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By Sander M. Goldberg

How the Romans got here to have a literature reflecting local and international impulses, and the way it shaped a legacy for next generations became valuable questions within the cultural background of the Republic. This e-book explores the advance of Roman literary sensibility from early curiosity in epic and drama, via invention of satire and eventual enshrining of books in public collections vital to Horace and Ovid. The "early" literature is obvious to be a product much less of the mid-Republic, whilst poetic texts started to circulation, than of the past due Republic, after they have been systematically amassed and canonized.

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It is not just the creation and collection of certain texts but an attitude toward those texts that mark them as literature. One of the safer inferences from our all-too-problematic story about Livius Andronicus is that something 40 41 42 Cic. Sest. ” For the definition of the praetexta, see Ussani 1968 and Manuwald 2001: 14–52, and for its putative role in disseminating Roman traditions, Zorzetti 1980: 53–73, Wiseman 1994: 1–22, and 1998: 1–16. Flower 1995 and Kragelund 2002: 17–27 review the occasions for its performance in the Republic.

He naturally chose an episode from Ennius that fit his argument: Prop. 7–12 uses other stories to suit his own, different purpose. Gale 1994: 209–10 (Greek models), 211–14 (shifting images of Venus), and with more attention to the philosophical aspects of the shift, Clay 1983: 93–95. Schrijvers 1970: 174–91 stresses the logical progression of the proem’s argument. 40 As the first sacrifice to the coming Roman greatness, poignant and almost tragic in her helplessness, she prefigures two themes central to Lucretius’ proemium, the terror of religio and the problematic testimony of dreams.

Let her take up the Annals (nothing is hoarier that that), she will of course read how Ilia came to be a mother. Let her take up ‘Parent of Aeneas’ race’ where she’ll soon ask how bountiful Venus got to be parent of Aeneas’ race. (Tr. 38 But why did Lucretius himself make this association? The hymn to Venus that opens De Rerum natura is as famously odd as it is beautiful and moving. 39 Ennius’ Ilia experiences both these aspects of divine power. Caught between the ambitions of men and the demands of gods, she wakes in terror from a dream of rape and dislocation to face the realities 38 39 for alerting me to their significance.

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