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Ennius: Annales (fragments)

Books 1-6

Quintus Ennius was born in Rudiae in southern Italy, in about 239 B.C. His "Annales" was a highly original poem , both in its form - it was was the first major epic poem in the Latin language - and in its subject matter, dealing with the whole of Roman history from mythological times to events of the poet's own lifetime. Up until the end of the first century B.C., the "Annales" was the most commonly read Latin poem. After the poem was superseded in popularity by the Aeneid, it remained of interest to grammarians for the large number of archaic words that it contained, and it is for this reason that many lines have been preserved from the poem, allowing us to reconstruct the outline of its 18 books.

This translation is by E.H.Warmington (1935), with a few changes. See key to translations for an explanation of the format; the suggested context for each fragment, shown in red, is often just a conjecture.

Click on the L symbols after the line numbers to go to the Latin text of the lines. The links to passages from other Latin authors will display the Latin text of these passages.


Contents:   Books 1-6 (lines 1-209)   Book 7-16 (lines 210-426)   Book 17-18 & unplaced (lines 427-565)

BOOK I   -   Prelude. From the Sack of Troy to the Death of Romulus L

[1]   L   The first line ; invocation of the Muses

VARRO : In Ennius there is . . .
Muses, who with your feet beat mighty Olympus ;
by Olympus the Greeks mean the sky.

[2-3]   L   Exhortation to readers : Homer, seen by Ennius on Mount Helicon in a dream, was the source of inspiration

PROBUS : As for the neuter gender the syllable is short. . . . Ennius in the first book -
for my subject and my poem shall have renown among the peoples of Italy.

FRONTO : Homer's instructress was Calliope; Ennius' instructors were Homer and Sleep.

MARCUS AURELIUS, to Fronto : And now I pass to our poet Ennius, who you say began to write after sleeping and dreaming. But surely if he had not been roused out of his sleep he would never have told the tale of his dream.

[4]   L  

FRONTO, to Marcus Aurelius : If ever,-
Fettered in soft calm sleep
as the poet says, I see you in dreams, there is no time when I do not embrace you and fondly kiss you . . . this is one proof of my love, which I take from the Annales, a poetic and dreamy one indeed.

[5]   L     Homer appears

CICERO : When Ennius has dreamed, this is what he told of it -
Homer the poet appeared at my side.

[6]   L     Opening of Homer's speech

CICERO : Unless indeed we choose to believe that Ennius, merely because he dreamed it, did not hear the whole of that famous speech -
O loving kindness of your heart, . . .
as well as he would have heard it if he had been awake.

[7-10]   L     Homer tells how his soul migrated into Ennius' body

VARRO : These two, sky and earth, correspond with life and body. The wet and cold masses form the earth, and whether we assume that -
The feather-furbished tribe is wont to be delivered of eggs, not of life,
according to the words of Ennius
and after that time life itself comes to the chicks by a god's will ;
or, according to Zenon of Citium, that the seed of living things is fire and this is their life and soul.

[11-12]   L  

VARRO : Right therefore is the statement of . . . Ennius -
And earth who herself bestowed the body takes it back and wastes not a whit.

[13]   L  

DONATUS : I remember 'seeing' instead of 'having seen' : Ennius -
I remember becoming a peacock.

SCHOLIAST : Persius [ prol'2-3 ] alludes to Ennius, who states that in a dream he saw a vision of Homer on Parnassus [mistake for Helicon] ; Homer said that his soul was in Ennius' body.

[14]   L     Romans must remember the place where Ennius dreamed

PERSIUS [ 6'9 ] :
Take note, ye citizens, of Luna's harbour - it is worth while.
Thus commanded Ennius in his senses after he had snored out his dream that he was the Maeonian [Homer] - Quintus at last out of a Pythagorean peacock.

SCHOLIAST : This line he took from the poems of Ennius to put into his own poem. It is well then that he says, ' thus commanded Ennius in his senses after he had snored out.' That is what Ennius says in the beginning of his Annales where he states that in the course of a dream he saw a vision of Homer who said that he was once a peacock and from it, according to a rule laid down by the philosopher Pythagoras, his soul had been conveyed into Ennius.

[15]   L     Beginning of the narrative. The Fall of Troy

PRISCIANUS : Veterrimus is as it were derived from a positive veter . . . Ennius has -
When aged Priamus was laid low beneath the warring Pelasgian,

[16-17]   L     The Lineage of Aeneas : Assaracus, Capys, and Anchises

SERVIUS auctus : Assaracus was grandfather of Anchises. . . . Ennius -
From Assaracus sprang Capys best of men : and he was from his loins begetter of Anchises the loyal.

