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FRL IV: ORATORY, PART 2

73 C. IULIUS CAESAR STRABO

C. Iulius Caesar Strabo / Vopiscus / Sesquiculus (aed. cur. 90 BC; RE Iulius 135) was quaestor, curule aedile, military tribune, decemvir, and pontifex, but was unsuccessful when he stood for the consulship in 88 BC (Cic. Phil. 11.11); in 87 BC he was killed by the Marians. Caesar Strabo was also a tragic poet (TrRF 1:130–33) and is a speaker in Cicero’s De oratore, where he discusses jokes and witticism (Cic. Att. 13.19.4; De or. 2.12, 2.216–90).

T 1 Cic. Brut. 177

“festivitate igitur et facetiis, inquam [Cicero], C. Iulius L. f. et superioribus et aequalibus suis omnibus praestitit oratorque fuit minime ille quidem vehemens, sed nemo umquam urbanitate, nemo lepore, nemo suavitate conditior. sunt eius aliquot orationes, ex quibus sicut ex eiusdem tragoediis lenitas eius <non>1 sine nervis perspici potest....”

T 2 Cic. Off. 1.108

erat in L. Crasso, in L. Philippo multus lepos, maior etiam magisque de industria in C. Caesare L. f. ...

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73 C. IULIUS CAESAR STRABO

73 C. IULIUS CAESAR STRABO

In Cicero the wittiness and charm of Caesar Strabo’s speeches are highlighted (T 1–4, 6); it is also noted that hewas able to mix tones without the result turning into something inappropriate (T 5). Some of Caesar Strabo’s speeches and tragedies were extant in Cicero’s time (T 1). Caesar Strabo was said to be an advocate in demand in his time and regarded as one of those in second place after M. Antonius (65) and L. Licinius Crassus (66) (Cic. Brut. 207; Vell. Pat. 2.9.2).

T 1 Cicero, Brutus

“With regard to liveliness and wittiness, then,” I [Cicero] said, “C. Iulius, Lucius’ son, surpassed all his predecessors and contemporaries. And as an orator he was not at all vehement, but nobody ever was more seasoned in humor, nor in grace, nor in charm. Some of his orations are extant, from which, as from his tragedies, his smooth style, <not> without vigor, may be discerned....”

T 2 Cicero, On Duties

There was a lot of wit in L. Crassus [L. Licinius Crassus (66)] and in L. Philippus [L. Marcius Philippus (70)], even more in C. Caesar, Lucius’ son, and employed more deliberately ...

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.fragmentary_republican_latin-oratory.2019