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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



2303
Cicero, De Oratore, 2.51-2.56


'Plane' inquit Catulus 'adsentior.' 'Age vero,' inquit Antonius 'qualis oratoris et quanti hominis in dicendo putas esse historiam scribere?' 'Si, ut Graeci scripserunt, summi,' inquit Catulus; 'si, ut nostri, nihil opus est oratore; satis est non esse mendacem.' 'Atqui, ne nostros contemnas,' inquit Antonius, 'Graeci quoque ipsi sic initio scriptitarunt, ut noster Cato, ut Pictor, ut Piso;“I am decidedly of that opinion,” said Catulus. “Well, then, to proceed,” said Antonius, “what sort of orator, or how great a master of language, do you think it requires to write history?” “If to write it as the Greeks have written, a man of the highest powers,” said Catulus; “if as our own countrymen, there is no need of an orator; it is sufficient for the writer to tell truth.” “But,” rejoined Antonius, “that you may not despise those of our own country, the Greeks themselves too wrote at first just like our Cato, and Pictor, and Piso.


erat enim historia nihil aliud nisi annalium confectio, cuius rei memoriaeque publicae retinendae causa ab initio rerum Romanarum usque ad P. Mucium pontificem maximum res omnis singulorum annorum mandabat litteris pontifex maximus referebatque in album et proponebat tabulam domi, potestas ut esset populo cognoscendi, eique etiam nunc annales maximi nominantur.For history was nothing else but a compilation of annals; and accordingly, for the sake of preserving the memory of public events, the pontifex maximus used to commit to writing the occurrences of every year, from the earliest period of Roman affairs to the time of the pontifex Publius Mucius, and had them engrossed on white tablets, which he set forth as a register in his own house, so that all the people had liberty to inspect it; and these records are yet called the Great Annals.


Hanc similitudinem scribendi multi secuti sunt, qui sine ullis ornamentis monumenta solum temporum, hominum, locorum gestarumque rerum reliquerunt; itaque qualis apud Graecos Pherecydes, Hellanicus, Acusilas fuit aliique permulti, talis noster Cato et Pictor et Piso, qui neque tenent, quibus rebus ornetur oratio—modo enim huc ista sunt importata—et, dum intellegatur quid dicant, unam dicendi laudem putant esse brevitatem.This mode of writing many have adopted, and, without any ornaments of style, have left behind them simple chronicles of times, persons, places, and events. Such, therefore, as were Pherecydes, Hellanicus, Acusilas, and many others among the Greeks, are Cato, and Pictor, and Piso with us, who neither understand how composition is to be adorned (for ornaments of style have been but recently introduced among us), and, provided what they related can be understood, think brevity of expression the only merit.


Paulum se erexit et addidit maiorem historiae sonum vocis vir optimus, Crassi familiaris, Antipater; ceteri non exornatores rerum, sed tantum modo narratores fuerunt.' 'Est,' inquit Catulus 'ut dicis; sed iste ipse Caelius neque distinxit historiam varietate colorum neque verborum conlocatione et tractu orationis leni et aequabili perpolivit illud opus; sed ut homo neque doctus neque maxime aptus ad dicendum, sicut potuit, dolavit; vicit tamen, ut dicis, superiores.'Antipater, an excellent man, the friend of Crassus, raised himself a little, and gave history a higher tone; the others were not embellishers of facts, but mere narrators.” [XIII.] “It is,” rejoined Catulus, “as you say; but Antipater himself neither diversified his narrative by variety of thoughts, nor polished his style by an apt arrangement of words, or a smooth and equal flow of language, but rough-hewed it as he could, being a man of no learning, and not extremely well qualified for an orator; yet he excelled, as you say, his predecessors.”