[18-19]   L     Anchises

PROBUS : Ennius pictures to himself Anchises as having the power of soothsaying by bird-lore, and, through this, something of the prophet in him : thus -
and shrewd Anchises to whom Venus, loveliest of goddesses, granted power to foretell, and to have a godly heart [of prophecy].

[20]   L   An approach of Venus :

SERVIUS auctus : 'To float' instead of 'to fly' as in a passage of Ennius in the first book -
Along she floated swiftly through rare wafts of mistiness.

[21]   L   Venus appears to Aeneas and his companions :

FESTUS : Sos for eos ; for example Ennius in Book I -
Thereupon she, hallowed among the holy goddesses, took her stand close to them.

[22-23]   L   She tries to persuade Aeneas to obey Anchises and retire to Mount Ida :

FESTUS : That the ancients used the term 'to plead' for 'to deal'. Ennius also was a witness when he wrote in the first book of the Annales -
But be sure to do what your father pleads for in prayers with you.

[24]   L   Italy and the Latins :

MACROBIUS : ' There is a region which the Greeks call by name Hesperia ' [Vergilius, Aen_1'530]. Ennius in the first book -
There is a region which mortals used to call Hesperia,

[25]   L  

VARRO : That cascus means 'old' is shown by Ennius because he says -
which the old and ancient Latin folk did hold.

[26]   L   The early connection of Latium with Saturn :

VARRO : Men have recorded that once upon a time this hill [the Capitoline Hill] was called 'Saturnian' and hence Latium has been called -
Saturnian Land
as Ennius among others calls it.

[27-8]   L   The fortunes of Saturn :

NONIUS : Caelum is neuter. In a masculine form . . . Ennius -
To Saturn whom Caelus ["Sky"] begat.

[29]   L   Why he fled to Italy :

NONIUS : Obsidio . . . neuter in Ennius -
When great Titan was afflicting him with cruel duress.

[30]   L   Aeneas and his followers arrive at Laurentum in Latium :

PRISCIANUS : Laurentis for Laurens. Ennius in the Annales -
These men one day Laurentum's land received.

[31]   L   Aeneas meets the King of Alba; the story of Ilia, the daughter of Aeneas:

ATILIUS : The shortest hexameter has 12 syllables like this of Ennius -
To him answer made the King of Alba Longa.

SERVIUS : According to Ennius, he [Romulus] will be reckoned with Aeneas among the gods.

SERVIUS : [Ennius] says that Ilia was a daughter of Aeneas.

[32-48]   L   The dream of Ilia after the death of Aeneas; she gives birth to Romulus and Remus:

CICERO : in Ennius the famous vestal tells her story -
When the old woman roused up, had with limbs a-tremble brought a light, then the maid, frightened out of sleep, spoke thus in tears:- 'O daughter of Eurydica,- you whom our father loved, now strength and life too leave all my body. For a man of beautiful looks seemed to hurry me away among pleasant sallow-thickets and banks and places strange ; so, my own sister, after that did I seem to wander alone, and slow-footed to track and search for you, but to be unable to catch you to my heart: no path made sure my stepping. Then it was father who seemed to lift up his voice and speak to me in these words:- "O daughter, first there are hardships to be borne by you; but after that, your fortunes will rise again from a river." With these words, my own sister, did father suddenly withdraw, and no longer gave himself to my gaze though my heart longed for him ; no, even though many a time and with tears did I keep holding out my hands towards the blue precincts of the sky, and called and called him with caressing voice. Then did sleep scarcely leave me all sick at heart.

OVID : If a woman should take the Annales (there's no poem shaggier than they) she will perforce read how Ilia became a mother.

SERVIUS auctus : Naevius and Ennius record that the founder of the city was Romulus, grandson of Aeneas through his daughter.

[49-50]   L   Ilia, arraigned for her fault, appeals to Venus :

NONIUS : Parumper, 'speedily and quickly' . . . Ennius in the first book of the Annales -
I pray you, hallowed Venus, the mother of my father, to look down on me from heaven a little while, my kinswoman.'

[51]   L   Ilia appeals also to Tiber :

MACROBIUS : 'And you, sire Thybris with thy hallowed stream' [Vergilius, Aen_8'72]; Ennius in the first book -
And you, Father Tiberinus, with your hallowed stream,

[52]   L   Venus answers Ilia's prayer :

CHARISIUS : The grammarians would have it that the form neptis should not be used . . . and Ennius is appealed to because he wrote nepos as a feminine, thus -
Ilia, godly granddaughter, the hardships you have borne . . .

[53-4]   L  

SERVIUS auctus : Cetera, that is in ceterum; and it is an Ennian usage -
For the rest, take you no care for the boys to whom you gave birth.

