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IX.4

This webpage reproduces a section of
Institutio Oratoria

by
Quintilian

published in Vol. IV
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1920

The text is in the public domain.

This text has not yet been proofread.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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X.2‑4

(Vol. IV) Quintilian
Institutio Oratoria

p3 Book X

Chapter 1

1 1 But these rules of style, while part of the student's theoretical knowledge, are not in themselves sufficient to give him oratorical power. In addition he will require that assured facility which the Greeks call ἔξις. I know that many have raised the question as to whether this is best acquired by writing, reading or speaking, and it would indeed be a question calling for serious consideration, if we could rest content with any one of the three. 2 But they are so intimately and inseparably connected, that if one of them be neglected, we shall but waste the labour which we have devoted to the others. For eloquence will never attain to its full development or robust health, unless it acquires strength by frequent practice in writing, while such practice without the models supplied by reading will be like a ship drifting aimlessly without a steersman. Again, he who knows what he ought to say and how he should say it, will be like a miser brooding over his hoarded treasure, unless he has the weapons of his eloquence ready for battle and prepared to deal with every emergency. 3 But the degree in p5which a thing is essential does not necessarily make it of immediate and supreme importance for the formation of the ideal orator. For obviously the power of speech is the first essential, since therein lies the primary task of the orator, and it is obvious that it was with this that art of oratory began, and that the power of imitation comes next, and third and last diligent practice in writing. 4 But as perfection cannot be attained without starting at the very beginning, the points which come first in time will, as our training proceeds, become of quite trivial importance. Now we have reached a stage in our enquiry where we are no longer considering the preliminary training of our orator; for I think the instructions already given should suffice for that; they are in any case as good as I could make them. Our present task is to consider how our athlete who has learnt all the technique of his art from his trainer, is to be prepared by actual practice for the contests in which he will have to engage. Consequently, we must assume that our student has learned how to conceive and dispose his subject matter and understands how to choose and arrange his words, and must proceed to instruct him how to make the best and readiest use of the knowledge which he has acquired.

5 There can then be no doubt that he must accumulate a certain store of resources, to be employed whenever they may be required. The resources of which I speak consist in a copious supply of words and matter. 6 But while the matter is necessarily either peculiar to the individual case, or at best common to only a few, words must be acquired to suit all and every case. Now, if there were special p7words adapted to each individual thing, they would require less care, since they would automatically be suggested by the matter in hand. But since some words are more literal, more ornate, more significant or euphonious than others, our orator must not merely be acquainted with all of them, but must have them at his fingers' ends and before his very eyes, so that when they present themselves for his critical selection, he will find it easy to make the appropriate choice. 7 I know that some speakers make a practice of learning lists of synonyms by heart, in order that one word out of the several available may at once present itself to them, and that if, after using one word, they find that it is wanted again after a brief interval, they may be able to select another word with the same meaning and so avoid the necessity of repetition. But this practice is childish and involves thankless labour, while it is really of very little use, as it merely results in the assembly of a disorderly crowd of words, for the speaker to snatch the first that comes to hand.

8 On the contrary, discrimination is necessary in the acquisition of our stock of words; for we are aiming at true oratory, not at the fluency of a cheapjack. And we shall attain our aim by reading and listening to the best writers and orators, since we shall thus learn not merely the words by which things are to be called, but when each particular word is most appropriate. 9 For there is a place in oratory for almost every word, with the exception only of a very few, which are not sufficiently seemly. Such words are indeed often praised when they occur in writers of iambics1 or of the old comedy, p9but we need do no more than consider our own special task. All words, with these exceptions, may be admirably employed in some place or other. For sometimes we shall even require low and common words, while those which would seem coarse if introduced in the more elegant portions of our speech may, under certain circumstances, be appropriate enough. 10 Now to acquire a knowledge of these words and to be acquainted not merely with their meaning, but with their forms and rhythmical values, so that they may seem appropriate wherever employed, we shall need to read and listen diligently, since all language is received first though the ear. It was owing to this fact that the children who, by order of a king, were brought up by a dumb nurse in a desert place, although they are said to have uttered certain words, lacked the power of speech.2 11 There are, however, some words of such a nature that they express the same sense by different sounds, so that it makes no difference to the meaning which we use, as, for instance, gladius and ensis, which may be used indifferently when we have to speak of a sword. Others, again, although properly applied to specific objects, are used by means of a trope to express the same sense, as, for example, ferrum (steel) and mucro (point), which are both used in the sense of sword. 12 Thus, by the figure known as abuse,3 we call all those who commit a murder with any weapon whatsoever sicarii (poniarders). In other cases we express our meaning periphrastically, as, for instance, when Virgil4 describes cheese as

Abundance of pressed milk."

p11 On the other hand, in a number of instances we employ figures5 and substitute one expression for another. Instead of "I know," we say "I am not ignorant," or "the fact does not escape me," or "I have not forgotten," or "who does not know?" or "it can be doubted by none." 13 But we may also borrow from a word of cognate meaning. For "I understand," or "I feel" or "I see" are often equivalent to "I know." Reading will provide us with a rich store of expressions such as these, and will enable us not merely to use them when they occur to us, but also in the appropriate manner. 14 For they are not always interchangeable: for example, though I may be perfectly correct in saying, "I see" for "I understand," it does not follow that I can say "I understand" for "my eyes have seen," and though mucro may be employed to describe a sword, a sword does not necessarily mean the same as mucro (point). 15 But, although a store of word may be acquired by these means, we must not read or listen to orators merely for the sake of acquiring words. For in everything which we teach examples are more effective even than the rules which are taught in the schools, so long as the student has reached a stage when he can appreciate such examples without the assistance of a teacher, and can rely on his own powers to imitate them. And the reason is this, that the professor of rhetoric lays down rules, while the orator gives a practical demonstration.

16 But the advantages conferred by reading and listening are not identical. The speaker stimulates us by the animation of his delivery, and kindles the imagination, not by presenting us with an elaborate p13picture, but by bringing us into actual touch with the things themselves. Then all is life and movement, and we receive the new-born offspring of his imagination with enthusiastic approval. We are moved not merely by the actual issue of the trial, but by all that the orator himself has at stake. 17 Moreover his voice, the grace of his gestures, the adaptation of his delivery (which is of supreme importance in oratory), and, in a word, all his excellences in combination, have their educative effect. In reading, on the other hand, the critical faculty is often swept away by his preference for a particular speaker, or by the applause of an enthusiastic audience. 18 For we are ashamed to disagree with them, and an unconscious modesty prevents us from ranking our own opinion above theirs, though all the time the taste of the majority is vicious, and the claque may praise even what does not really deserve approval. 19 On the other hand, it will sometimes also happen that an audience whose taste is bad will fail to award the praise which is due to the most admirable utterances. Reading, however, is free, and does not hurry past us with the speed of oral delivery; we can re-read a passage again and again if we are in doubt about it or wish to fix it in the memory. We must return to what we have read and reconsider it with care, while, just as we do not swallow our food till we have chewed it and reduced it almost to a state of liquefaction to assist the process of digestion, so what we read must not be committed to the memory for subsequent imitation while it is still in a crude state, but must be softened and, if I may use the phrase, reduced to a pulp by frequent re-perusal.

