A tradition of writing Latin verses on the quantitative model of those of Classical Greek literature maintained itself from 240 bc down to the end of the western empire. The relation of the so‐called Saturnian verse to the classical tradition is disputed.
In the 3rd cent. bc some poets offered advice or information, others told stories in the Saturnian verse. Early in the 2nd cent. Ennius proclaimed himself a Latin Homer and composed an account of Roman history in a verse (the ‘dactylic hexameter’; see metre, greek, 4(b) ) modelled on that of the Iliad. Where Ennius had led in Epic, later poets writing in different genres followed, devising appropriate Latin equivalents to their Greek metrical models.
Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) — Classical Studies.