[55]   L   Amulius orders Ilia to he thrown into the Tiber :

NONIUS : Facessere means 'to do' . . . -
Thus he spoke out ; and then the hireling warriors sprang to carry out his word.

PORPHYRIO : According to Ennius' account Ilia was thrown headlong into the river Tiber by order of Amulius, King of the Albans; but before this she was joined in marriage to the Anio.

[56]   L   Ilia is married to Tiber :

SERVIUS auctus : reddita must, as an archaic usage, be taken to mean data; Ennius in the Annales -
But Ilia, rendered into wedlock,

[57]   L   The gods assemble to decide the fate of Romulus :

TERTULLIAN : Ennius the poet spoke simply of -
most mighty dining-halls of heaven
either on account of their lofty position or because in a passage of Homer he had read of Jupiter feasting there.

[58]   L  

SERVIUS : [on bipatentibus in Vergilius] : -
with twin openings
This mode of expression is Ennian, and is drawn from the use of doors which we unclose both to right and left.

[59]   L   The assembled gods ; Jupiter :

MACROBIUS : [Atlas] ' whirls on his shoulders the sky dotted with blazing stars' [Vergilius, Aen_4'482]. Ennius in the first book -
who spins round the sky dotted with shining stars.

[60-1]   L  

MARTIANUS Capella : The colleagues of Jupiter himself amount to twice six in number, including the Thunderer just mentioned; whose names are contained in a pair of lines in Ennius -
Juno Vesta Minerva Ceres Diana Venus Mars
Mercurius Jovis Neptunus Vulcanus Apollo

[62]   L   Speech of Juno ; she agrees to the deification of Romulus :

SERVIUS : [on 'sancte deorum' in Vergilius, Aen_4'576] We must either put a comma after sancte or else he used the phrase 'sancte deorum' after Ennius -
Juno, hallowed among goddesses, daughter of Saturn, made answer,

[63-4]   L   Jupiter foretells to Mars that only one of his sons shall be deified :

VARRO : In this book I shall speak of words which find a place in the poets . . . I will begin with this -
One there will be whom you shall raise up to the blue precincts of the sky

[65]   L   The Tiber overflows a second time :

FESTUS : Remanant, they seek again. Ennius in the first book -
The waters left their channels and flowed back into the plains.

[66-9]   L   Jupiter orders Tiber to subside :

FRONTO : 'It was done.' This same verb is used by Ennius ... -
the broken places to be dammed up ;
he says -
it was done . . . the Tiber
. . . and a noteworthy act. Tiberis is in Tuscan dialect Tiber, which you order to be dammed up. The river Tiber is lord and ruler of all flowing waters round those parts. Ennius -
After the river which is chief over all settled down . . . for whose sake Ilia did sink beneath

[70]   L   The trough holding Ilia's twins Romulus and Remus is cast up by a fig-tree which was later called the 'Fig-Tree of the Paps.'

CHARISIUS : Fici. Ennius -
sweet-bearing figs, dripping milk from the whole udder.

[71]   L   The she-wolf suckles Romulus and Remus:

SERVIUS auctus : The noun lupus was in old writers certainly common to both genders, as in Ennius -
Suddenly a she-wolf big with young

SERVIUS : The whole of this passage [Vergilius, Aen_8'630] is certainly modelled on Ennius.

[72-4]   L   The wolf sees the shepherds and flees :

NONIUS : Parumper, 'speedily and quickly' ... -
Thereupon the she-wolf gazed and saw them all ; then she, passing over the plain with quick lope, hurriedly betook herself into a wood.

[75-6]   L   Romulus and Remus sport with the shepherds :

NONIUS : Licitari, to engage in battle, to fight. Ennius -
Some hurled stones in play and jostled one with another.

[77]   L   Romulus as a hunter :

FESTUS : 'Ratus sum' means 'I thought' : but apart from this ratus and ratum are put for 'firm,' 'sure.' Ennius -
They were cut down when Romulus the Resolved won his quarry.

[78]   L   Romulus is reconciled with Numitor :

MACROBIUS : [quoting Vergilius, Aen_8'150]] 'Give and take you plighted troth : there are within us hearts brave in war.' Ennius in the first book -
Give and take you plighted troth and make a treaty truly firm.

[79]   L   Romulus and Remus wait for daybreak, to take the auspices

MACROBIUS : 'And the dead of night held hid the moon in a black mist' [Vergilius, Aen_3'597]. Ennius in the first book -
When the dead of night held hid the light above,

[80-100]   L   Romulus and Remus take the auspices ; Romulus founds the city of Rome.

