F 1 Suet. Iul. 49.1

= 86 F 13.


M. Aemilius Lepidus (cos. 78 BC; RE Aemilius 72) seems to have enlarged his fortune in the Sullan proscriptions; when propraetor in Sicily (80 BC), he administered the province in such a way that he was able to erect sumptuous buildings and the basilica bearing his name in Rome (Cic. Verr. 2.3.212; Plin. HN 35.13, 36.49, 36.109). He was therefore accused of extortion by Q. Caecilius Metellus Celer (119 F 2) and Q. Caecilius Metellus Nepos (120 F2A); yet they are said to have dropped the case after a pretrial hearing (TLRR 131).

As Consul to the People (F1–2A)

F 1 Gran. Licin. 36.33–35 (pp.27.4–28.2 Criniti)

verum <ubi> con<v>enera<nt> tribuni plebis, co<nsu>les uti tribuniciam <po>testatem restitue<rent>, negavit prior Lepid<us>, et in contione m<ag>na pars adsensa <e>st <dicen>ti non esse utile re<sti>tui tribuniciam p<otes>tatem. et extat ora<tio. et le>gem frumentari<am> nullo resistente t<uta>tus est, ut annon<ae> quinque modi<i> popu<lo da>rentur, et alia mul<ta pol>licebatur: exules r<edu>cere, res gestas a Sul<la rescindere>, in quorum agro<s mil>ites deduxerat, re<sti>tuere.



F 1 Suetonius, Life of Caesar

= 86 F 13.


During his consulship (78 BC), Lepidus disagreed with his colleague Q. Lutatius Catulus (96) (Cic. Cat. 3.24). He delivered speeches to the People, in which, among other things, he argued for a repeal of some of Sulla’s laws, but rejected a restitution of tribunician powers (F 1–2; CCMR, App. A: 233). The only “example” of a consular contio is aspeech put in M. Aemilius Lepidus’ mouth by Sallust (F2A). Toward the end of his consulship, Lepidus joined those dissatisfied with Sulla’s land distributions in Etruria; in 77 BC he marched on Rome and was defeated by Q. Lutatius Catulus.

As Consul to the People (F 1–2A)

F 1 Granius Licinianus

But as soon as the Tribunes of the People had agreed that the consuls should reinstate tribunician powers, first Lepidus rejected it, and at a public meeting a large proportion agreed with him when he said that it was not useful to reinstate tribunician powers. And his speech is extant. And he defended the grain law with nobody in opposition, so that grain for subsistence to the amount of five pecks would be given to the People, and he promised many other things: to recall exiles, to abolish arrangements introduced by Sulla, to reinstate those in whose lands he [L. Cornelius Sulla] had settled soldiers.1

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.fragmentary_republican_latin-oratory.2019