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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.
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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