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Title: Cicero, Ennius and the Inscription for the Statue of Cato in Plutarch's Cato Maior
Author(s): ELLIOTT, Jackie , MIANO, Daniele
Journal: Latomus
Volume: 79    Issue: 3   Date: 2020   
Pages: 625-646
DOI: 10.2143/LAT.79.3.3288811

Abstract :
This paper confronts the enigma of a puzzling inscription that Plutarch reports at the base of a statue of Cato the Elder in the Temple of Salus in Rome. Extant epigraphy offers no compelling explanation for the inscription’s striking mode of expression. Instead, this paper proposes, the language of Plutarch’s inscription is best understood as the product of Ennian influence on the late Republican and early imperial reception of Cato. The Ennian influence evident in the inscription is parallel to similar phenomena apparent in Cicero, whom Plutarch read. Plutarch’s presentation of the inscription may have been mediated by his reading of the De senectute in particular and by his unwitting receptivity to Ennian colouring there.

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