p15 20 For a long time also we should read none save the best authors and such as are least likely to betray our trust in them, while our reading must be almost as thorough as if we were actually transcribing what we read. Nor must we study it merely in parts, but must read through the whole work from cover to cover and then read it afresh, a precept which applies more especially to speeches, whose merits are often deliberately disguised. 21 For the orator frequently prepares his audience for what is to come, dissembles and sets a trap for them and makes remarks at the opening of his speech which will not have their full force till the conclusion. Consequently what he says will often seem comparatively ineffective where it actually occurs, since we do not realise his motive and it will be necessary to re-read the speech after we have acquainted ourselves with all that it contains. 22 Above all, it is most desirable that we should familiarise ourselves with the facts of the case with which the speech deals, and it will be well also, wherever possible, to read the speeches delivered on both sides, such as those of Aeschines and Demosthenes in the case of Ctesiphon, of Servius Sulpicius and Messala for and against Aufidia,6 of Pollio7 and Cassius8 in the case of Asprenas,9 and many others. 23 And even if such speeches seem unequal in point of merit, we shall still do well to study them carefully with a view to understanding the problems raised by the cases with which they deal: for example, we should compare the speeches delivered by Tubero against Ligarius and by Hortensius in defence of Verres with those of Cicero for the opposite side, while it will also be useful to know how different orators pleaded the same case. For example, p17Calidius10 spoke on the subject of Cicero's house, Brutus wrote a declamation in defence of Milo, which Cornelius Celsus wrongly believes to have been actually delivered in court,11 and Pollio and Messalla defended the same clients,12 while in my boyhood remarkable speeches delivered by Domitius Afer,13 Crispus Passienus14 and Decimus Laelius15 in defence of Volusenus were in circulation.

24 The reader must not, however, jump to the conclusion that all that was uttered by the best authors is necessarily perfect. At times they lapse and stagger beneath the weight of their task, indulge their bent or relax their efforts. Sometimes, again, they give the impression of weariness: for example, Cicero16 thinks that Demosthenes sometimes nods, and Horace17 says the same of Homer himself. 25 For despite their greatness they are still but mortal men, and it will sometimes happen that their reader assumes that anything which he finds in them may be taken as a canon of style, with the result that he imitates their defects (and it is always easier to do this than to imitate their excellences) and thinks himself a perfect replica if he succeeds in copying the blemishes of great men. 26 But modesty and circumspection are required in pronouncing judgment on such great men, since there is always the risk of falling into the common fault of condemning what one does not understand. And, if it is necessary to err on one side or the other, I should prefer that the reader should approve of everything than that he should disapprove of much.

27 Theophrastus18 says that the reading of poets is of great service to the orator, and has rightly been followed in this view by many. For the poets will p19give us inspiration as regards the matter, sublimity of language, the power to excite every kind of emotion, and the appropriate treatment of character, while minds that have become jaded owing to the daily wear and tear of the courts will find refreshment in such agreeable study. Consequently Cicero19 recommends the relaxation provided by the reading of poetry. 28 We should, however, remember that the orator must not follow the poets in everything, more especially in their freedom of language and their license in the use of figures. Poetry has been compared to the oratory of display, and further, aims solely at giving pleasure, which it seeks to secure by inventing what is not merely untrue, but sometimes even incredible. 29 Further, we must bear in mind that it can be defended on the ground that it is tied by certain metrical necessities and consequently cannot always use straightforward and literal language, but is driven from the direct road to take refuge in certain by-ways of expression; and compelled not merely to change certain words, but to lengthen, contract, transpose or divide them, whereas the orator stands armed in the forefront of the battle, fights for a high stake and devotes all his effort to winning the victory. 30 And yet I would not have his weapons defaced by mould and rust, but would have them shine with a splendour that shall strike terror to the heart of the foe, like the flashing steel that dazzles heart and eye at once, not like the gleam of gold or silver, which has no warlike efficacy and is even a positive peril to its wearer.

31 History, also, may provide the orator with a nutriment which we may compare to some rich and pleasant juice. But when we read it, we must p21remember that many of the excellences of the historian require to be shunned by the orator. For history has a certain affinity to poetry and may be regarded as a kind of prose poem, while it is written for the purpose of narrative, not of proof, and designed from beginning to end not for immediate effect or the instant necessities of forensic strife, but to record events for the benefit of posterity and to win glory for its author. Consequently, to avoid monotony of narrative, it employs unusual words and indulges in a freer use of figures. 32 Therefore, as I have already said,20 the famous brevity of Sallust, than which nothing can be more pleasing to the leisured ear of the scholar, is a style to be avoided by the orator in view of the fact that his words are addressed to a judge who has his mind occupied by a number of thoughts and is also frequently uneducated, while, on the other hand, the milky fullness of Livy is hardly of a kind to instruct a listener who looks not for beauty of exposition, but for truth and credibility. 33 We must also remember that Cicero21 thinks that not even Thucydides or Xenophon will be of much service to an orator, although he regards the style of the former as a veritable call to arms and considers that the latter was the mouthpiece of the Muses. It is, however, occasionally permissible to borrow the graces of history to embellish our digressions, provided always that we remember that in those portions of our speech which deal with the actual question at issue we require not the swelling thews of the athlete, but the wiry sinews of the soldier, and that the cloak of many colours which Demetrius of Phalerum22 was said to wear is but little suited to the dust and heat of the forum. 34 There is, it is true, p23another advantage which we may derive from the historians, which, however, despite its great importance, has no bearing on our present topic; I refer to the advantage derived from the knowledge of historical facts and precedents, with which it is most desirable that our orator should be acquainted; for such knowledge will save him from having to acquire all his evidence from his client and will enable him to draw much that is germane to his case from the careful study of antiquity. And such arguments will be all the more effective, since they alone will be above suspicion of prejudice or partiality.

35 The fact that there is so much for which we must have recourse to the study of the philosophers is the fault of orators who have abandoned23 to them the fullest portion of their own task. The Stoics most especially discourse and argue with great keenness on what is just, honourable, expedient and the reverse, as well as on the problems of theology, while the Socratics give the future orator a first-rate preparation for forensic debates and the examination of witnesses. 36 But we must use the same critical caution in studying the philosophers that we require in reading history or poetry; that is to say, we must bear in mind that, even when we are dealing with the same subjects, there is a wide difference between forensic disputes and philosophical discussions, between the law-courts and the lecture-room, between the precepts of theory and the perils of the bar.

