This analysis explores select aspects of the extant fragmentary record of early Roman poetry from its earliest accessible moments through roughly the first hundred and twenty years of its traceable existence. Key questions include how ancient readers made sense of the record as then available to them and how the limitations of their accounts, assumptions, and working methods continue to define the contours of our understanding today. Both using and challenging the standard conceptual frameworks operative in the ancient world, the discussion details what we think we know of the best documented forms, practitioners, contexts, and reception of Roman drama (excluding comedy), epic, and satire in their early instantiations, with occasional glances at the further generic experimentation that accompanied the genesis of literary practice at Rome.
Jackie Elliott, Ph.D. (2005), Columbia University, is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is the author of Ennius and the Architecture of the Annales (Cambridge 2013).
Early Latin Poetry Jackie Elliott
Abstract Keywords 1 Introduction: Origins
2 Approaching Fragmentary Material: Method and Access in the Modern Era
3 Questions of Audience, Circulation, and Performance
Those interested in the origins of Latin literature (or of literatures more broadly); those seeking an introduction to the challenges of this particular fragmentary field.