from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Ennius, Quintus 239-169 B.C. Roman poet. His works, including plays, annals, and satires, greatly influenced later authors but survive today only in fragments.


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  • Therefore if any one likes, he has a right to call Ennius a consummate epic poet, and Pacuvius an excellent tragic poet, and Caecilius perhaps a perfect comic poet.

    The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4

  • Donatus informs us that the whole of this passage is borrowed from one of Ennius, which is still preserved.] [Footnote 52: _First to drink_) -- Ver.

    The Comedies of Terence Literally Translated into English Prose, with Notes

  • I would therefore beg you to pardon the philosopher Plato for his amatory verse, and relieve me of the necessity of offending against the precepts put by Ennius into the mouth of Neoptolemus by philosophizing at undue length; on the other hand if you refuse to pardon Plato, I am quite ready to suffer blame on this count in his company.

    The Defense

  • Quintus Ennius wrote a poem on dainties: he there enumerates countless species of fish, which of course he had carefully studied.

    The Defense

  • Aventine erected on the cave of the Sibyl and communicating with the profound and sacred breath; taverns where the tables were almost tripods, and where was drunk what Ennius calls the sibylline wine.

    Les Miserables

  • Indeed, the same point as is usually made about “monkeys and Shakespeare” was made by Cicero using letters scattered at random and the Annals of Ennius pp.21-22.

    Review of Mike Gene, The Design Matrix: A Consilience of Clues (Arbor Vitae Press, 2007).

  • And if he have found profit in poetry, as the great Virgil relates that he had done in Ennius, he will not have done amiss.

    The Love of Books : The Philobiblon of Richard de Bury

  • Scip. fit enim fere ut cogitationes nostrae et sermones pariant aliquid in somno, quale de Homero scribit Ennius, de quo videlicet saepissime vigilans solebat cogitare et loqui.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • In those days, scholars were highly beloved, [2060] honoured, esteemed; as old Ennius by Scipio Africanus, Virgil by Augustus;

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Lucian after such conference, Hecates somniare mihi videor, I can think of nothing but hobgoblins: and as Tully notes, [3394] for the most part our speeches in the daytime cause our fantasy to work upon the like in our sleep, which Ennius writes of

    Anatomy of Melancholy


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