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FRL V: ORATORY, PART 3

T 2 Cic. Parad. prooem. 1–3

animadverti, Brute, saepe Catonem avunculum tuum, cum in senatu sententiam diceret, locos graves ex philosophia tractare abhorrentes ab hoc usu forensi et publico, sed dicendo consequi tamen ut illa etiam populo probabilia viderentur. [2] quod eo maius est illi quam tibi aut nobis, quia nos ea philosophia plus utimur quae peperit dicendi copiam et in qua dicuntur ea quae non multum discrepent ab opinione populari; Cato autem, perfectus mea sententia Stoicus, et ea sentit quae non sane probantur in vulgus, et in ea est haeresi quae nullum sequitur florem orationis neque dilatat argumentum; minutis interrogatiunculis quasi punctis quod proposuit efficit. [3] sed nihil est tam incredibile quod non dicendo fiat probabile, nihil tam horridum, tam incultum, quod non splendescat oratione et tamquam excolatur.... Cato enim dumtaxat de magnitudine animi, de continentia, de morte, de omni laude virtutis, de diis immortalibus, de caritate patriae Stoice solet oratoriis ornamentis adhibitis dicere ...

T 3 Cic. Leg. 3.40

[M.:] nam brevitas non modo senatoris sed etiam oratoris magna laus est in <dicenda> sententia,1 nec est umquam

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126 M. PORCIUS CATO MINOR

T 2 Cicero, Paradoxa Stoicorum

I have often noticed, Brutus, that when your uncle Cato made a speech in the Senate, he dealt with weighty arguments drawn from philosophy that do not conform to our usual practice in the law courts and politics, but nevertheless achieved by his speaking that such things seemed acceptable even to the general public. [2] This is a greater achievement for him than it would be for you or us, because we make more use of that system of philosophy that is the parent of oratorical fluency and in which matters are put forward that do not greatly differ from popular opinion. But Cato, a perfect Stoic in my view, both holds opinions of a kind that are not at all accepted by the multitude, and belongs to a school of thought that does not aim at any oratorical ornament or employ a copious mode of exposition; it achieves what it has proposed by means of tiny questions like pinpricks. [3] But nothing is so impossible to believe that it cannot be made plausible by speaking, nothing so rough, so uncultured that it does not gain brilliance from eloquence and is ennobled, as it were.... For Cato at any rate usually speaks about grandeur of mind, about self-control, about death, about every glory of virtue, about the immortal gods, about the love for one’s country in the Stoic way, while applying all oratorical ornaments ...

T 3 Cicero, On the Laws

[M.:] For brevity in <expressing> an opinion is a great virtue on the part not only of a senator, but also of an orator.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.fragmentary_republican_latin-oratory.2019