'Minime mirum,' inquit Antonius 'si ista res adhuc nostra lingua inlustrata non est; nemo enim studet eloquentiae nostrorum hominum, nisi ut in causis atque in foro eluceat; apud Graecos autem eloquentissimi homines remoti a causis forensibus cum ad ceteras res inlustris tum ad historiam scribendam maxime se applicaverunt: namque et Herodotum illum, qui princeps genus hoc ornavit, in causis nihil omnino versatum esse accepimus; atqui tanta est eloquentia, ut me quidem, quantum ego Graece scripta intellegere possum, magno opere delectet; et post illum Thucydides omnis dicendi artificio mea sententia facile vicit;“It is far from being wonderful,” said Antonius, “if history has not yet made a figure in our language; for none of our countrymen study eloquence, unless that it may be displayed in causes and in the forum; whereas among the Greeks, the most eloquent men, wholly unconnected with public pleading, applied themselves as well to other honourable studies as to writing history; for of Herodotus himself, who first embellished this kind of writing, we hear that he was never engaged in pleading; yet his eloquence is so great as to delight me extremely, as far as I can understand Greek writing.


qui ita creber est rerum frequentia, ut verborum prope numerum sententiarum numero consequatur, ita porro verbis est aptus et pressus, ut nescias, utrum res oratione an verba sententiis inlustrentur: atqui ne hunc quidem, quamquam est in re publica versatus, ex numero accepimus eorum, qui causas dictitarunt; et hos ipsos libros tum scripsisse dicitur, cum a re publica remotus atque, id quod optimo cuique Athenis accidere solitum est, in exsilium pulsus esset;After him, in my opinion, Thucydides has certainly surpassed all historians in the art of composition; for he is so abundant in matter, that he almost equals the number of his words by the number of his thoughts; and he is so happy and judicious in his expressions, that you are at a loss to decide whether his facts are set off by his style, or his style by his thoughts; and of him too we do not hear, though he was engaged in public affairs, that he was of the number of those who pleaded causes, and he is said to have written his books at a time when he was removed from all civil employments, and, as usually happened to every eminent man at Athens, was driven into banishment.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

6 results
1. Cicero, Brutus, 41-43, 262 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2. Cicero, Brutus, 41-43, 262 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

262. tum Brutus: Orationes quidem eius mihi vehementer probantur. Compluris autem legi atque etiam commentarios (compluris autem legi) ...commentarii Stangl , quos idem scripsit rerum suarum. Valde quidem quos idem Stangl : quos Bake : quosdam L , inquam, probandos; nudi enim sunt, recti et venusti, omni ornatu orationis tamquam veste detracta detracto Lambinus . Sed dum voluit alios habere parata, unde sumerent qui vellent scribere historiam, ineptis gratum fortasse fecit, qui illa volent illa volent Suefon. : volunt illa L calamistris inurere: sanos quidem homines a scribendo deterruit; nihil est enim enim est BHM in historia pura et inlustri brevitate dulcius. Sed ad eos, si placet, qui vita excesserunt, revertamur.
3. Cicero, On Laws, 1.5-1.6 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

