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FRL IV: ORATORY, PART 2

70 L. MARCIUS PHILIPPUS

L. Marcius Philippus (cos. 91, censor 86 BC; RE Marcius 75) was an important politician in the first half of the first century BC. He became consul after two failed attempts; perhaps in connection with those, he was accused of bribery by Q. Servilius Caepio (85) in 92 BC (TLRR 95; Flor. 2.5.5). Philippus was an opponent of the laws of the Tribune of the People M. Livius Drusus (72) as well as of the senatorial policy at the time (Cic. De or. 1.24, 3.2; Val. Max. 6.2.2, 9.5.2; Flor. 2.5.8; Vir. ill. 66.9).

T 1 Cic. Brut. 173

[Cicero:] duobus igitur summis, Crasso et Antonio, L. Philippus proximus accedebat, sed longo intervallo tamen proximus. itaque eum, etsi nemo intercedebat qui se illi anteferret, neque secundum tamen neque tertium dixerim. nec enim in quadrigis eum secundum numeraverim aut tertium, qui vix e carceribus exierit, cum palmam iam primus acceperit, nec in oratoribus, qui tantum absit a primo, vix ut in eodem curriculo esse videatur. sed tamen erant ea in Philippo, quae qui sine comparatione illorum spectaret, satis magna diceret: summa libertas in oratione, multae facetiae, satis creber in reperiendis, solutus in explicandis sententiis; erat etiam in primis, ut temporibus

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70 L. MARCIUS PHILIPPUS

70 L. MARCIUS PHILIPPUS

According to Cicero, as a speaker Philippus came after the great orators L. Licinius Crassus (66) and M. Antonius (65), though at a considerable distance (T 1, 3; Cic. Brut. 207, 301; Planc. 52). While Philippus surpassed others in eloquence and nobility, some of these men were more successful in their political careers (T 2; Cic. Mur. 36). Philippus’ learning in Greek culture and his charm, wittiness, and resourcefulness in speaking are noted (T 1, 3, 5; Cic. Off. 1.108).

T 1 Cicero, Brutus

[Cicero:] To those two most outstanding men, then, Crassus [L. Licinius Crassus (66)] and Antonius [M. Antonius (65)], L. Philippus came nearest, but nonetheless nearest at a long distance. Therefore, though no one who believed himself to surpass him stood in between, still I would not call him second or third. For neither in a chariot race would I number as second or third someone who has barely crossed the starting line when the first has already received the prize, nor among orators someone who is so far from the first that he scarcely seems to be in the same race. But still, there were those qualities in Philippus which, if anyone looked at them without comparison with those men, he would call rather considerable: there was great outspokenness in his speech-making, many witticisms; he was sufficiently resourceful in invention, unconstrained in outlining ideas; also, in relation to those times,

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.fragmentary_republican_latin-oratory.2019