ac favore populari ac praecipue paternae auctoritatis recordatione.


M. Calidius (praet. 57 BC; RE Calidius 4) supported Cicero’s recall from exile in 57 BC (Cic. Red. sen. 22). Later, he unsuccessfully stood for the consulship twice (Cic. Fam. 8.4.1; Att. 5.19.3, 6.8.3). In the civil war he followed C. Iulius Caesar (121) and was given the administration of the province of Gallia Cisalpina; he died at Placentia in 48/47 BC.

Calidius studied oratory with the Greek rhetorician Apollodorus of Pergamon (Hieron. Ab Abr. 1953 = 64 BC [p.154a Helm]) and was one of the older Atticists in Rome.

T 1 Cic. Brut. 274–76

[Cicero:] sed de M. Calidio dicamus aliquid, qui non fuit orator unus e multis, potius inter multos prope singularis fuit: ita reconditas exquisitasque sententias mollis et perlucens vestiebat oratio. nihil tam tenerum quam illius comprehensio verborum, nihil tam flexibile, nihil quod magis ipsius arbitrio fingeretur, ut nullius oratoris aeque in potestate fuerit: quae primum ita pura erat ut nihil liquidius, ita libere fluebat ut nusquam adhaeresceret; nullum nisi loco positum et tamquam in vermiculato emblemate, ut ait Lucilius [Lucil. 84 Marx], structum verbum videres; nec vero {n}ullum1 aut durum aut insolens aut

  • 1{n}ullum edd.: nullum codd.


the memory of his lavish aedileship [58 BC; cf. Cic. Off. 2.57], as well as by his popularity with the People and particularly by the recollection of his father’s authority [M. Aemilius Scaurus (43)].


In Cicero, Calidius is described as an outstanding orator, because of his elegant and pure diction, the appropriate choice and careful positioning of words, the use of figures, and a precise arrangement of material; the only aspect he is said to have lacked is a forceful presentation moving the listeners (T 1; cf. T 2; Quint. Inst. 12.10.39; Vell. Pat. 2.36.2).

In 54 BC Calidius made an attempt to speak on behalf of A. Gabinius (cos. 58 BC) (Cic. Q Fr. 3.2.1; TLRR 303).

T 1 Cicero, Brutus

[Cicero:] But let us say something about M. Calidius, who was not just one orator out of the many, but rather among the many almost unique: to such an extent did he always clothe recondite and carefully chosen thoughts in a flexible and translucent diction. Nothing as smooth as his arrangement of words, nothing as flexible, nothing that could not be fashioned more according to his own will, so that no orator had the power in the same way: first of all, his language was so pure that nothing was clearer; it flowed so clearly that it stuck nowhere; you would only see words placed in their proper position and arranged as if in a mosaic design, as Lucilius says [Lucil. 84 Marx]; and none was harsh, unusual, trivial, or far-fetched; and not only

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.fragmentary_republican_latin-oratory.2019