Although the whole conception of the work implies that confusion of the provinces of poetry and history which was perpetuated by later writers, and especially by Lucan and Silius Italicus, yet it was a true instinct of genius to discern in the idea of the national destiny the only possible motive of a Roman epic. The execution of the poem (to judge from the fragments, amounting to about six hundred lines), although rough, unequal and often prosaic, seems to have combined the realistic fidelity and freshness of feeling of a contemporary chronicle with the vivifying and idealizing power of genius.
Am I athirst, how cool its waters run, or stifled what a vivifying air.
The classical works, though still regarded with unreasoning reverence, were found to have a germinative and vivifying power that carried the mind out of the region of dogma, and prepared the way for the scientific movement which has been growing in strength up to our own day.
The semi-personification of eiresione will be noticed; and, according to Mannhardt, the branch "embodies the tree-spirit conceived as the spirit of vegetation in general, whose vivifying and - fructifying influence is thus brought to bear upon the corn in particular."
We have therefore to recognize that the four greatest writers of the 14th century, while the Revival of Learning was yet in its cradle, each after his own fashion acknowledged the vivifying touch upon their spirit of the antique genius.