CICERO : And thus Romulus, as augur with his brother, likewise as augur, as takes place in a passage of Ennius -
Then, careful with a great care, each in eagerness for royal rule, they are intent on the watching and soothsaying of birds . . . {on a hill} . . . Remus devotes himself to watching and apart looks out for a favourable bird. But handsome Romulus makes his search on high Aventine and so looks out for the soaring breed. Whether they should call the city Roma or Remora - this was their contest. Anxiety filled all the men as to which of the two should be ruler. As, when the consul means to give the signal, all men look eagerly at the barrier's bounds to see how soon he will send the chariots forth from the painted mouths - so they waited. Thus were the people waiting, and held their tongues, wondering to which of the two the victory of right royal rule should be given by the event. Meanwhile the white sun withdrew into depths of night. Then clear shot forth, struck out in rays, a light : just when, winging to the left, there flew from the height a bird, the luckiest far of flying prophets, just then all golden there rose up the sun. Thrice four hallowed forms of birds moved down from the sky, and betook themselves to places lucky and of happy omen. From this saw Romulus that to him, to be his own, were duly given the chair and throne of royalty, established firm by the watching of birds.

GLOSSARY : Of Rome there is no known founder common to tradition. . . . Ennius and others say it was founded by Romulus.

[101]   L   Remus scoffs at Romulus and his wall on the Palatine :

FESTUS : Quamde, for quam . . . -
Jupiter! Yes, truly relies he more on a wall than the might of his arm!

[102-3]   L   Romulus threatens Remus with death :

MACROBIUS : [quoting Vergilius, Aen_9'420] 'Meanwhile you shall none the less pay full recompense to me with your life-blood.' Ennius in the first book -
Neither you nor any man alive shall do this unpunished : no, you shall give recompense to me with your life-blood.

[104]   L   A mediator {or Romulus ?) seeks to heal the quarrel :

NONIUS : Torviter . . . -
But he whom you just now so fiercely noised at

[105]   L  

FESTUS : Sum for eum . . . -
But by strategem, not by brute force, should he seek to save this state.

[106]   L   After defeating the Sabines, Romulus celebrates public games and dances :

GRAMMARIAN : When Romulus had built a temple to Jupiter Feretrius, be caused greased hides to be spread out and held games in such a manner that men fought with gauntlets and competed in running races; Ennius bears witness to this fact in the Annales.

SERVIUS auctus : And some think that lentandus is a coined word of Vergilius; but in the Annales we read -
Rubbed down with oil, supple and ready for taking arms.

PAULUS : 'Noise of War' was a term the Romans were wont to use of dancing when they danced with weapons; this was an institution of Romulus so that he should not suffer the like of what he himself did when he dragged off the maidens of the Sabines at their public games.

[107]   L   Rape of the Sabine women. A Sabine speaks :

FESTUS : Sas. Verrius believes it means eas, his witness being Ennius on the ground that he says in the first book -
maidens ; for the Romans have each their own at home.
where it seems rather to mean 'suas.'

[108]   L   Rage of the Romans against Titus Tatius :

PRISCIAN : In the nominative . . . authors are wont to add the short syllable 'te' instead of 'met' . . . Ennius -
By yourself, Titus Tatius the tyrant, you took those terrible troubles.

[109]   L   Hersilia mediates between the Romans and the Sabines :

FESTUS : Stolidus, silly ... -
for to fight out a quarrel by force - it is a thing of boorish boars beloved.

[110]   L  

CHARISIUS : Concorditer . . . -
Both of you, while away your days in friendliness for ever.'

[111]   L   Hersilia's prayer :

GELLIUS : Ennius also in the first book of Annales -
Nerio, consort of Mars, and Here likewise
if he has preserved the metre (which is certainly not always the case with him), has lengthened the first syllable and shortened the third.

[112-13]   L   Romulus and Titus Tatius establish a double kingship; the Sabines form a new tribe at Rome :

NONIUS : Fortunatim, prosperously ... -
And may this, I pray, turn out in fortune, prosperous and fair for me, our task, our plighted troth, our kingdom, and for you, my citizens.

VARRO : According to Ennius, the Titienses were so called from Tatius, the Ramnenses from Romulus; the Luceres, according to Junius, from Lucumo.

SERVIUS : According to Ennius, Romulus will be reckoned with Aeneas among the gods.

[114-15]   L   Proculus tells the people of his vision of Romulus :

SERVIUS : Aevum properly means eternity, which comes to none but gods. Ennius -
Romulus lives from age to age in heaven with the gods that gave him birth.

[116]   L   Romulus and Hersilia are worshipped by the Romans :

NONIUS says : Hora, goddess of youth. . . .
Thee I worship, father Quirinus, and thee, Hora, consort of Quirinus.'