37 Most of my readers will, I think, demand that, since I attach so much importance to reading, I should include in this work some instructions as to what authors should be read and what their special p25excellences may be. To do this in detail would be an endless task. 38 Remember that Cicero in his Brutus, after writing pages and pages on the subject of Roman orators alone, says nothing of his own contemporaries with the exception of Caesar and Marcellus. What limit, then, would there be to my labours if I were to attempt to deal with them and with their successors and all the orators of Greece as well? 39 No, it was a safer course that Livy adopted in his letter to his son, where he writes that he should read Cicero Demosthenes and then such orators as most resembled them. 40 Still, I must not conceal my own personal convictions on this subject. I believe that there are few, indeed scarcely a single one of those authors who have stood the test of time who will not be of some use or other to judicious students, since even Cicero himself admits that he owes a great debt even to the earliest writers, who for all their talent were totally devoid of art. 41 And my opinion about the moderns is much the same. For how few of them are so utterly crazy as not to have the least shadow of hope that some portion or other of their work may have claims upon the memory of posterity? If there is such an one, he will be detected before we have perused many lines of his writings, and we shall escape from him before the experiment of reading him has cost us any serious loss of time. 42 On the other hand, not everything that has some bearing on some department of knowledge will necessarily be of service for the formation of style, with which we are for the moment concerned.

Before, however, I begin to speak of individual authors, I must make a few general remarks about the variety of judgments which have been passed p27upon them. 43 For there are some who think that only the ancients should be read and hold that they are the sole possessors of natural eloquence and manly vigour; while others revel in the voluptuous and affected style of to‑day, in which everything is designed to charm the ears of the uneducated majority. 44 And even if we turn to those who desire to follow the correct methods of style, we shall find that some think that the only healthy and genuinely Attic style is to be found in land which is restrained and simple and as little removed as possible from the speech of every day, while others are attracted by a style which is more elevated and full of energy and animation. There are, too, not a few who are devoted to a gentle, elegant, and harmonious style. Of these different ideals I shall speak in greater detail, when I come to discuss the question of the particular styles best suited to oratory.24 For the moment I shall restrict myself to touching briefly on what the student who desires to consolidate his powers of speaking should seek in his reading and to what kind of reading he should devote his attention. My design is merely to select a few of the most eminent authors for consideration. 45 It will be easy for the student to decide for himself what authors most nearly resemble these: consequently, no one will have any right to complain if I pass over some of his favourites. For I will readily admit that there are more authors worth reading than those whom I propose to mention. But I will now proceed to deal with the various classes of reading which I consider most suitable for those who are ambitious of becoming orators.

46 I shall, I think, be right in following the principle p29laid down by Aratus25 in the line, "With Jove let us begin," and in beginning with Homer. He is like his own conception of Ocean,26 which he describes as the source of every stream and river; for he has given us a model and an inspiration for every department of eloquence. It will be generally admitted that no one has ever surpassed him in the sublimity with which he invests great themes or the propriety with which he handles small. He is at once luxuriant and concise, sprightly and serious, remarkable at once for his fullness and his brevity, and supreme not merely for poetic, but for oratorical power as well. 47 For, to say nothing of his eloquence, which he shows in praise, exhortation and consolation, do not the ninth book containing the embassy to Achilles, the first describing the quarrel between the chiefs, or the speeches delivered by the counsellors in the second, display all the rules of art to be followed in forensic or deliberative oratory? 48 As regards the emotions, there can be no one so ill-educated as to deny that the poet was the master of all, tender and vehement alike. Again, in the few lines with which he introduces both of his epics, has he not, I will not say observed, but actually established the law which should govern the composition of the exordium? For, by his invocation of the goddesses believed to preside over poetry he wins the goodwill of his audience, by his statement of the greatness of his themes he excites their attention and renders them receptive by the briefness of his summary. 49 Who can narrate more briefly than the hero27 who brings the news of Patroclus' death, or more vividly than he28 who describes the battle between the Curetes and the Aetolians? Then consider his p31similes, his amplifications, his illustrations, digressions, indications of fact, inferences, and all the other methods of proof and refutation which he employs. They are so numerous that the majority of writers on the principles of rhetoric have gone to his works for examples of all these things. 50 And as for perorations, what can ever be equal to the prayers which Priam addresses to Achilles29 when he comes to beg for the body of his son? Again, does he not transcend the limits of human genius in his choice of words, his reflexions, figures, and the arrangement of his whole work, with the result that it requires a powerful mind, I will not say to imitate, for that is impossible, but even to appreciate his excellences? 51 But he has in truth outdistanced all that have come after him in every department of eloquence, above all, he has outstripped all other writers of epic, the contrast in their case being especially striking owing to the similarity of the material with which they deal. 52 Hesiod rarely rises to any height, while a great part of his works is filled almost entirely with names:30 none the less, his maxims of moral wisdom provide a useful model, the smooth flow of his words and structure merit our approval, and he is assigned the first place among writers of the intermediate style. 53 On the other hand, Antimachus31 deserves praise for the vigour, dignity and elevation of his language. But although practically all teachers of literature rank him second among epic poets, he is deficient in emotional power, charm, and arrangement of matter, and totally devoid of real art. No better example can be found to show what a vast difference there is to being near another writer and being second to him. 54 Panyasis32 is p33regarded as combining the qualities of the last two poets, being their inferior in point of style, but surpassing Hesiod in the choice of his subject and Antimachus in its arrangement. Apollonius33 is not admitted to the lists drawn up by the professors of literature, because the critics, Aristarchus and Aristophanes,34 included no contemporary poets. None the less, his work is by no means to be despised, being distinguished by the consistency with which he maintains his level as a representative of the intermediate type. 55 The subject chosen by Aratus is lifeless and monotonous, affording no scope for pathos, description of character, or eloquent speeches. However, he is adequate for the task to which he felt himself equal. Theocritus is admirable in his own way, but the rustic and pastoral muse shrinks not merely from the forum, but from town-life of every kind. 56 I think I hear my readers on all sides suggesting the names of hosts of other poets. What? Did not Pisandros35 tell the story of Hercules in admirable style? Were there not good reasons for Virgil and Macer taking Nicander36 as a model? Are we to ignore Euphorion?37 Unless Virgil had admired him, he would never have mentioned

"verses written in Chalcidic strain"

in the Eclogues. Again, had Horace no justification for coupling the name of Tyrtaeus38 with that of Homer? 57 To which I reply, that there is no one so ignorant of poetic literature that he could not, if he chose, copy a catalogue of such poets from some p35library for insertion in his own treatises. I can therefore assure my readers that I am well aware of the existence of the poets whom I pass over in silence, and am far from condemning them, since I have already said that some profit may be derived from every author.39 58 But we must wait till our powers have been developed and established to the full before we turn to these poets, just as at banquets we take our fill of the best fare and then turn to other food which, in spite of its comparative inferiority, is still attractive owing to its variety. Not until our taste is formed shall we have leisure to study the elegiac poets as well. Of these, Callimachus is regarded as the best, the second place being, according to the verdict of most critics, occupied by Philetas.40 59 But until we have acquired that assured facility of which I spoke,41 we must familiarise ourselves with the best writers only and must form our minds and develop an appropriate tone by reading that is deep rather than wide. Consequently, of the three writers of iambics42 approved by the judgment of Aristarchus, Archilochus will be far the most useful for the formation of the facility in question. 60 For he has a most forcible style, is full of vigorous, terse and pungent reflexions, and overflowing with life and energy: indeed, some critics think that it is due solely to the nature of his subjects, and not to his genius, that any poets are to be ranked above him. 61 Of the nine lyric poets43 Pindar is by far the greatest, in virtue of his inspired magnificence, the beauty of his thoughts and figures, the rich exuberance of his language and matter, and his rolling flood of eloquence, characteristics which, as Horace44 rightly held, make him inimitable. p3762 The greatness of the genius of Stesichorus45 is shown by his choice of subject: for he sings of the greatest wars and the most glorious of chieftains, and the music of his lyre is equal to the weighty themes of epic poetry. For both in speech and action he invests his characters with the dignity which is their due, and if he had only been capable of exercising a little more restraint, he might, perhaps, have proved a serious rival to Homer. But he is redundant and diffuse, a fault which, while deserving of censure, is nevertheless a defect springing from the very fullness of his genius. 63 Alcaeus has deserved the compliment of being said to make music with quill of gold46 in that portion of his works in which he attacks the tyrants of his day and shows himself a real moral force. He is, moreover, terse and magnificent in style, while the vigour of his diction resembles that of oratory. But he also wrote poetry of a more sportive nature and stooped to write erotic poetry, despite his aptitude for loftier themes. 64 Simonides47 wrote in a simple style, but may be recommended for the propriety and charm of his language. His chief merit, however, lies in his power to excite pity, so much so, in fact, that some rank him in this respect above all writers of this class of poetry.

