Ennius, Annals

LCL 294: 200-201

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FRL I: ENNIUS

*2 Fest., p. 168.3–6 L.

navus: celer et strenuus a navium velocitate videtur dictus. Ennius lib. VI:

165navos repertus homo, Graio patre, Graius homo, rex

*3 Fest., p. 412.13–23 L.

stir<pem hominum in masculino gene>re antiqui . . . <Ennius in sexto>:

166nomine Burrus uti memorant a stirpe supremo

nomine Fest.: homines Non. Burrus ap. Cic. Orat. 160: Pyrrhus vel Pyrrus codd.

Cf. Non. p. 226.32–33 M. = 336 L.

4 Cic. Div. 2.116

Herodotum cur veraciorem ducam Ennio? num minus ille potuit de Croeso quam de Pyrrho fingere Ennius? quis enim est qui credat Apollinis ex oraclo Pyrrho esse responsum:

167aio te Aeacida Romanos vincere posse

primum Latine Apollo numquam locutus est; deinde ista sors inaudita Graecis est; praeterea Pyrrhi temporibus iam Apollo versus facere desierat; postremo, quamquam semper fuit, ut apud Ennius est, “stolidum . . .” [F 14], tamen hanc amphiboliam versus intellegere potuisset “vincere te Romanos” nihilo magis in se quam in Romanos valere.

Cf. Quint. Inst. 7.9.6; Vel. Long., GL VII, p. 55.17–24; Porph. ad Hor. Ars P. 403; Prisc., GL III, pp. 234.18–35.4.

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ANNALS: BOOK VI

*2 Festus

navus: “swift” and “vigorous,” seems to derive from the speed of ships. Ennius, Book 6:

a vigorous man was found, a Grecian man from a Grecian father, a king

*3 Festus

stirps [scion] of men, ancient writers use in the masculine . . . Ennius in Book 6:

Pyrrhus1 by name, a man of highest stock, so they say

4 Cicero, On Divination

Why should I accept Herodotus as more truthful than Ennius? Surely he was no less able to invent stories about Croesus than Ennius was about Pyrrhus? Who could believe that the response of Apollo’s oracle to Pyrrhus was

I say that you, Aeacus’ descendant, the Romans can defeat

First, Apollo never spoke in Latin. Second, that prophecy is unknown to the Greeks. Third, in Pyrrhus’ day Apollo had ceased making verses, and finally, although it was always the case, as in Ennius, that “obtuse is the race of the Aeacids . . .” [F 14], he would nevertheless have been able to understand that this ambiguous verse “the Romans you defeat” could as easily apply to himself as to the Romans.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.ennius-annals.2018