De Oratore

Dialogus Seu Liber Secundus


I. Magna nobis pueris, Quinte frater, si memoria tenes, opinio fuit, L. Crassum non plus attigisse doctrinae, quam quantum prima illa puerili institutione potuisset; M. autem Antonium omnino omnis eruditionis expertem atque ignarum fuisse. Erantque multi qui, quanquam non ita sese rem habere arbitrarentur, tamen, quo facilius nos incensos studio dicendi a doctrina deterrerent, libenter id quod dixi, de illis oratoribus praedicarent, ut, si homines non eruditi summam essent prudentiam atque incredibilem eloquentiam consecuti, inanis omnis noster esse labor, et stultum in nobis erudiendis, patris nostri, 2optimi ac prudentissimi viri, studium videretur. Quos tum, ut pueri, refutare domesticis testibus patre et C. Aculeone propinquo nostro et L. Cicerone patruo solebamus, quod de Crasso pater, et Aculeo (quocum erat nostra matertera), quem Crassus dilexit ex


De Oratore, II

The Making of an Orator

Book the Second


I. When we were boys, brother Quintus, there was, Introduction: eloquence of Crassus and Antonius based on erudition. if you remember, a widespread belief that Lucius Crassus had dabbled no further in learning than the early training of a lad of his day allowed, and that Marcus Antonius was absolutely without any education and ignorant. And there were many who, while they did not hold this to be the truth of the matter, none the less hoped the more readily to deter us eager students in search of eloquence from the pursuit of learning, and so they did not scruple to make such statements about those eminent orators; to the intent that we ourselves, on seeing that men who were no scholars had attained the highest degree of practical wisdom, and a standard of eloquence passing belief, might come to look upon all our own labour as being but in vain, and to think mere folly the care bestowed upon our education by a man so excellent and widely experienced as our father. 2Such sophists we used at that time to confound, in boyish fashion, by calling witnesses from home, namely our father, our near kinsman Gaius Aculeo, and our paternal uncle Lucius Cicero, inasmuch as our father, and Aculeo, who married our mother’s sister, and was esteemed by Crassus above all other

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-de_oratore.1942