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FRL III: ORATORY, PART 1

hominum iure praetulerit, licet pronepos Catilina gratiam nomini deroget. secundo stipendio dextram manum perdidit; stipendiis duobus ter et viciens vulneratus est, ob id neutra manu, neutro pede satis utilis, animo1 tantum salvus,2 plurimis postea stipendiis debilis miles. bis ab Hannibale captus—neque enim cum quolibet hoste res fuit—bis vinculorum eius profugus, in viginti mensibus nullo non die in catenis aut compedibus custoditus. [105] sinistra manu sola quater pugnavit, duobus equis insidente eo suffossis. dextram sibi ferream fecit eaque religata proeliatus Cremonam obsidione exemit, Placentiam tutatus est, duodena castra hostium in Gallia cepit, quae omnia ex oratione eius adparent habita cum in praetura sacris arceretur a collegis ut debilis ...

Cf. Solin. 1.104–5.

10 TI. SEMPRONIUS GRACCHUS PATER

Ti. Sempronius Gracchus pater (tr. pl. 184 BC, cos. 177, 163, censor 169 BC; RE Sempronius 53), the father of the brothers Gracchi (34 + 48), had a distinguished political and military career. He is described as eloquent in Cicero’s

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10 TI. SEMPRONIUS GRACCHUS PATER

are greater ones of fortune. Nobody, in my judgment at any rate, could rightly rank any human being above M. Sergius, albeit his great-grandson Catilina [L. Sergius Catilina (112)] diminishes the credit of his name. In his second campaign he [Sergius] lost his right hand; in two campaigns he was wounded twenty-three times; for that reason not being able to use either hand or either foot fully, being unharmed only in spirit, he, although disabled, served in numerous campaigns afterward as a soldier. Twice he was taken prisoner by Hannibal—for he was not engaged with an ordinary foe—twice he escaped from his [Hannibal’s] fetters, although kept in chains or shackles every single day for twenty months. [105] He fought four times with only his left hand, having two horses he was riding stabbed under him. He had a right hand of iron made for him and, having it tied to his arm, went into battle, raised the siege of Cremona, saved Placentia [modern Piacenza], captured twelve enemy camps in Gaul: all of these exploits become apparent from his speech delivered when, during his praetorship, he was debarred from the sacrifices, as infirm, by his colleagues...

10 TI. SEMPRONIUS GRACCHUS PATER

history of Roman orators (F 1); elsewhere, Cicero has an interlocutor state that the father, in comparison with his sons, was not really an orator, but rather a man of action (Cic. De or. 1.38; 34 T 5).

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.fragmentary_republican_latin-oratory.2019