his version of the maxima facta patrum was useful to them, not because it was taken to be a reliable guide to what could be known about the past.
The fourteen papers in this volume take advantage of advances in the study of Ennius’ Annales that have occurred in the generation since Otto Skutsch published his monumental edition and commentary on the poem, while also taking advantage of Jackie Elliott's recent provocation to question the most basic assumptions that underlie Skutsch’s work. The result is a collection of essays as diverse in their individual interests and objectives as we believe Ennius and his Annals also were. The essays are organized under four rubrics, namely (1) Innovation, (2) Authority, (3) Influence, and (4) Interpretation. An afterword reflects on the findings of the volume as a whole, with equal emphasis on new questions that the individual papers raise and on solutions that they propose, while raising additional points that should provoke further research.
Virgil's Aeneid was conceived and shaped as a national and patriotic epic for the Romans of his day. Certainly the Romans hailed it as such, and it rapidly became both a set text in education and the natural successor to the Annales of Ennius as the great poetic exposition of Roman ideals and achievements. One of the fountains of the Aeneid's inspiration was the national aspiration of Rome in Virgil's time; another, of equal if not greater importance, was the epic poetry of Homer. The Iliad and the Odyssey represented in the classical world the highest achievement of Greek poetry, and the admiration universally felt by the Romans for Homer was for the great national poet of the Greek world whose literature they revered. The Olympian deities enabled Virgil to enter in description the mythological world which delighted Ovid in his Metamorphoses.
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