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FRL III: ORATORY, PART 1

et ceteris omnibus una res maxime, largitio, dominationem conparavit, quid est, quod non idem Gracchum affectare credatis, quem eadem quae illos facere videatis?”

33 C. PERSIUS

C. Persius (RE Persius 4) was a learned man in the time of the satirist Lucilius (T 1–2; Cic. Fin. 1.7; Plin. HN praef. 7): Lucilius said that he did not want his work to be read by him, as Persius was too learned (Lucil. 592–96 Marx).

T 1 Cic. De or. 2.25

[Crassus:] nam ut C. Lucilius homo doctus et perurbanus dicere solebat ea quae scriberet neque se ab indoctissimis neque a doctissimis legi velle, quod alteri nihil intellegerent, alteri plus fortasse quam ipse—de quo etiam scripsit [Lucil. 593 Marx] “Persium non curo legere” (hic fuit enim, ut noramus, omnium fere nostrorum hominum doctissumus), “Laelium Decumum volo,” quem cognovimus virum bonum et non inlitteratum sed nihil ad Persium— ...

T 2 Cic. Brut. 99

= 32 F 1.

182

33 C. PERSIUS

and all others [i.e., other tyrants] one thing in particular, bribery, procured absolute dominion, what reason is there that you don’t believe that Gracchus is aiming for the same, since you see him doing the same things as those men?”

33 C. PERSIUS

Atticus and Cicero knew of some who used to attribute the one oration said to be left by C. Fannius (32 F 1–5) to C. Persius (T 2).

T 1 Cicero, On the Orator

[Crassus:] For just as C. Lucilius, a learned and highly accomplished man, used to say that he wished what he wrote to be read neither by the most ignorant nor by the most learned, since the former understood nothing and the latter possibly more than he himself—about this he also wrote [Lucil. 593 Marx]: “I do not desire Persius as a reader” (for he was, as we had learned, about the most erudite of all our fellow citizens), “I want Laelius Decumus,” whom we have got to know as an excellent man and not without learning, but nothing compared to Persius— ...

T 2 Cicero, Brutus

= 32 F 1.

183
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.fragmentary_republican_latin-oratory.2019