sicariorum nullo negotio facere potuisti.” ... [82] ... Eruci criminatio tota, ut arbitror, dissoluta est; nisi forte exspectatis ut illa diluam quae de peculatu ac de eius modi rebus commenticiis inaudita nobis ante hoc tempus ac nova obiecit; quae mihi iste visus est ex alia oratione declamare quam in alium reum commentaretur; ita neque ad crimen parricidi neque ad eum qui causam dicit pertineba<n>t;8 de quibus quoniam verbo arguit, verbo satis est negare.


C. Aurelius Cotta (cos. 75 BC; RE Aurelius 96) was prosecuted in 90 BC under the Lex Varia de maiestate (see 88) and had to go into exile, although he had defended himself with a speech written by L. Aelius Stilo Praeconinus (74 F 5–6; cf. T 7; Cic. De or. 3.11; Brut. 205, 303, 305; App. B Civ. 1.37.167). Cotta returned to Rome after L. Cornelius Sulla’s victory in 82 BC (Cic. Brut. 311: 102 T 3). When consul in 75 BC, Cotta restored to the Tribunes of the People the right (taken away by Sulla) to obtain additional offices (Asc. in Cic. Corn. [pp.66.21–67.5, 78.23–25 C.]: Sall. Hist. 2.49 M. = 2.44 R.). Afterward, he was proconsul in Cisalpine Gaul in 74 BC; he was awarded a triumph, but died before it could take place (Cic. Pis. 62; Asc. in Cic. Pis. 62 [p.14.22–24 C.]; Cic. Brut. 318).



therefore, because of the large number of assassins, you could have done this without any effort.” ... [82] ... Erucius’ entire accusation, I believe, has been overthrown, unless perhaps you are waiting for me to refute the charge of embezzlement2 and other fabricated accusations of this kind, charges that we never heard of before today and that are novel. He seemed to me to be declaiming them taken from another speech that he was preparing against another accused person, so little did they apply to the charge of parricide or to the man who is on trial. Since he asserts them merely with a word, it is sufficient to deny them with a word.


In Cicero, Cotta is described as a great speaker in the first half of the first century BC (T 1, 4, 7; Cic. Brut. 297, 333; cf. Asc. in Cic. Pis. 62 [p.14.20–21 C.]; Vell. Pat. 2.36.2); he is said to have had a sharp grasp of the subject matter, a refined style, a detailed and precise exposition, and a measured delivery adapted to his physical ability, effective in its own way. His oratory is defined as different from that of his contemporary P. Sulpicius Rufus (76), these two men being the main orators in the generationafter M. Antonius (65) and L. Licinius Crassus (66) (T2–3, 5; Cic. Brut. 189, 202–4, 317, 333; De or. 2.98). Cotta is a speaker in Cicero’s De oratore and De natura deorum (Cic. De or. 1.25; Nat. D. 1.15; Div. 1.8); he is introduced as an adherent of the philosophical school of the Academy

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.fragmentary_republican_latin-oratory.2019