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FRL V: ORATORY, PART 3

Romanum, neque fuisse qui id nobis narraret, praesertim mortuo Congo, non, ut opinor, admirere, cum ego ipse non abhorrens a studio antiquitatis me hic id ex te primum audisse confitear. et quoniam tua fuit perelegans et persubtilis oratio, digna equitis Romani vel studio vel pudore, quoniamque sic ab his es auditus ut magnus honos et ingenio et humanitati tuae tribueretur, respondebo ad ea quae dixisti, quae pleraque de ipso me fuerunt; in quibus ipsi aculei, si quos habuisti in me reprehendendo, tamen mihi non ingrati acciderunt. [59] quaesisti utrum mihi putarem, equitis Romani filio, faciliorem fuisse ad adipiscendos honores viam an futuram esse filio meo, quia esset familia consulari.... [60] quaeris quid potuerit amplius adsequi Plancius, si Cn. Scipionis fuisset filius.... sed nemo umquam sic egit ut tu: “cur iste fit consul? quid potuit amplius, si L. Brutus esset, qui civitatem dominatu regio liberavit?” ... [61] profers triumphos T. Didi et C. Mari et quaeris quid simile in Plancio.... rogas quae castra viderit; ... quaeris num disertus sit. [62] ... num iuris consultus.... [63] iubes Plancium de vitiis Laterensis dicere.... idem effers Laterensem laudibus.... “Praeneste

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168 L. CASSIUS LONGINUS

People did not know this, and that there has been no one to tell us of it, especially now that Congus [Iunius Congus, antiquarian, late 2nd/early 1st cent. BC] is dead, you would not, I guess, be surprised; for, though I am myself not averse to the study of antiquity, I confess that I heard this here from you for the first time. And since your speech was very elegant and very adroit, worthy of both the energy and the self-restraint of a Roman knight, and since you were listened to by these men in such a way that great honor was paid to your talent and humane character, I will reply to what you said, which dealt very largely with myself; within your speech even your sarcastic comments, if you made any in criticizing me, still did not happen in an unwelcome way for me. [59] You asked whether I thought that the path to obtaining official positions of honor had been easier for me, the son of a Roman knight, than it would be for my son, since he was of consular family.1 ... [60] You ask what more Plancius could have gained if he had been Cn. Scipio’s [presumably Cn. Cornelius Scipio Calvus, cos. 222 BC, died fighting in the Second Punic War] son [i.e., of more noble descent].... Yet no one ever argued as you [did]: “Why has that fellow become consul? What more could he have attained if he were L. Brutus, who freed the community from the despotism of a tyrant?” ... [61] You quote the triumphs of T. Didius [cos. 98 BC] and C. Marius [seven-time consul], and you ask whether there is anything similar in Plancius.2 ... You ask whatactive military service he has seen.... You inquire whether he is eloquent. [62] ... Whether he is a competent lawyer.... [63] You challenge Plancius to talk about flaws of Laterensis.... At the same time you speak of Laterensis in terms of fulsome praise.... “That he [Laterensis]

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.fragmentary_republican_latin-oratory.2019