|C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the Worlds Best Literature.|
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.
|Epitaph on Scipio|
|By Ennius (239169 B.C.)|
|PERHAPS in these same Satires (Miscellanies?) occurred another eulogistic couplet upon his illustrious friend:|
| ||HOW great a statue shall the folk of Rome to thee upraise,|
|How tall a column, Scipio, that thy deeds may duly praise?|
This friendship of Ennius with the elder Africanus was quite famous. The young bearer of the name, Æmilianus, showed similar appreciation of the noble Greek exile Polybius. We know just enough of these Scipios and their age to realize that in our enforced ignorance we miss the noblest spirits, doubtless also the happiest days, of republican Rome. It was the general belief of later antiquity, that a bust of Ennius had an honored place in the tomb of the great Scipio family. This does not appear to have been verified, however, when the crypt was discovered in modern times.
| We have already indicated that Enniuss work, so far as we can judge it, by no means justified his claim to Homeric rank, in any sense. Perhaps he never held a place at all among the great masters of creative imagination. But at least, by his vigorous manly character, his wide studies, his good taste, and his lifelong industry, he does claim a position as an apostle of culture and the founder of literature, perhaps fairly comparable to that of Lessing.|| 2|