The Latin res publica litterarum under the Auspices of Divine Homer

Ennius, Petrarch, and Some Other Poetic Investitures

Authors

  • Marko Marinčič University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Slovenia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/keria.23.1.155-175

Keywords:

translation of Homer, Roman Empire, Neolatin literature, Quintus Ennius, Petrarch, Andreas Divus, Ezra Pound

Abstract

In the initial scene of his Annales, Ennius recounted a dream vision in which Homer declared him to be his reincarnation. Since the poem is a history of Rome in verse, the symbolic message of this pretentious claim is clearly related to the imperialistic politics of the Roman state in the Mediterranean during the first half of the 2nd century BC. Ennius linked his own literary ambition to the prospects of Rome as a world power and of Latin as an international language of culture. Petrarch took up the topos of Homer as a spiritual guide of Latin poets claiming to an ‘imperial’ mission and staged Ennius as a literary character who invents on the battlefield of the war against Hannibal his encounter with Homer as a prophet of Petrarch’s Africa and of a new era of literature in Latin. After an appraisal of Petrarch’s reinvention of historical epic in Latin as a vehicle of political and literary imperialism, the article outlines two futher significant moments of the later development of the topos: Andreas Divus, the mysterious author of the first printed translation of Homer, and Ezra Pound who saw Divus as one of the fathers of modern poetry ante litteram.

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Published

24.08.2021

How to Cite

Marinčič, Marko. 2021. “The Latin Res Publica Litterarum under the Auspices of Divine Homer: Ennius, Petrarch, and Some Other Poetic Investitures”. Keria: Studia Latina Et Graeca 23 (1):155-75. https://doi.org/10.4312/keria.23.1.155-175.

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