Quintus Ennius

Jacqueline Elliott (University of Colorado at Boulder)
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The poetry of Ennius was counted by Cicero, Virgil and many other major literary figures of the first century as the fountainhead of the most significant traditions of Roman poetry as they understood them. Ennius was an extraordinarily prolific and highly experimental writer, but he is best known today – and was perhaps then – for his epic


[“Annals”], a work in 18 books that covered Roman history from its origins to Ennius’ own day, which was written towards the end of his life. This epic was the first work of Roman poetry to be written in hexameter, the Greek metre in which the Homeric




(and much else since) had been composed; and thus the long tradition of Roman hexametric poetry, in which such works as Virgil’s


and Ovid’s


1560 words

Citation: Elliott, Jacqueline. "Quintus Ennius". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 June 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1431, accessed 19 June 2024.]

1431 Quintus Ennius 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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