[Gentlemen of the jury: great generals from Rome's past
knew the importance of poetry.] Even the famous Fulvius Nobilior,
who waged war in northern Greece [in 189 BC] with the poet Ennius on
his staff, did not hesitate to consecrate the spoils of the war to
the Muses. Therefore it is fitting that, in a city where generals of
Rome, while still practically in battle gear, saw fit to honor the
names of poets and temples of the Muses, Roman jurors today [in 62
BC] should not shrink from offering respect to the Muses and
protection to their poets.
Cicero, In Defense of Archias
The famous Fulvius Nobilior built the Temple of
Hercules, Friend of the Muses, in the Circus Flaminius, using funds
at his disposal as censor. He did this not only because he was fond
of literature and was a friend of Rome's greatest poet, Ennius, but
because when campaigning in Greece he had learned of Hercules
“Musagetes,” that is, of Hercules as a companion
and leader of the Muses. As a result, he was the first Roman to
consecrate nine statues of the Muses, brought to Rome from Ambracia
in western Greece, under the guardianship of Hercules'
powerful spirit—as is in reality the case, since the two domains
ought to be mutually supportive of one another with the
characteristic virtue of each: the tranquility of the Muses is
safeguarded by the protection of Hercules, and the deeds of Hercules
are given fame by the Muses.