Quintus Ennius ( Latin Quintus Ennius ; 239 BC - 169 BC ) is an ancient Roman poet.
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Annius was born in 239 BC. e. in the city of Rudia ( it. , between Brundisy and Tarentum ); was Greek by birth. In 204 BC e. Mark Portius Cato brought Ennius to Rome from Sardinia , where he served in the military. In the capital, Ennius began to engage in pedagogical activities and soon, thanks to his literary talent and sociable character, he gained the favor of many noble Romans, who at that time began to recognize the power of poetry.
In 189 BC e. Mark Fulvius Nobilior , going to Aetolia , invited Ennius with him so that he could subsequently sing his exploits. His son Quintus achieved for Ennius in 184 BC. e. rights of a Roman citizen. Annius died in 169 BC. e. from gout , because, according to Horace , he loved to encourage his poetic talent with the gifts of Bacchus .
All the works of Ennius came to us only in fragments. The era of the Second Punic War, endured by Ennie , prompted him to sing the glorious exploits of the people who had hospitablely sheltered him. On this epic, called by Annieus “Annales” (annals; later grammars gave her the name “Romaïs”), his literary fame was mainly based. Apparently, Annius worked on the “Annals” for a significant part of his life and published them repeatedly, supplementing each edition with the latest events. In general, the “Annals”, presumably, consisted of 18 books, with 1,500-1,800 verses each, and depicted the history of the Romans from the arrival of Aeneas in Italy until the events of 178-175 BC. e .. Only 600 with a few verses have reached us; therefore, when evaluating a poem and determining its volume and content, we should rely mainly on the testimonies of ancient writers.
Apparently, Annius collected extensive materials for his work, in the form of public and private annals, family legends, etc., and wanted to create an artistic epic like Homer . This last is especially evident from the preface to the poem, where Annius told me that he saw in a dream Homer, who revealed to him the secrets of the universe and the afterlife, and that his soul, Homer, having been in the body of a peacock, has now moved to Ennia.
The imitation of Homer was expressed in the fact that Annius wrote his poem with hexameters , first introducing this size into Roman literature. These first attempts were far from successful everywhere, which partly explains Mommsen ’s harsh judgment about the Annals. Annius tried his hand in various other kinds of literature. From the surviving passages from 22 dramas of Ennius, it is clear that he took plots for tragedies mainly from myths about the Trojan War and, in processing them, adjoined mainly to Euripides , whose skepticism found a lot of responses in Ennie's soul.
Annius handled Greek originals very freely and apparently tried to adapt them to the needs of the Roman scene; so, for example, in Iphigenia, the girls ' choir, derived from Euripides, was replaced by Ennius with the soldier's choir. From Roman life, we reliably know only one play by Ennius - "The Abduction of the Sabine Women" . From the comedies of Ennius, only two titles remained; Terence ranks Ennia among the authors who combined scenes from several Greek originals in their works.
In the didactic poem “Epicharmus”, Ennius, adjoining the views of the named Sicilian philosopher, outlined (in trochical tetrameters) his materialistic natural philosophical teaching. A similar rationalist trend is also distinguished by the composition, probably of the same size, “Euhemerus - sacra historia”, containing a well-known view of the origin of the gods and preserved mainly in the processing of Lactantius . A humorous addition to this philosophy is presented by a didactic poem (in hexameters ) from the kitchen world: “Hedyphagetica” (“goodies”); the surviving passage from it lists different varieties of fish. Finally, Annius wrote satires and epigrams, and in the latter, apparently, he first introduced elegiac distich into Roman literature.
Enniy's works lacked artistic decoration, but he possessed undoubted talent (ingenio maximus, arte rudis calls him Ovid) and therefore had a strong influence on subsequent poets (for example, Virgil ), which borrowed from him and many beautiful turns. Especially appreciated by Ennia Cicero and Vitruvius . According to Aulus Gellius , as far back as the 2nd century AD e. excerpts from the “Annals” were included in the program of public readings, although in the age of the empire Ennius was recognized more likely to have one historical significance: we must respect Ennius, Quintilian says, as we respect the ancient sacred groves, huge old oaks that are not so much beautiful as venerable.
Quintus Annius was buried in the tomb of Scipio .
- A. M. — Ennius, Quint // Encyclopedic Dictionary
- Malein A.I. ,. Ennius, Quint // Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary : in 86 volumes (82 volumes and 4 additional). - SPb. , 1890-1907.
- Quintus Annius in the library of Maxim Moshkov