“Latin literature was already self-conscious when Ennius described Homer appearing to him in a dream and declaring that his soul was now in Ennius’ body… And indeed Latin authors produced from their self-awareness some of their most fascinating effects. There is a charm in the sense of belatedness, the interplay of tradition and the original talent, an author’s exploration of his relationship with the literature of the past. But this laid trap into which some Roman writers, and rather more modern scholars, were to fall: there was a risk of literature becoming more about literature than about life, and even of being pleased when that occurred. We should perhaps be surprised that so many Latin writers succeed in overcoming that danger. ” – Classical Literature, Richard Jenkyns, 2016.