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FRL III: ORATORY, PART 1

consulis permissu ad contionem militibus vocatis, pronuntiavit [6] nocte proxima, ne quis id pro portento acciperet, ab hora secunda usque ad quartam horam noctis lunam defecturam esse. id quia naturali ordine statis temporibus fiat, et sciri ante et praedici posse. [7] itaque quem ad modum, quia certi solis lunaeque et ortus et occasus sint, nunc pleno orbe nunc senescente<m>2 exiguo cornu fu<l>gere3 lunam non mirarentur, ita ne obscurari quidem, cum condatur umbra terrae, trahere in prodigium debere. [8] nocte quam pridie nonas Septembres insecuta est dies edita luna hora cum defecisset, Romanis militibus Gal{l}i sapientia prope divina videri; [9] Macedonas ut triste prodigium, occasum regni perniciemque gentis portendens, movit, nec aliter vates. clamor ululatusque in castris Macedonum fuit, donec luna in suam lucem emersit.

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P. Cornelius Lentulus (cos. suff. 162 BC; RE Cornelius 202) had a successful public career and was princeps senatus from 125 BC (T 1); he was wounded in the conflict

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15 P. CORNELIUS LENTULUS

the soldiers to an assembly, by permission of the consul [L. Aemilius Paullus (12)], and announced: [6] that no one should regard this as a bad omen when in the following night an eclipse of the moon would take place from the second to the fourth hour of the night. Since this occurred in the regular order of nature at fixed times, it could both be known in advance and be foretold. [7] Therefore, just as they were not surprised when they saw the moon shining now with its full circle, now during its wane with a narrow arc, since both the risings and the settings of the sun and the moon were certain, so they should not regard as a prodigy even that it was darkened when it was hidden by the shadow of the earth. [8] In the night that was followed by the day preceding the Nones of September [September 4], when the moon had been eclipsed at the predicted hour, the wisdom of Galus seemed almost divine to the Roman soldiers; [9] [the incident] moved the Macedonians like a dire portent, indicating the downfall of the kingdom and the ruin of the nation, and the soothsayers likewise. There was uproar and wailing in the camp of the Macedonians until the moon emerged back to its usual light.

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with C. Sempronius Gracchus (48) in 121 BC, but was able to escape (Val. Max. 5.3.2f; Cic. Cat. 4.13; Phil. 8.14).

In Cicero Lentulus is said to have been adequately eloquent for political affairs (T 1).

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.fragmentary_republican_latin-oratory.2019