the fact that this overview includes orators from different phases within the Republican period as well as men given high or low rankings by contemporaries and by later ancient authors can contribute to providing a fuller panorama of Roman Republican oratory.

In addition to Cicero’s remarks and quotations, the majority of references to oratorical occasions can be found in the commentators on Cicero, in Valerius Maximus, Quintilian, Tacitus, Fronto, and historiographers, while proper fragments have mainly been preserved in the archaist Aulus Gellius and the works of lexicographers, grammarians, and rhetoricians interested in particular words, phrases, or stylistic figures. The material available for individual orators varies accordingly.

What emerges is a sense of which orators were more “prolific” and/or more “famous” than others, but this is an impression shaped by the sources.4

“Fragments” of Roman oratorY

Editing the “fragments” of Roman Republican oratory is in many ways more complex than editing some of the other writers or literary genres represented in Fragmentary Republican Latin (FRL). In addition to the standard difficulties created by any fragmentary corpus (for instance, problems of transmission and attribution), the task of presenting the remains of Roman Republican oratory is confronted from the start with the essential and difficult question of whom and what to include or not to include.



In the case of M. Tullius Cicero, the only orator from the Roman Republican period for whom entire speeches remain, it is fairly obvious that he was an “orator” and what a “speech” of his constitutes.5 As regards other individuals, if “orator” is understood to be anyone who ever voiced an utterance in a formal or semiformal context, the list of Republican orators would have to include every known magistrate, since anyone who ever proposed a law would have spoken to present it to the Senate and/or the People, and every magistrate would have given an inaugural speech and/or made a statement on some matter in the Senate at least once. For most Republican politicians, however, the fact that they must have spoken in public can be inferred only from what is known about their public careers and the standard political procedures; there is no specific evidence confirming that they did so or giving details about occasion, content, or style of any utterance.

In light of this situation, the present edition focuses on those orators for whom there is some specific evidence for their oratory and/or for individual speeches and remarks made by them; and it provides the necessary contextual information for the passages given. The project Fragments of the Republican Roman Orators to be published by Oxford University Press (FRRO: attempts a wider coverage of material, including lists of events at which speeches were made and notices of all kinds of speeches. Such an extensive database will not bereplicated here. Lists of Republican magistrates have been compiled in MRR; overviews of proposals of laws