erse, he who first brought down from lovely Helicon a garland of evergreen leaf to sound and shine throughout the nations of Italy," was no less than due from a poet who owed so much to Ennius in manner and versification.
It is not known when the Annales were lost; there are doubtful indications of their existence in the earlier Middle Ages. The extant fragments, though they amount only to a few hundred lines, are sufficient to give a clear idea of the poet's style and versification, and of the remarkable breadth and sagacity which made the poem a storehouse of civil wisdom for the more cultured members of the ruling classes at Rome, no less than a treasury of rhythm and phrase for the poets. In the famous single lines like--
Non cauponantes bellum sed belligerantes,
Quem nemo ferro potuit superare me auro,
Ille vir haud magna cum re sed plenu' fidei,
or the great--
Moribus antiquis res stat Romana virisq