BOOK II   -   The Reigns of Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostilius and Ancus Marcius   L

[117-20]   L   The people mourn Romulus :

CICERO : Indeed when a people is bereaved of a just king, then even as Ennius says, after the passing of the best of kings, for many days longing filled their breasts -
And at the same time they talked thus among themselves - 'O Romulus, godly Romulus, what a guardian of your country did the gods beget you! O father and begetter, O blood sprung from the god!'
They used to call those whom they had lawfully obeyed not lords and masters, nor yet again kings, but guardians of their country, yes and fathers and gods. Nor was this without reason. For what do they say next ? -
You it was who brought us forth into the world of light.

[122]   L  

FESTUS : Speres. The archaic writers used this plural form, for example Ennius in the second book -
And so soon as he fled away, our hopes he thus utterly . . .

[123]   L   Question of a successor to Romulus :

FESTUS : ' Square Rome,' a name given to a site on the Palatine in front of the temple of Apollo. . . . Ennius has this place in mind when he says -
And what man hopes that he will be king of Square Rome?

[124]   L   The reign of Numa Pompilius. Numa visits Egeria :

VARRO : In a passage of Ennius -
To him replied Egeria with sweet sound,
The word olli has the force of illi, from ollus, olla.

[125-6]   L   The religious institutions of Numa :

VARRO : In a passage of Ennius -
He established the Tables, he also the Shields . . .
ancilia is a word derived from ambicisus, because those arms were indented on either edge like those of Thracians ; -
. . . and the Pancakes, the Bakers, the Rush-Dummies, and the cone-haired Priests.
liba are so called because they are made to be used at libations. The fictores are so called 'a fingendis libis' ; the term Argei is derived from Argos. . . . tutulati is a term used for those who at sacrifices are accustomed to wear a kind of cone on their heads.

[127-9]   L   He institutes the flamines :

VARRO : Ennius states that Pompilius also established the 'special priests' ; although all are surnamed from individual gods . . . there are special priests whose surnames remain obscure in origin . . . as is the case with most of the following which are enumerated in these verses -
He likewise established the priests of Volturnus, of Palatua, of Furina, of Flora, of Falacer, and of Pomona.

[130]   L   Numa asks for his institutions to be maintained ; War between Rome and Alba :

FESTUS : The ancients used to say me instead of mihi, as does Ennius when he says in the second book -
If something of man's fate should happen to me, do you keep my ordinances.

PROPERTIUS [ 3.3'5-7 ] : And I had already put puny lips to mighty fountains, whence once father Ennius did slake his thirst and sang of the brothers Curii, and of the Horatii and their spears. . , .

[131]   L   The triplets are ready to fight :

PRISCIANUS : In this way, therefore, ἐμοῦ σοῦ and οὗ correspond to mei tui and sui, ἐμοῦς σοῦς and οὗς to mis tis sis. . . . Ennius -
A great and strong anxiety is mine to do equal deeds with my heart-fellows.

[132]   L   The fight : the surviving Horatius escapes a thrust :

FESTUS : Occasus, a passing away of the sun, for example, when it drops down from the heights to regions beneath the earth ; Ennius used this noun for occasio in the second book -
This chance was given him, but renowned Horatius with a leap . . .

[133]   L   Horatius justifies himself to his sister, who loved one of the Curiatii :

PRISCIANUS : We find very ancient writers who even lengthened the penultimate (sc. of perfects in -ui) . . . -
He agreed that he would join issue with me by the sword.

[134]   L   Horatius' sister heaps reproaches on him :

FESTUS : Tolerare, to bear patiently ... -
She would choose to suffer slaughter by the sword rather than by words such as these.

[135]   L   She cares more for her dead Curiatius than for all the Romans :

FESTUS : Quamde . . . for quam . . . -
than for all your legions and commoners.

[136]   L   Horatius' father pleads for his son at his trial for killing his sister ; he pictures the mother's grief :

FESTUS : Sum for eum . . . -
But that him whom she gave forth into the world of light, she . . .

[137]   L   The prosecutor (or one of the two judges ?) accuses Horatius :

FESTUS : Ningulus, no-one ... -
Who are one to threaten with the sword, while against you no one ...

[138]   L   Progress of the trial :

FESTUS : Tuditantes means tundentes, that is, conducting an affair ... -
They spent the whole day threshing out this trial among themselves.

[139]   L   The punishment of Mettius Fufettius by Tullus for refusing to help Rome :

QUINTILIAN : Tinga of Placentia ... by writing precula for pergula was guilty of two barbarisms in one noun. . . . But Ennius, arraigned on a like charge of a double mistake by saying -
Mettoeoque Fufetioeo
is defended on the plea of poet's licence.

