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FRL IV: ORATORY, PART 2

124 M. VALERIUS MESSALLA NIGER

M. Valerius Messalla Niger (cos. 61, censor 55 BC; RE Valerius 266) seems to have entrusted Cicero with the case of Sex. Roscius from Ameria in 80 BC (T 1) and was himself involved in many trials (T 2).

T 1 Cic. Rosc. Am. 149

quae domi gerenda sunt, ea per Caeciliam transiguntur, fori iudicique rationem <M.>1 Messala,2 ut videtis, iudices, suscepit; qui, si iam satis aetatis ac roboris haberet, ipse pro Sex. Roscio diceret. quoniam ad dicendum impedimento est aetas et pudor qui ornat aetatem causam mihi tradidit quem sua causa cupere ac debere intellegebat, ipse adsiduitate, consilio, auctoritate, diligentia perfecit, ut Sex. Rosci vita erepta de manibus sectorum sententiis iudicum permitteretur.

T 2 Cic. Brut. 246

[Cicero:] M. Messalla minor natu quam nos, nullo modo inops, sed non nimis ornatus genere verborum; prudens, acutus, minime incautus patronus, in causis cognoscendis componendisque diligens, magni laboris, multae operae multarumque causarum.

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124 M. VALERIUS MESSALLA NIGER

124 M. VALERIUS MESSALLA NIGER

In Cicero, Messalla is described as an orator of not particularly ornate diction, and as a shrewd, cautious, and industrious pleader, diligent in mastering and arranging the material (T 2).

T 1 Cicero, Pro Sexto Roscio Amerino

As for his [Sex. Roscius’] domestic affairs, they are settled by Caecilia [friend of Roscius’ father]; the conduct of his affairs in the Forum and in court, as you see, judges, has been undertaken by <M.> Messalla.1 If that man already had sufficient age and strength, he would plead himself for Sex. Roscius. Since his age and his modesty, which is an ornament to his age, prevent him from speaking, he has entrusted the case to me, whom he knew desired and was under an obligation to undertake it in his interest. Personally, by his constant presence, advice, influence, and unwearied attention, he succeeded in snatching away the life of Sex. Roscius from the hands of the brokers and handing it over to the verdict of the judges.

T 2 Cicero, Brutus

[Cicero:] M. Messalla, younger in age than us, not deficient in any way, but not very elaborate in diction; a sagacious, shrewd, and certainly not incautious pleader, diligent in mastering and arranging cases, with great industry, great devotion, and engaged in many cases.

461
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.fragmentary_republican_latin-oratory.2019