Ennius had a short and undistinguished military career during his father's reight. In 48, when his brother returned to Rome from his famous campaign in Germania, Ennius resigned his military post in Gaul and left to study in Athens and vacation in Palestine. He returned to Rome with his family in 52, at which time he was named flamen Dialis. Seven years later he was also elected to the College of Pontifices.
[Notes on Roman religious offices:
As the flamen Dialis, Ennius has a seat in the Senate and may wear the toga praetexta. He is also indirectly in charge of the entire empire-wide cult of the Capitoline triad (Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva). On the negative side, he is also under a number of special religious restrictions. He must alwasy wear his vestments. If his wife dies he must resign. Fire must not be taken from his house (the Flaminia) unless it be sanctified. If a man in bonds enters his house, he must be set free. The flamen cannot touch iron; witness someone bleeding or seen a company of men girt up; touch a horse, goat, raw meat, or a corpse; swear an oath; or wear a ring or a knot. Because of these restrictions, Ennius is effectively prevented from participating in many normal activities of life, especially those associated with the military. Flamines normally serve for life, but should his wife die or some irregularity occur during a sacrifice he is required to resign.
Ennius's wife Procula is the only daughter of a rural patrician family which makes bricks. In the last century, with the vast expansion of the city of Rome, they've became rather wealthy and have a role in almost all public construction in Rome. For the Domitian family, he oversees extensive cattle estates in northern Italy and Iberia. Ennius is a leading figure of the Senate faction which wishes to spend more money on the city of Rome and its citizens.
Page updated 7/13/99, Scott Martin