65 The old comedy is almost the only form of poetry which preserves intact the true grace of Attic diction, while it is characterised by the most eloquent freedom of speech, and shows especial power in the denunciation of vice; but it reveals great force in other departments as well. For its style is at once lofty, elegant and graceful, and if we except Homer, who, like Achilles among warriors, p39is beyond all comparison, I am not sure that there is any style which bears a closer resemblance to oratory or is better adapted for forming the orator. 66 There are a number of writers of the old comedy, but the best are Aristophanes, Eupolis and Cratinus.48 Aeschylus was the first to bring tragedy into prominence: he is lofty, dignified, grandiloquent often to a fault, but frequently uncouth and inharmonious. Consequently, the Athenians allowed later poets to revise his tragedies and to produce them in the dramatic contests, and many succeeded in winning the prize by such means. 67 Sophocles and Euripides, however, brought tragedy to far greater perfection: they differ in style, but it is much disputed as to which should be awarded the supremacy, a question which, as it has no bearing on my present theme, I shall make no attempt to decide. But this much is certain and incontrovertible, that Euripides will be found of far greater service to those who are training themselves for pleading in court. 68 For his language, although actually censured by those who regard the dignity, the stately stride and sonorous utterance of Sophocles as being more sublime, has a closer affinity to that of oratory, while he is full of striking reflexions, in which, indeed, in their special sphere, he rivals the philosophers themselves, and for defence and attack may be compared to any orator that has won renown in the courts. Finally, although admirable in every kind of emotional appeal, he is easily supreme in the power to excite pity. 69 Menander, as he often testifies in his works, had a profound admiration for Euripides, and imitated him, although in a different type of work. Now, p41the careful study of Menander alone would, in my opinion, be sufficient to develop all those qualities with the production of which my present work is concerned; so perfect is his representation of actual life, so rich is his power of invention and his gift of style, so perfectly does he adapt himself to every kind of circumstance, character and emotion. 70 Indeed, those critics are no fools who think the speeches attributed to Charisius49 were in reality written by Menander. But I consider that he shows hisi power as an orator far more clearly in his comedies; since assuredly we can find no more perfect models of every oratorical quality than the judicial pleadings of his Epitrepontes,50 Epicleros and Locri, or the declamatory speeches in the Psophodes, Nomothetes, and Hypobolimaeus. 71 Still, for my own part, I think that he will be found even more useful by declaimers, in view of the fact that they have, according to the nature of the various controversial themes, to undertake a number of different rôles and to impersonate fathers, sons, soldiers, peasants, rich men and poor, the angry man and the suppliant, the gentle and the harsh. And all these characters are treated by this poet with consummate appropriateness. 72 Indeed, such is his supremacy that he has scarce left a name to other writers of the new comedy, and has cast them into darkness by the splendour of his own renown. Still, you will find something of value in the other comic poets as well, if you read them in not too critical a spirit; above all, profit may be derived from the study of Philemon,51 who, although it was p43a depraved taste which caused his contemporaries often to prefer him to Menander, has none the less deserved the second place which posterity has been unanimous in awarding him.

73 If we turn to history, we shall find a number of distinguished writers; but there are two who must undoubtedly be set far above all their rivals: their excellences are different in kind, but have won almost equal praise. Thucydides is compact in texture, terse and ever eager to press forward: Herodotus is pleasant, lucid and diffuse: the former excels in vigour, speeches and the expression of the stronger passions; the latter in charm, conversations and the delineation of the gentler emotions. 74 Theopompus52 comes next, and though as a historian he is inferior to the authors just mentioned, his style has a greater resemblance to oratory, which is not surprising, as he was an orator before he was urged to turn to history. Philistus53 also deserves special distinction among the crowd of later historians, good though they may have been: he was an imitator of Thucydides, and though far his inferior, was somewhat more lucid. Ephorus,54 according to Isocrates, needed the spur. 75 Clitarchus55 has won approval by his talent, but his accuracy has been impugned. Timagenes56 was born long after these authors, but deserves our praise for the very fact that he revived the credit of history, the writing of which had fallen into neglect. I have not forgotten Xenophon, but he will find his place among the philosophers.

p45 76 There follows a vast army of orators, Athens alone having produced ten remarkable orators57 in the same generation. Of these Demosthenes is far the greatest: indeed he came to be regarded almost as the sole pattern of oratory. Such is the force and compactness of his language, so muscular his style, so free from tameness and so self-controlled, that you will find nothing in him that is either too much or too little. 77 The style of Aeschines is fuller and more diffuse, while his lack of restraint gives an appearance of grandeur. But he has more flesh and less muscle. Hyperides has extraordinary charm and point, but is better qualified, than to say more useful, for cases of minor importance. 78 Lysias belongs to an earlier generation than those whom I have just mentioned. He has subtlety and elegance and, if the orator's sole duty were merely to instruct, it would be impossible to conceive greater perfection. For there is nothing irrelevant or far-fetched in his speeches. None the less I would compare him to a clear spring rather than to a mighty river. 79 Isocrates was an exponent of a different style of oratory: he is neat and polished and better suited to the fencing-school than to the battlefield. He elaborated all the graces of style, nor was he without justification. For he had trained himself for the lecture-room and not the law-courts. He is ready in invention, his moral ideals are high and the care which he bestows upon his rhythm is such as to be a positive fault. 80 I do not regard these as the sole merits of the orators of whom I have spoken, but have selected what seemed to me their chief excellences, while those whom I have passed over in silence were far from being indifferent. In fact, I will readily admit that the p47famous Demetrius of Phalerum,58 who is said to have been the first to set oratory on the downward path, was a man of great talent and eloquence and deserves to be remembered, if only for the fact that he is almost the last of the Attic school who can be called an orator: indeed Cicero59 prefers him to all other orators of the intermediate school.

