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FRL III: ORATORY, PART 1

20 C. LAELIUS SAPIENS

C. Laelius Sapiens (cos. 140 BC; RE Laelius 3) was a friend of P. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus minor (21); he had philosophical and literary interests and was acquainted with the poets and philosophers Terence, Lucilius, Diogenes, and Panaetius (T6); he appears as an interlocutor in several Ciceronian dialogues.

In Cicero Laelius is described as an excellent orator, which could be perceived from the surviving written speeches (T1, 3), as someone whose utterances are characterized by pure Latinity (T4) and by a charming and natural diction (T5, 7, 8, 10), and who was able to create

T 1 Cic. Brut. 82–83

[Cicero:] ...sed C. Laelius et P. Africanus in primis eloquentes, quorum exstant orationes, ex quibus existimari de ingeniis oratorum potest.... [83] de ipsius Laeli et Scipionis ingenio quamquam ea est fama,1 ut plurimum tribuatur ambobus, dicendi tamen laus est in Laelio inlustrior.

T 2 Cic. Brut. 89

= 19 F 13.

T 3 Cic. Brut. 93–94

= 19 T 2.

100

20 C. LAELIUS SAPIENS

20 C. LAELIUS SAPIENS

different levels of style by slight variations rather than by exerting himself (Cic. De or. 1.255), even though Quintilian notes that the style may be regarded only as polished in relation to the early period in which Laelius was active (Quint. Inst. 12.10.10; for praise cf. also T7, 11; Cic. De or. 1.58, 1.215; Vell. Pat. 2.9.1; Apul. Apol. 95.5). In the Rhetorica ad Herennium Laelius is listed as one of the writers from whom examples for students could be drawn (Rhet. Her. 4.7: 25 T5).

Laelius is said to have delivered many speeches for the defense (T9).

T 1 Cicero, Brutus

[Cicero:] ...but C. Laelius and P. Africanus [P. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus minor (21)] [were regarded as] particularly eloquent; of them speeches are extant, from which one may judge their talent as orators. ... [19 T1] ... [83] Concerning the talent of Laelius himself and of Scipio, while their reputation is such that an enormous amount is attributed to both, still, in speaking, the reputation of Laelius is more illustrious. [continued by F12]

T 2 Cicero, Brutus

= 19 F 13.

T 3 Cicero, Brutus

= 19 T 2.

101
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.fragmentary_republican_latin-oratory.2019