Cicero, Brutus

LCL 342: 14-15

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Prooemium. The opening sections of the Brutus constitute a general preface to the reader, noting the coincidence of the death of Hortensius with the civil strife which had put an end to a free and unconstrained eloquence. Sections 1–6, reflections on the death of Hortensius and on Cicero’s long association with him, and 7–9, on the unworthy position to which civil strife has consigned Cicero himself.

Dialogue setting, introduction of the interlocutors, Titus Pomponius Atticus and Marcus Junius Brutus, and of the theme of discussion (de oratoribus, quando esse coepissent, qui etiam et quales fuissent), 10–24.

Treatment of the subject (laudare eloquentiam, etc.) 25–330.

Survey of the Greek origins of oratory 25–52.

Résumé of Roman tradition concerning early oratory down to the first definitely attested Roman orator, Marcus Cornelius Cethegus (cos. 204 b.c.), 53–60.

Marcus Porcius Cato (cos. 194 b.c.) 61–76, contemporaries 77–80, younger contemporaries 81, with special mention of Gaius Laelius (cos. 140 b.c.), and of Publius Cornelius Scipio (Minor, cos. 147 b.c.).

Servius Sulpicius Galba (cos. 144 b.c.) 82-94. Galba, in comparison and contrast with Laelius, is named with special emphasis as the first Roman to



employ the characteristic resources of effective and artistic oratory 82; contemporaries 94–95.

Marcus Aemilius Lepidus Porcina (cos. 137 b.c.), the first to attain excellence in written composition (iam artifex stilus), 95–96, other contemporaries 97–102.

Period of the Gracchi; Tiberius Gracchus (tribune 133 b.c.) 103–104, Gaius Carbo (cos. 120 b.c.) 105–106, other contemporaries 107–109, Marcus Scaurus, Publius Rutilius Rufus 110–116, digression on Stoic oratory and on the influence of philosophical schools on oratory 117–121, Gaius Scribonius Curio (praetor 121 b.c.) and Gaius Gracchus (tribune 123 b.c.) 122–126.

Period intervening until near the end of the century 127–137, especially Quintus Lutatius Catulus (cos. 102 b.c.) 132–134.

Slow development of oratory to its first maturity (138) in

Marcus Antonius (cos. 99 b.c.) and Lucius Licinius Crassus (cos. 95 b.c.), the two greatest names in Roman oratory before Cicero and Hortensius, 139–164. They mark the first approach to an eloquence comparable to the Greek masters and are the culminating point in earlier Roman oratory. Antonius 139–142, Crassus 143–146, contrast of Crassus and Quintus Mucius Scaevola (Pontifex, cos. 95 b.c.) 145–149, digression suggested by Brutus on the analogous relation of Cicero to his contemporary, the jurist Servius Sulpicius Rufus (cos. 51 b.c.), 150–157. Further characterization of Crassus, illustrated by orations, 158–164.

Minor orators of the period (100–90 b.c.) 165–168.

Non–Roman orators, with digression on the contrast

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-brutus.1939