81 Proceeding to the philosophers, from whom Cicero acknowledges that he derived such a large portion of his eloquence, we shall all admit that Plato is supreme whether in acuteness of perception or in virtue of his divine gift of style, which is worthy of Homer. For he soars high above the levels of ordinary prose or, as the Greeks call it, pedestrian language, and seems to me to be inspired not by mere human genius, but, as it were, by the oracles of the god of Delphi. 82 Why should I speak of the unaffected charm of Xenophon, so far beyond the power of affectation to attain? The Graces themselves seem to have moulded his style, and we may with the utmost justice say of him, what the writer of the old comedy60 said of Pericles, that the goddess of persuasion sat enthroned upon his lips. 83 Why should I dwell on the elegance of the rest of the Socratics? or on Aristotle,61 with regard to whom I hesitate whether to praise him more for his knowledge, for the multitude of his writings, the sweetness of his style, the penetration revealed by his discoveries or the variety of the tasks which he p49essayed? In Theophrastus62 we find such a superhuman brilliance of style that his name is said to be derived therefrom. 84 The ancient Stoics indulged their eloquence comparatively little. Still, they pleaded the cause of virtue, and the rules which they laid down for argument and proof have been of the utmost value. But they showed themselves shrewd thinkers rather than striking orators, which indeed they never aimed at being.

85 I now come to Roman authors, and shall follow the same order in dealing with them. As among Greek authors Homer provided us with the most auspicious opening, so will Virgil among our own. For of all epic poets, Greek or Roman, he, without doubt, most nearly approaches to Homer. 86 I will repeat the words which I heard Domitius Afer use in my young days. I asked what poet in his opinion came nearest to Homer, and he replied, "Virgil came nearest to Homer, but is nearer first than third." And in truth, although we must needs bow before the immortal and superhuman genius of Homer, there is greater diligence and exactness in the work of Virgil just because his task was harder. And perhaps the superior uniformity of the Roman's excellence balances Homer's pre-eminence in his outstanding passages. 87 All our other poets follow a long way in the rear. Macer and Lucretius are, it is true, worth reading, but not for the purpose of forming style, that is to say, the body of eloquence: both deal elegantly with their themes, but the former is tame and the latter difficult. The poems by which Varro of Atax63 gained his reputation were translations, but he is by no means to be despised, although his diction is not sufficiently rich to be of much p51service in developing the resources of eloquence. 88 Ennius deserves our reverence, but only as those groves whose age has made them sacred, but whose huge and ancient trunks inspire us with religious awe rather than admiration for their beauty. There are other poets who are nearer in point of time and more useful for our present purpose. Ovid has a lack of seriousness even when he writes epics and is unduly enamoured with his own gifts, but portions of his work merit our praise. 89 On the other hand, although Cornelius Severus64 is a better versifier than poet, yet if, as has been said, he had written his poem on the Sicilian war in the same style throughout as he first book, he would have a just claim to the second place. A premature death prevented the powers of Serranus65 from ripening to perfection, but his youthful works reveal the highest talent and a devotion to the true ideal of poetry, which is remarkable in one so young. 90 We have suffered serious loss in the recent death of Valerius Flaccus. Saleius Bassus66 showed an ardent and genuinely poetic genius, but, like that of Serranus, it was not mellowed by years. Rabirius67 and Pedo68 deserve to be studied by those who have the time. Lucan is fiery and passionate and remarkable for the grandeur of his general reflexions, but, to be frank, I consider that he is more suitable for imitation by the orator than by the poet. 91 I have restricted my list of poets to these names, because Germanicus p53Augustus69 has been distracted from the study of poetry on which he had embarked by his care for the governance of the world, and the gods have thought it scarce worthy of his powers that he should be the greatest of poets. But what can be more sublime, more learned, more perfect in every detail than those works to which he devoted himself in the seclusion to which he retired after conferring the supreme power upon his father and his brother? Who could sing of war better than he who wages it with such skill? To whom would the goddesses that preside over literature sooner lend an ear? To whom would Minerva, his familiar deity,70 more readily reveal her secrets? 92 Future ages shall tell of these things more fully; to‑day his glory as a poet is dimmed by the splendour of his other virtues. But you will forgive us, Caesar, who worship at the shrine of literature, if we refuse to pass by your achievements in silence and insist on testifying at least that, as Virgil sings,

"The ivy creeps amid your victor bays."71

93 We also challenge the supremacy of the Greeks in elegy. Of our elegiac poets Tibullus seems to me to be the most terse and elegant. There are, however, some who prefer Propertius. Ovid is more sportive than either, while Gallus72 is more severe. Satire, on the other hand, is all our own. The first of our poets to win renown in this connexion was Lucilius, some of whose devotees are so enthusiastic that they do not hesitate to prefer him not merely to all other satirists, but even to all other poets. 94 I disagree with them as much as I do with Horace,73 who holds that Lucilius' verse has a "muddy flow, p55and that there is always something in him that might well be dispensed with." For his learning is as remarkable as his freedom of speech, and it is this latter quality that gives so sharp an edge and such abundance of wit to his satire. Horace is far terser and purer in style, and must be awarded the first place, unless my judgment is led astray by my affection for his work. Persius also, although he wrote but one book, has acquired a high and well-deserved reputation, while there are other distinguished satirists still living whose praises will be sung by posterity. 95 There is, however, another and even older type of satire which derives its variety not merely from verse, but from an admixture of prose as well. Such were the satires composed by Terentius Varro,74 the most learned of all Romans. He composed a vast number of erudite works, and possessed an extraordinary knowledge of the Latin language, of all antiquity and of the history of Greece and Rome. But he is an author likely to contribute more to the knowledge of the student than to his eloquence. 96 The iambic has not been popular with Roman poets as a separate form of composition, but is found mixed up with other forms of verse.75 It may be found in all its bitterness in Catullus, Bibaculus76 and Horace, although in the last-named the iambic is interrupted by the epode.77 Of our lyric writers Horace is almost the sole poet worth reading: for he rises at times to a lofty grandeur and is full of sprightliness and charm, while there is great variety in his figures, and his boldness in the choice of words is only equalled by his felicity. If any other lyric poet is to be mentioned, it will be Caesius Bassus, who has but p57lately passed from us. But he is far surpassed in talent by poets still living.

97 Among writers of tragedy Accius and Pacuvius78 are most remarkable for the force of their general reflexions, the weight of their words and the dignity of their characters. But they lack polish, and failed to put the finishing touches on their works, although the fault was perhaps rather that of the times in which they lived than of themselves. Accius is generally regarded as the most vigorous, while those who lay claim to learning regard Pacuvius as the more learned of the two. 98 The Thyestes of Varius79 is a match for any Greek tragedy, and the Medea of Ovid shows, in my opinion, to what heights that poet might have risen if he had been ready to curb his talents instead of indulging them. Of the tragic writers whom I myself have seen, Pomponius Secundus80 is by far the best: his older critics thought him insufficiently tragic, but admitted his eminence as far as learning and polish were concerned. 99 Comedy is our weakest point. Although Varro quotes Aelius Stilo81 as saying that if the Muses wished to speak Latin, they would use the language of Plautus, although the ancients extol Caecilius,82 and although Scipio Africanus is credited with the works of Terence (which are the most elegant of their kind, and would be still more graceful if the poet had confined himself to the iambic trimeter), 100 we still scarcely succeed in reproducing even a faint shadow of the charm of Greek comedy. Indeed, it seems to me as though the language of Rome were incapable of reproducing that graceful wit which was p59granted to Athens alone, and was beyond the reach of other Greek dialects to achieve. Afraniusº excels in the purely Roman comedy, but it is to be regretted that he revealed his own character by defiling his plots with the introduction of indecent paederastic intrigues.

