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Jackie Elliott (CU-Boulder): Re-centering Rome: cosmology, divine intervention and the operation of the natural world in Ennius’ poetic history

November 4, 2013 - 11:05am
Building 110, Room 112

Free & open to public

Join us at 5:00pm for light refreshments. Talk begins at 5:15pm.

One of the greatest challenges presented by the surviving record of Ennius' Annales is the need to account for the poem’s profound impact upon the collective Roman consciousness—an impact manifest both in the sources for the poem themselves and in the Roman hexametric and historiographical traditions at large. The ancient reception of the Annales thus cumulatively poses a larger question than any single ancient author or set of sources can answer: what was it about the Annales that so captured the imagination and the admiration of its immediate audience that it resulted in the text’s thought and language being bred into future generations and issuing into the works of authors as diverse as Lucretius, Varro, Cicero, Livy, the author of the Bellum Hispaniense, Vergil, and more? The thesis this paper proposes is that what was new about the Annales, in terms of the vision it laid before its audience, was the idea of Rome as the hub of space and time, the primary focus of the cosmos in all its aspects.


Jackie Elliott is an Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Colorado at Boulder who will be in residence at Stanford as a Visiting Scholar from October 28th until November 22nd, 2013. She studies the history of Roman literature, from its inception through the Classical period, specializing in the epic and historiographical traditions of Rome and their relationship. Her monograph, Ennius and the Architecture of the Annales, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in November 2013.

Event Sponsor: 
Stanford Department of Classics