[140]   L   He is torn apart by horses :

MACROBIUS : Tractare means to pull again and again. . . . Ennius -
Dragged over the smooth flat plain

[141-2]   L   and birds devour his corpse :

PRISCIANUS : The oldest writers declined homo, gen. homonis. Ennius -
A vulture did devour the poor man in the forest. Ah! In what a cruel tomb buried he his limbs!

[143]   L   The destruction of Alba Longa by Tullus :

SERVIUS , on clangor in Vergilius : States are generally overthrown to the sound of a trumpet, in the way in which Tullus Hostilius ordered Alba to be overthrown.

PRISCIANUS : In nominationes, that is in onomatopoeias whether nouns or verbs, of unusual structure, we must not look for all the turns of inflexion . . . taratantara. Ennius -
And the trumpet in terrible tones taratantara blared.

SERVIUS , on Vergilius [Aen_2'486] : 'And the dwelling within.' This passage is taken from the Sack of Alba.

[144]   L   The reign of Ancus Marcius. His accession :

SERVIUS auctus , on reddita in Vergilius : Reddita must, as an archaic usage, be taken to mean data ... -
and that day when Ancus Marcius received the kingship,
Here recepit stands for accepit.

[145]   L   The foundation of Ostia : fortifications and other works :

MACROBIUS : A most happy expression of Vergilius' [Georg_2'462] is ' belches forth a flood,' and archaic too, for Ennius says -
and the river Tiber belches into the salt sea,

[146-7]   L  

FESTUS : Quaesere is put by archaic writers instead of quaerere . . . -
Ostia was fortified. He likewise made the channel clear for tall ships and for sailors seeking a livelihood on the sea.

[148]   L  

SERVIUS auctus : Some say that texamus is the right term to use because the places in which ships are made are called in Greek ναυπήγια, in Latin textrina. Ennius -
for them too the plain holds a workshop for their long ships.

[149]   L  

FESTUS : Ennius seems to have made a jest . . . and in the second book -
the blue-dark plains.

BOOK III   -   The Reigns of Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius, and Tarquinius Superbus ; establishment of the Republic   L

[150]   L   Jupiter's omen to Priscus on his way to Rome :

NONIUS : Laevum. The old critics believe this word to take its meaning as it were from levare . . . Ennius in the third book of Annales -
The All-glorious sent down one day from the sky a favourable sign.

[151-2]   L   The omen :

PROBUS , on anima in Vergilius [Ecl_6'32] : 'Air' is here taken, by inductive reasoning, to mean 'winds' ; in proof of this we have taken an example of Ennius from the third book of the Annales -
and there came flying on thick-set wings an eagle, battling with the breeze which the Greek nation calls in its tongue aer.

[153]   L   Tanaquil (?) accepts the omen as favourable :

SCHOLIAST : Laeva, prosperous ... as Ennius says -
on the left hand and duly taken as good.

[154]   L   The death of Ancus Marcius :

FESTUS : Sos . . . now and then writers put it for suos . . . Ennius -
After good Ancus quitted the light with his eyes,

[155]   L   Tarquinius Priscus is made King :

FESTUS : Solum, earth. Ennius in the third book -
gave to Tarquinius both sway and soil of the kingdom.

[156]   L   War of Priscus with the Latins (or Etruscans ?) :

FESTUS : Sos for eos ... Ennius in the third book -
The clans of might and wealth which are around them,

[157]   L   Tanaquil decks dead Priscus :

SERVIUS , on 'And they wash and anoint his body in the chill of death' in Vergilius [Aen_6'219] : a line from Ennius, who says -
The good woman washed and anointed Tarquinius' body.

[158]   L   The funeral of Priscus :

FESTUS : Prodinunt, the same as prodeunt . . . -
The servants moved on : then beamed bright lights.

[159]   L   The reign of Servius Tullius ; wars with Etruria :

MACROBIUS : We must notice that he used even qua noctu. And this he put in the seventh book of the Annales, in the third book of which he wrote the same sort of thing more clearly -
On this night all Etruria's fate will hang by a thread.

[160-61]   L   A battle in Servius' Etruscan wars :

MACROBIUS : 'The unruly husbandmen engage with javelins on all sides' [Vergilius, Aen_7'520]. Ennius in the third book -
After they were tired out from standing and spattering each other with loop-handled lances, they engaged with javelins on all sides.

[162]   L   Tarquinius Superbus. Lucretia outraged lies on a roof :

MACROBIUS : [Atlas] 'whirls on his shoulder the sky dotted with blazing stars ' [Vergilius, Aen_4'482] . . . -
She looked up at the sky dotted with shining stars.

