UBC Theses and Dissertations
Ennius and his predessors Hartley, Vivian Alma
The Annales of the Roman poet, Quintus Ennius, was not an isolated example of an historical epic. Other poets before Ennius' time had written epics of various types, and different sorts of poems that dealt with historical or national material, and some of these influenced Ennius. This study will consider Ennius' relationship to the Homeric epics, and show how he imitated them in form and style. The writings of other Greek poets who preceded Ennius will be examined to determine whether they might also have influenced the Roman poet. The works of the two Roman poets who wrote before Ennius will be looked at, and some observations made about other historical materials that may have been available for the poet to use in his work. Finally, the place of Quintus Ennius and his Annales in the historiography of Rome will be discussed. The Annales seems to have been unique in that it was an epic poem which encompassed the whole history of the Roman people from the earliest times right down to the period in which the poet lived. Other poets before Ennius had dealt with some aspects of their cities' backgrounds, including mythological and legendary material. Ennius was the first to combine ancient legends and more recent history into one coherent epic poem, his Annales.
Item Citations and Data