101 In history, however, we hold our own with the Greeks. I should not hesitate to match Sallust against Thucydides, nor would Herodotus resent Titus Livius being placed on the same level as himself. For the latter has a wonderful charm and transparency in narrative, while his speeches are eloquent beyond description; so admirably adapted is all that is said both to the circumstances and the speaker; and as regards the emotions, especially the more pleasing of them, I may sum him up by saying that no historian has ever depicted them to greater perfection. 102 Thus it is that, although by different means, he has acquired no less fame than has been awarded to the immortal rapidity of Sallust. For I strongly approve of the saying of Servilius Nonianus,83 that these historians were equal rather than alike. Servilius, whom I myself have heard, is himself remarkable for the force of his intellect, and is full of general reflexions, but he is less restrained than the dignity of history demands. 103 But that dignity is admirably maintained, thanks to his style, by Aufidius Bassus,84 a slightly earlier writer, especially in his work on the German war: he is always praiseworthy, though at times he fails to do his powers full justice. 104 But there still survives to add lustre to this glorious age a man85 worthy to be remembered through all time: he is appreciated to‑day, but after generations shall declare his name p61aloud. The bold utterances of Cremutius86 also have their admirers, and deserve their fame, though the passages which brought him to his ruin have been expurgated; still that which is left reveals a rich store of lofty animation and fearless reflexions upon life. There are other good writers as well, but I am merely selecting from the different departments of literature, not reviewing complete libraries.

105 But it is our orators, above all, who enable us to match our Roman eloquence against that of Greece. For I would set Cicero against any one of their orators without fear of refutation. I know well enough what a storm I shall raise by this assertion, more especially since I do not propose for the moment87 to compare him with Demosthenes; for there would be no point in such a comparison, as I consider that Demosthenes should be the object of special study, and not merely studied, but even committed to memory. 106 I regard the excellences of these two orators as being for the most part similar, that is to say, their judgment, their gift of arrangement, their methods of division, preparation and proof, as well as everything concerned with invention. In their actual style there is some difference. Demosthenes is more concentrated, Cicero more diffuse; Demosthenes makes his periods shorter than Cicero, and his weapon is the rapier, whereas Cicero's periods are longer, and at times he employs the bludgeon as well: nothing can be taken from the former, nor added to the latter; the Greek reveals a more studied, the Roman a more natural art. 107 As regards wit and the power of exciting pity, the two most powerful instruments where the feelings are concerned, we have the advantage. Again, it is possible p63that Demosthenes was deprived by national custom88 of the opportunity of producing powerful perorations, but against this may be set the fact that the different character of the Latin language debars us from the attainment of those qualities which are so much admired by the adherents of the Attic school. As regards their letters, which have in both cases survived, there can be no comparison between the two. 108 But, on the other hand, there is one point in which the Greek has the undoubted superiority: he comes first in point of time, and it was largely due to him that Cicero was able to attain greatness. For it seems to me that Cicero, who devoted himself heart and soul to the imitation of the Greeks, succeeded in reproducing the force of Demosthenes, the copious flow of Plato, and the charm of Isocrates. 109 But he did something more than reproduce the best elements in each of these authors by dint of careful study; it was to himself that he owed most of, or rather all his excellences, which spring from the extraordinary fertility of his immortal genius. For he does not, as Pindar89 says, "collect the rain from heaven, but wells forth with living water," since Providence at his birth conferred this special privilege upon him, that eloquence should make trial of all her powers in him. 110 For who can instruct with greater thoroughness, or more deeply stir the emotions? Who has ever possessed such a gift of charm? He seems to obtain as a boon what in reality he extorts by force, and when he wrests the judge from the path of his own judgment, the latter seems not to be swept away, but merely to follow. 111 Further, there is such weight in all that he p65says that his audience feel ashamed to disagree with him, and the zeal of the advocate is so transfigured that it has the effect of the sworn evidence of a witness, or the verdict of a judge. And at the same time all these excellences, of which scarce one could be attained by the ordinary man even by the most concentrated effort, flow from him with every appearance of spontaneity, and his style, although no fairer has ever fallen on the ears of men, none the less displays the utmost felicity and ease. 112 It was not, therefore, without good reason that his own contemporaries spoke of his "sovereignty" at the bar, and that for posterity the name of Cicero has come to be regarded not as the name of a man, but as the name of eloquence itself. Let us, therefore, fix our eyes on him, take him as our pattern, and let the student realise that he has made real progress if he a passionate admirer of Cicero. 113 Asinius Pollio90 had great gifts of invention and great precision of language (indeed, some think him too precise), while his judgment and spirit were fully adequate. But he is so far from equalling the polish and charm of Cicero that he might have been born a generation before him. Messala,91 on the other hand, is polished and transparent and displays his nobility in his utterance, but he fails to do his powers full justice. 114 As for Gaius Caesar, if he had had leisure to devote himself to the courts, he would have been the one orator who could have been considered a serious rival to Cicero. Such are his force, his penetration and his energy that we realise that he was as vigorous in speech as in his conduct of war. And yet all these qualities are enhanced by a marvellous elegance of language, of which he was an exceptionally jealous p67student. 115 Caelius92 has much natural talent and much wit, more especially when speaking for the prosecution, and deserved a wiser mind and a longer life. I have come across some critics who preferred Calvus93 to all other orators, and others again who agreed with Cicero that too severe self-criticism had robbed him of his natural vigour. But he was the possessor of a solemn, weighty and chastened style, which was also capable at times of genuine vehemence. He was an adherent of the Attic school and an untimely death deprived him of his full meed of honour, at least if we regard him as likely to have acquired fresh qualities. 116 Servius Sulpicius94 acquired a great and well-deserved reputation by his three speeches. Cassius Severus,95 if read with discrimination, will provide much that is worthy of imitation: if to his other merits he had added appropriateness of tone and dignity of style, 117 he would deserve a place among the greatest. For his natural talents are great, his gift of bitterness, wit and passion remarkable, but he allowed the sharpness of his temper to prevail over his judgment. Moreover, though his jests are pungent enough, this very pungency often turned the laugh against himself. 118 There are many other clever speakers, but it would be a long task to deal with them all. Domitius Afer96 and Julius Africanus97 are by far the most distinguished. The former is superior in art and in every department of oratory, indeed he may be ranked with the old orators without fear of contradiction. p69The latter shows greater energy, but is too great a precisian in the choice of words, prone to tediously long periods and somewhat extravagant in his metaphors. There have been distinguished talents even of more recent date. 119 For example, Trachalus98 was, as a rule, elevated and sufficiently clear in his language: one realised that his aims were high, but he was better to listen to than to read. For his voice was, in my experience, unique in its beauty of tone, while his delivery would have done credit to an actor, his action was full of grace and he possessed every external advantage in profusion. Vibius Crispus,99 again, was well-balanced, agreeable and born to charm, though he was better in private than in public cases. 120 Julius Secundus,100 had he lived longer, would undoubtedly have attained a great and enduring reputation. For he would have acquired, as he was actually acquiring, all that was lacking to his qualities, namely, a far greater pugnacity and a closer attention to substance as well as form. 121 But, in spite of the untimeliness of his end, he occupies a high place, thanks to his fluency, the grace with which he set forth whatever he desired, the lucidity, smoothness and beauty of his speech, the propriety revealed in the use of words, even when employed figuratively, and the point which characterises even his most hazardous expressions. 122 Subsequent writers on the history of oratory will find abundant material for praise among the orators who flourish to‑day: for the law courts can boast a glorious wealth of talent. Indeed, the consummate advocates of the present day are serious rivals of the ancients, while enthusiastic effort and lofty ideals lead many a young student p71to tread in their footsteps and imitate their excellence.

