dixit quaedam eius sputatilica esse crimina. tum C. Rusius: ‘circumvenior,’ inquit, ‘iudices, nisi subvenitis. Sisenna quid dicat2 nescio; metuo insidias. sputatilica, quid est hoc? sputa quid sit scio, tilica nescio.’ maximi risus; sed ille tamen familiaris meus recte loqui putabat esse inusitate loqui....”


L. Licinius Lucullus (cos. 74 BC; RE Licinius 104), a brother of M. Licinius Lucullus (91), was a supporter of L. Cornelius Sulla and served in the Social War; in his youth he composed a work on the war in Greek as a jeu d’esprit (FRHist 23). After his consulship in 74 BC, he received the provinces of Asia and Cilicia, which he reorganized and where he fought against the kings Mithridates VI and Tigranes; thereupon, he eventually celebrated a triumph in 63 BC, having faced opposition to his policies (cf. 125 F 3–6). L. Lucullus supported the death penalty for the arrested Catilinarian conspirators in 63 (Cic. Att. 12.21.1) and testified against his former brother-in-law P. Clodius Pulcher (137) at the Bona Dea trial of 61 BC (on Lucullus’ life, see van Ooteghem 1959; Schütz 1994).

T 1 Cic. Brut. 222

[Cicero:] ...L. autem Lucullum etiam acutum, patremque tuum, Brute, iuris quoque et publici et privati sane peritum, M. Lucullum ... abducamus ex acie, id est a



accusations of his were sputatilica [‘execrable’; rendering καταπτυστά, ‘to be spat upon, abominable’]. Thereupon C. Rusius said: ‘I am encircled, judges, unless you come to my rescue. What Sisenna is saying I do not understand; I fear a trap. Sputatilica, what is that? What sputa [past participle of spuo or imperative of sputo, ‘to spit’] is, I know, but tilica I do not understand.’ There was great laughter; but still that good friend of mine believed that speaking correctly was speaking in an uncommon way....”


L. Lucullus was regarded as extremely rich (Diod. Sic. 4.21.4) and as a very learned and cultured man. L. Cornelius Sulla dedicated his commentarii to him as an able writer (T 2; FRHist 23 T 3). L. Lucullus was on familiar terms with the poet Archias (Cic. Arch. 5–6) and the philosopher Antiochus of Ascalon, and himself interested in philosophy: accordingly, the second book of one version of Cicero’s Academica is named after him. L. Lucullus was recognized as an able orator, though described as more suited to political oratory in Cicero (T 1–3).

Both brothers were attacked by C. Memmius (125 F2–6), when the latter was Tribune of the People in 66 BC, but the charges were dropped (TLRR 206).

T 1 Cicero, Brutus

[Cicero:] ... L. Lucullus too, also a shrewd man, and your father [M. Iunius Brutus, tr. pl. 83 BC], Brutus, well versed indeed in both public and private law, M. Lucullus, ... let us withdraw them from the battle line, that is from

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.fragmentary_republican_latin-oratory.2019