[163]   L   Lucretia prepares for death :

GELLIUS : We used to investigate the question whether superesse in the archaic writers was a term used for 'remain and be lacking for the completion of a thing ' . . . we find in the third book of Ennius' Annales this line -
Then she says that for herself one labour still waits over :
superesse, 'is left' and 'remains' undone ; this being the meaning, it must be spoken as two words.

BOOK IV   -   The Early Republic, probably to the Gallic Invasion of 390 B.C.   L

[164]   L   The siege of Anxur by the Romans :

MACROBIUS : 'They strain with all their might and main' [Vergilius, Aen_12'552]. Ennius in the fourth book -
The Romans on their ladders strain with all their might and main.

[165]   L   Anxur is stormed, 406 B.C.

PAULUS : The town which is now spoken of as Tarracina, belonging to the Volscian tribe, used to be called Anxur, as Ennius' words show -
The wretched Volscians lost Anxur.

[166]   L   Eclipse of the sun, 21st of June, 400 B.C. :

CICERO , on the true cause of solar eclipses : In later times this did not escape the notice even of our Ennius, who writes that, about three hundred and fifty years after the foundation of Rome -
On June's fifth day the moon blocked out the sun in darkness.

BOOK V   -   Samnite Wars and the Rise of Pyrrhus, to B.C. 295   L

[167]   L   A single combat ; Manlius and a Gaul ? :

FESTUS : Occasus . . . Ennius used it for occasio ... in the fifth book -
Vexation drives him on, the chance holds him to it, the fact helps him.

[168]   L   Defence of Fregellae against the Romans ? :

NONIUS : Ansatae, missiles with loop-handles ... -
They send down loop-handled lances from the towers.

[169]   L   Appeal of women at Fregellae at its capture, 313 B.C.

PRISCIANUS : Misereo . . . was used by the oldest writers ... -
They caused even the enemy to have pity on them shedding tears.

[170]   L   A battle between the Romans and the Samnites ? :

ACRO : At one time the Romans fought with Samnite enemies until nightfall; whence Ennius also says -
The dead of night wrested from them a drawn battle.

[171]   L   The River Liris at Interamna Lirenas (?) :

MACROBIUS : It is not inelegant to put agmen in the sense of a certain actus and ductus ; for example, 'Thybris flows with gentle train' [Vergilius, Aen_2'782]. Indeed it is also an antique usage; for Ennius in the fifth book says -
because the river flows with gentle train through the pleasant town.

[172]   L   Rise of Pyrrhus :

NONIUS : Stirps . . . Ennius has it in the masculine in the fifth book of the Annales -
by name Burrus, a man they say of highest stock.

BOOK VI   -   The War with Pyrrhus, 281-271 B.C.   L

[173]   L   Prologue :

SERVIUS , on 'Unroll this great war from end to end,' in Vergilius [Aen_9'528] : that is . . . Tell not only the beginnings, but also he conclusions of these wars; for by orae is meant 'extremities.' An augmenter of Servius adds : It is further an expression of Ennius -
Who can unroll this great war from end to end ?

[174-6]   L   Pyrrhus receives an oracle of Apollo :

CICERO : Why should I take Herodotus to be more truthful than Ennius ? Surely he was quite as capable of inventing stories about Croesus as Ennius was about Pyrrhus. For who is there who could believe that Apollo's oracle gave this answer to Pyrrhus ? -
I say that you, O man sprung from Aeacus, the Romans can defeat.
In the first place, Latin is a tongue in which Apollo never spoke; again, that particular reply is not known among the Greeks; and moreover, in the time of Pyrrhus, Apollo had already ceased to make verses; and lastly, although it has always held good, as we find in Ennius, that -
That tribe of blockheads, stock of Aeacus, are war-strong more than wisdom-strong
still, Pyrrhus would have had the sense to see that the double meaning of the line 'you the Romans ... defeat' applied equally to himself and to the Romans.

[177]   L   Pyrrhus' stormy crossing to Italy ; his ship :

VALLA : Stlataria. Probus expounds: 'alluring.' Ennius -
and a better ship than such as carries foreign fripperies.

[178]   L   Pyrrhus was at first welcome in Tarentum, 281 B.C. :

FESTUS : Navus, swift and active. ... Ennius in the sixth book -
A man of deeds they found him, a Greek son of a Greek father, and a very king.

[179]   L   but he showed himself a stern master :

FESTUS : Summussi is a term which was applied to murmurers . . . Ennius in the sixth book . . . -
Within they grumbled in secret.