123 I have still to deal with writers on philosophy, of whom Rome has so far produced but few who are distinguished for their style. But Cicero, who is great in every department of literature, stands out as the rival of Plato in this department as well. Brutus101 was an admirable writer on such themes, in which he distinguished himself far more than in his speeches: he is equal to the serious nature of his subject, and the reader realises that he feels what he says. 124 Cornelius Celsus,102 a follower of the Sextii,103 wrote a number of philosophical works, which have considerable grace and polish. Among the Stoics Plautus104 is useful as giving a knowledge of the subject. Among the Epicureans Catius105 is agreeable to read, though lacking in weight. 125 I have deliberately postponed the discussion of Seneca in connexion with the various departments of literature owing to the fact that there is a general, though false, impression that I condemn and even detest him. It is true that I had occasion to pass censure upon him when I was endeavouring to recall students from a depraved style, weakened by every kind of error, to a severer standard of taste. 126 But at that time Seneca's works were in the hands of every young man, and my aim was not to ban his reading altogether, but to prevent his being preferred to authors superior to himself, but whom he was never tired of disparaging; for, being conscious of the fact that his own style was very different p73from theirs, he was afraid that he would fail to please those who admired them. But the young men loved him rather than imitated him, and fell as far below him as he fell below the ancients. 127 For I only wish they had equalled or at least approached his level. But he pleased them for his faults alone, and each individual sought to imitate such of those faults as lay within his capacity to reproduce: and then brought reproach on his master by boasting that he spoke in the genuine Senecan manner. 128 Seneca had many excellent qualities, a quick and fertile intelligence with great industry and wide knowledge, though as regards the last quality he was often led into error by those whom he had entrusted with the task of investigating certain subjects on his behalf. 129 He dealt with almost every department of knowledge; for speeches, poems, letters and dialogues all circulate under his name. In philosophy he showed a lack of critical power, but was none the less quite admirable in his denunciations of vice. His works contain a number of striking general reflexions and much that is worth reading for edification; but his style is for the most part corrupt and exceedingly dangerous, for the very reason that its vices are so many and attractive. 130 One could wish that, while he relied on his own intelligence, he had allowed himself to be guided by the taste of others. For if he had only despised all unnatural expressions and had not been so passionately fond of all that was incorrect, if he had not felt such affection for all that was his own, and had not impaired the solidity of his matter by striving after epigrammatic brevity, he would have won the approval of the learned instead of the p75enthusiasm of boys. 131 But even as it is, he deserves to be read by those whose powers have been formed and firmly moulded on the standards of a severer taste, if only because he will exercise their critical faculties in distinguishing between his merits and his defects. For, as I have said, there is much in him which we may approve, much even that we may admire. Only we must be careful in our selection: would he had been as careful himself. For his genius deserved to be devoted to better aims, since what it does actually aim at, it succeeds in achieving.


The Translator's Notes:

1 See §§ 59 and 96.

2 See Herodot ii.2. The children were alleged to have cried "bekos," physician for bread.

3 or catachresis. See VIII.II.5 and vi.34.

4 Ecl. i81.

5 See I.VIII.16; IX.I.11.

6 See IV.II.106 and VI.I.20.

7 See § 113.

8 See § 116.

9 C. Nonius Asprenas, a friend of Augustus, accused by Cassius and defended by Pollio on a charge of poisoning.

Thayer's Note: See the references in CP 27:2:156‑167

10 Probably before some other tribunal. Cicero's de Domo Sua was delivered before the pontifices.

11 cp. III.VI.93. Cornelius Celsus was an encyclopaedic writer of the early empire, whose treatise on medicine has survived.

12 Liburnia. see IX.II.34.

13 See § 118.

14 Stepfather of Nero. SeeVI.I.50.

15 Probably the Laelius Balbus of Tac. Ann. VI.47, 48.

16 In a lost letter: cp. Plut. Cic. 24.

17 A. P. 359.

18 In one of his lost rhetorical treatises.

19 Pro Arch. 12.

20 IV.II.45.

21 Or. 30 sq.

22 cp. § 80.

23 cp. I Pref. 11.

24 XII.X.63 sqq.

25 Arat. Phaen. 1.

26 Il. XXI.196.

27 Antilochus, Il. XVIII.18.

28 Phoneix, Il. IX.529.

29 Il. XXIV.486 sqq.

30 Especially the Theogony.

31 Antimachus of Colophon (flor. circ. 405 B.C.), author of a Thebaid.

32 Uncle of Herodotus, author of a Heracleia.

33 Apollonius of Rhodes, author of the Argonautica. The list to which reference is made consisted of the four poets just mentioned, with the addition of Pisandros, for whom see § 56.

34 Aristophanes of Byzantium.

35 A Rhodian poet of the seventh century B.C.

36 Nicander of Colophon (second century B.C.), author of didactic poems, Theriaca and Alexipharmaca and Metamorphoses ἑτεροιούμενα). Virgil imitated him in the Georgics, Aemilius Macer, the friend of Ovid, in his Theriaca.

37 Euphorion of Chalcis (220 B.C.) wrote elaborate short epics. See Ecl. x.50. The words are, however, put into the mouth of Gallus with reference to his own imitations of Euphorion.

38 See Hor. A.  . 401. Tyrtaeus, writer of war songs (seventh century B.C.).

39 § 45.

40 Philetas of Cos (290 B.C.).

41 X.I.1.

42 i.e. invective. The other two writers are Simonides of Amorgos and Hipponax of Ephesus. Archilochus (fl. 686 B.C.).

43 The five not mentioned here are Alcman, Sappho, Ibycus, Anacreon and Bacchylides.

44 Od. IV.II.1.

45 Stesichorus of Himera in Sicily (flor. circ. 600 B.C.), wrote in lyric verse on many legends, more especially on themes connected with the Trojan war.

46 Hor. Od. II.XIII.26. Alcaeus of Mitylene (circa 600 B.C.).

47 Simonides of Ceos, 556‑468 B.C., famous for all forms of lyric poetry, especially funeral odes.

48 Contemporaries: Cratinus (519‑422), Aristophanes (448‑380), Eupolis (446‑410).

49 A contemporary of Demosthenes; his speeches have not survived, but were considered to resemble those of Lysias.

50 The greater portion of the Epitrepontes has been recovered from a papyrus. The other plays are lost. The names may be translated: "The Arbitrators," "The Heiress," "The Locri," "The Timid Man," "The Lawgiver," "The Changeling."

51 Philemon of Soli (360‑262); Menander of Athens (342‑290).

52 Theopompus of Chios, born about 378 B.C., wrote a history of Greece (Hellenica) from close of Peloponnesian war to 394 B.C., and a history of Greece in relation to Philip of Macedon (Philippica). His master, Isocrates, urged him to write history.

53 Philistus of Syracuse, born about 430 B.C., wrote a history of Sicily.

54 Ephorus of Cumae, flor. circ. 340 B.C., wrote a universal history. He was a pupil of Isocrates. Cp. II.VIII.11.

55 Clitarchus of Megara wrote a history of Persia and of Alexander, whose contemporary he was.

56 Timagenes, a Syrian of the Augustan age, wrote a history of Alexander and his successors.

57 Antiphon, Andocides, Lysias (flor. 403‑380), Isocrates (435‑338), Isaeus, Demosthenes, Aeschines, Lycurgus, Hyperides and Dinarchus.

Thayer's Note: Except for the last two, each of these men is the subject of a full chapter in Dobson's Greek Orators.

58 Governed Athens as Cassander's vicegerent 317‑307: then fled to Egypt, what he died in 283.

59 de Or. ii.95; Orat. 92. The "intermediate" style is that which lies between the "grand" and the "plain" styles.

60 Eupolis, πειθώ τις ἐπεκάθιζεν ἐπὶ τοῖς χείλεσιν.

61 "Sweet" is the last epithet to be applied to the surviving works of Aristotle. But Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Cicero praise him no less warmly, referring, no doubt, to works that are lost.

62 Theophrastus, Aristotle's successor as head of his school (322‑287). Diogenes Laertius (V.38) says that his real name was Tyrtamus, but that Aristotle called him Theophrastus because of the "divine qualities of his style" (φράσις).

63 Varro of Atax in Gaul (82‑37 B.C.) was specially famous for his translation of the Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius. He also wrote didactic poetry and historical epic.

64 Friend and contemporary of Ovid. A considerable fragment is preserved by Sen. Suas. vi.26. The Sicilian War was the war with Sextus Pompeius (38‑36) and perhaps formed a portion of a larger work on the Civil War. The surviving fragment deals with the death of Cicero. The primus liber may therefore perhaps be the first book of this larger work.

65 Nothing is known of this poet except the name.

66 Nothing is known of this poet save that he is highly praised by Tacitus in his Dialogues, and was patronised by Vespasian. The unfinished Argonautica of Valerius Flaccus survives.

67 A contemporary of Ovid, believed to be the author of a fragment on the battle of Actium, found at Herculaneum.

68 C. Albinovanus Pedo wrote a poem on the voyg of Germanicus to the north of Germany. A fragment is preserved by Sen. Suas. i.14.

69 Domitian.

70 He claimed to be the son of Minerva. It is doubtful if he ever wrote any poetry. Cp. Tac. Hist. iv.86, Suet. Dom. 2 and 20.

71 Ecl. viii.13.

72 Cornelius Gallus, the friend of Virgil, and the first distinguished writer of elegy at Rome.

73 Sat. I.IV.11.

74 His Menippean Satires, of which only fragments survive. Although ostensibly an imitation of the work of the Greek Menippus of Gadara, they can still be said to belong to the older type of satire, the "medley" or "hotch-potch."

75 The meaning is not clear. The words may mean (i) that these writers did not confine themselves to the iambus, or (ii) that the iambus alternates with other metres, cp. epodos below.

76 M. Furius Bibaculus, contemporary of Catullus, and writer of similar invective against the Caesareans.

77 i.e. the short iambic line interposed between the trimeters.

78 Accius (170‑90), Pacuvius (220‑132).

79 L. Varius Rufus, round of Virgil and Horace, editor of the Aeneid; wrote epic and a single tragedy.

80 Pomponius Secundus, died 60 A.D.; wrote a tragedy entitled Aeneas.

81 The first Roman philologist (144‑70 B.C.).

82 Caecilius (219‑166), Terence (194‑159), Afranius (flor. circ. 150). Only fragments of Caecilius and Afranius remain.

83 Friend of Persius, and famous as orator, reciter and historian; died 60 A.D.

84 He wrote a history of the empire down to the death of Claudius. The work on the German war was probably a separate work.

85 Probably Fabius Rusticus. Tacitus would have been too young at this time to be mentioned in such terms.

86 Cremutius Cordus wrote a history of the Civil wars and reign of Augustus. He was accused for his praise of Brutus and Cassius, and committed suicide in A.D. 25. It was he who called Cassius "the last of all the Romans."

87 See XII.I.14 sqq., also XII.X.12 sqq.

88 cp. II.XVI.4; VI.I.7. Quintilian refers to an alleged law at Athens forbidding appeals to the emotion.

89 The quotation is not fortified in Pindar's extant works.

90 Asinius Pollio (75 B.C.-A.D. 4), the friend of Virgil, distinguished as poet, historian and orator.

91 M. Valerius Corvinus (64 B.C.-A.D. 8), the friend of Tibullus and distinguished as an orator.

92 M. Rufus Caelius, defended by Cicero in the pro Caelio. Killed in 48 B.C. Cp. IV.II.123; VIII.VI.53.

93 Calvus (Gaius Licinius), a distinguished poet and, with Brutus, the leading orator of the Attic School. He died at the age of 34 in 48 B.C.

94 Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the greatest jurist owing to the Ciceronian age.

95 Cassius Severus (d. A.D. 34) banished by Augustus on account of his scurrilous lampoons.

96 Domitius Afer (d. 59 A.D.), the leading orator of the reigns of Tiberius and his successors.

97 Iulius Africanus, a Gaul, who flourished in the reign of Nero.

98 M. Galerius Trachalus (cos. 68 A.D.). Cp. XII.V.5.

99 Vibius Crispus, a delator under Nero, died about A.D. 90, after acquiring great wealth. Cp. Juv. IV.81‑93.

100 Julius Secundus, a distinguished orator of the reign of Vespasian. One of the characters in the Dialogus of Tacitus.

101 Brutus, omitted from Quintilian's list of orators, was a follower of the Stoic and Academic schools. He is known to have written treatises on Virtue, Duty and Patience.

102 An encyclopaedic writer under Augustus and Tiberius. His medical treatises have survived. He wrote on oratory also, and is not infrequently quoted by Quintilian.

103 The Sextii, father and son, were Pythagorean philosophers of the Augustan age, with something of a Stoic tendency as well.

104 Nothing is known of this writer, save what is told us in II.XIV.2,º and III.VI.23.

105 A contemporary of Cicero, who speaks of him somewhat contemptuously. He wrote four books de rerum natura et de summo bono.

Page updated: 19 Nov 12