[180]   L   A sudden raid near Tarentum by Lucius Aemilius Barbula ? :

MACROBIUS , quoting Vergilius [Aen_7'625] : 'Through the dust the horsemen raged ; all cried for weapons.' ... -
He harried the bleating sheep; all cried for weapons.

[181-5]   L   Preparations for burning the dead after the battle of Heraclea, 280 B.C. :

MACROBIUS , quoting Vergilius [Aen_6'179] : 'They went into an old forest, deep dens of the wild ; forward fell pitch-pines, clattered holms under hatchet-blows, clattered beams of ash-trees against wedges; splitting oak-wood too they cleft, and rolled along lofty rowans of the mountains.' Ennius in the sixth book -
Then strode they through deep thicket-woods and hewed with hatchets ; mighty oaks they overturned ; down crashed the holm and the ash was shattered ; felled was the stately fir ; they wrenched right down the lofty pines ; and all the thicket-wood of leafy forest rang and roared and rustled.

[186-93]   L   Pyrrhus replies to Fabricius, who came to ransom Roman prisoners :

CICERO : And of Pyrrhus too there is that illustrious speech on the restoration of prisoners -
Gold for myself I ask not ; no, to me ye shall not pay a price. Not bartering war but waging war, not with gold but with iron - thus let us of both sides make trial for our lives. To see what Fortune may bring, whether it be you or I she wishes to be king - let it be by bravery that we make the test. And withal hear this word of mine : of those warriors to whose bravery war's fortune has been kind, to the freedom of those same have I too planned to be kind. I give them to you, take them home - and with them I give you the blessing of the great gods.

[194-5]   L   Appius Claudius protests against any acceptance of Cineas' offers :

CICERO : When Appius Claudius was in old age it happened that he was also blind; nevertheless, when the opinion of the Senate was inclined towards peace and alliance with Pyrrhus he did not hesitate to utter those famous thoughts which Ennius set forth in poetry -
Whither on your road have senseless turned your senses which hitherto were wont to stand upright ?

[196]   L  

DONATUS , on 'in animo parare' in Terentius [Phorm_5.4] : the addition of animo is graceful. Ennius in the sixth book -
But wherefore do I grieve now in my heart ?

[197]   L   Cineas reports to Pyrrhus his failure at Rome :

VARRO : In a passage of Ennius -
The spokesman came back without a peace, and brought the news to the king,
'spokesman' is a term derived from speech.

[198-9]   L   The courage of the Romans ? :

SCHOLIAST , on 'Here the conqueror towering in pride of soul' in Vergilius [Aen_5'473] : Ennius in the sixth book -
Or they mount high in pride, and the rough beginnings ... of war they spurn.

[200-2]   L   The battle of Ausculum ; Decius Mus devotes himself to the di manes ;

NONIUS : Prognariter, actively, valiantly and steadfastly. ... -
You gods, hear this my prayer a little while as from my body I breathe my last for the Roman people's sake, knowingly and steadfastly, in arms and in battle.

[203]   L   Pyrrhus' mahouts cut the traces of the Roman chariot-horses ? :

FESTUS : Scitae is a term applied by poets sometimes to women of good looks, sometimes to women who are of good accomplishments. . . . Ennius in the sixth book -
The skilled driver . . . the beasts.

[204]   L   Operations of Pyrrhus against the Carthaginians in Sicily, 277-276 B.C. :

MACROBIUS , quoting Vergilius [Aen_8'596] : 'The four-footed beat of the hoofs shook the crumbling plain.' Ennius in the sixth book -
The Numidians went scouting ; their hoofs shook the whole ground.

[205]   L   The battle of Beneventum ; Pyrrhus moves to attack the Roman camp by night ? ;

MACROBIUS , quoting Vergilius [Aen_2'250] : 'Meanwhile round rolls the sky and night sets in from the Ocean.' Ennius in the sixth book -
Meanwhile the sky rolls round with its vast constellations.

[206]   L   and dawn reveals his approach :

ACHILLES Tatius : 'He scanned the white ether' [Catullus, 63'40] . . . Ennius on the sun ... in the sixth book ... -
When darkness was cast away and the day was first whitening

[207-8]   L   A soliloquy of Jupiter (during the battle of Beneventum ? ) :

MACROBIUS , quoting Vergilius [Aen_10'2] : 'and the father of the gods and king of men called a council.' Ennius in the sixth book -
Then with all his heart the father of the gods and king of men spoke forth.

[209]   L   Triumph or death (270) of Manius Curius Dentatus :

CICERO : From such a life (i.e. of a statesman) men of the highest rank are honoured, as for example Manius Curius -
whom none could overcome with iron or gold.

Following lines (210-426) →


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