4. Cicero, De Oratore, 2.34-2.36, 2.48, 2.52-2.57, 2.59, 2.62-2.64 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.34. Qui enim cantus moderata oratione dulcior inveniri potest? Quod carmen artificiosa verborum conclusione aptius? Qui actor imitanda quam orator suscipienda veritate iucundior? Quid autem subtilius quam crebrae acutaeque sententiae? Quid admirabilius quam res splendore inlustrata verborum? Quid plenius quam omni genere rerum cumulata oratio? Neque ulla non propria oratoris res est, quae quidem ornate dici graviterque debet. 2.35. Huius est in dando consilio de maximis rebus cum dignitate explicata sententia; eiusdem et languentis populi incitatio et effrenati moderatio; eadem facultate et fraus hominum ad perniciem et integritas ad salutem vocatur. Quis cohortari ad virtutem ardentius, quis a vitiis acrius revocare, quis vituperare improbos asperius, quis laudare bonos ornatius, quis cupiditatem vehementius frangere accusando potest? Quis maerorem levare mitius consolando? 2.36. Historia vero testis temporum, lux veritatis, vita memoriae, magistra vitae, nuntia vetustatis, qua voce alia nisi oratoris immortalitati commendatur? Nam si qua est ars alia, quae verborum aut faciendorum aut legendorum scientiam profiteatur; aut si quisquam dicitur nisi orator formare orationem eamque variare et distinguere quasi quibusdam verborum sententiarumque insignibus; aut si via ulla nisi ab hac una arte traditur aut argumentorum aut sententiarum aut denique discriptionis atque ordinis, fateamur aut hoc, quod haec ars profiteatur, alienum esse aut cum alia aliqua arte esse commune: sed si in hac una est ea ratio atque doctrina, non, si qui aliarum artium bene locuti sunt, eo minus id est huius unius proprium; 2.48. nam et testimonium saepe dicendum est ac non numquam etiam accuratius, ut mihi etiam necesse fuit in Sex. Titium, seditiosum civem et turbulentum; explicavi in eo testimonio dicendo omnia consilia consulatus mei, quibus illi tribuno plebis pro re publica restitissem, quaeque ab eo contra rem publicam facta arbitrarer, exposui; diu retentus sum, multa audivi, multa respondi. Num igitur placet, cum de eloquentia praecipias, aliquid etiam de testimoniis dicendis quasi in arte tradere?' 2.52. erat enim historia nihil aliud nisi annalium confectio, cuius rei memoriaeque publicae retinendae causa ab initio rerum Romanarum usque ad P. Mucium pontificem maximum res omnis singulorum annorum mandabat litteris pontifex maximus referebatque in album et proponebat tabulam domi, potestas ut esset populo cognoscendi, eique etiam nunc annales maximi nomitur. 2.53. Hanc similitudinem scribendi multi secuti sunt, qui sine ullis ornamentis monumenta solum temporum, hominum, locorum gestarumque rerum reliquerunt; itaque qualis apud Graecos Pherecydes, Hellanicus, Acusilas fuit aliique permulti, talis noster Cato et Pictor et Piso, qui neque tenent, quibus rebus ornetur oratio—modo enim huc ista sunt importata—et, dum intellegatur quid dicant, unam dicendi laudem putant esse brevitatem. 2.54. Paulum se erexit et addidit maiorem historiae sonum vocis vir optimus, Crassi familiaris, Antipater; ceteri non exornatores rerum, sed tantum modo narratores fuerunt.' 'Est,' inquit Catulus 'ut dicis; sed iste ipse Caelius neque distinxit historiam varietate colorum neque verborum conlocatione et tractu orationis leni et aequabili perpolivit illud opus; sed ut homo neque doctus neque maxime aptus ad dicendum, sicut potuit, dolavit; vicit tamen, ut dicis, superiores.' 2.55. 'Minime mirum,' inquit Antonius 'si ista res adhuc nostra lingua inlustrata non est; nemo enim studet eloquentiae nostrorum hominum, nisi ut in causis atque in foro eluceat; apud Graecos autem eloquentissimi homines remoti a causis forensibus cum ad ceteras res inlustris tum ad historiam scribendam maxime se applicaverunt: namque et Herodotum illum, qui princeps genus hoc ornavit, in causis nihil omnino versatum esse accepimus; atqui tanta est eloquentia, ut me quidem, quantum ego Graece scripta intellegere possum, magno opere delectet; et post illum Thucydides omnis dicendi artificio mea sententia facile vicit; 2.56. qui ita creber est rerum frequentia, ut verborum prope numerum sententiarum numero consequatur, ita porro verbis est aptus et pressus, ut nescias, utrum res oratione an verba sententiis inlustrentur: atqui ne hunc quidem, quamquam est in re publica versatus, ex numero accepimus eorum, qui causas dictitarunt; et hos ipsos libros tum scripsisse dicitur, cum a re publica remotus atque, id quod optimo cuique Athenis accidere solitum est, in exsilium pulsus esset; 2.57. hunc consecutus est Syracosius Philistus, qui, cum Dionysi tyranni familiarissimus esset, otium suum consumpsit in historia scribenda maximeque Thucydidem est, ut mihi videtur, imitatus. Postea vero ex clarissima quasi rhetoris officina duo praestantes ingenio, Theopompus et Ephorus ab Isocrate magistro impulsi se ad historiam contulerunt; causas omnino numquam attigerunt. 2.59. Haec cum ille dixisset, 'quid est,' inquit 'Catule?' Caesar; 'ubi sunt, qui Antonium Graece negant scire? Quot historicos nominavit! Quam scienter, quam proprie de uno quoque dixit!' 'Id me hercule' inquit Catulus 'admirans illud iam mirari desino, quod multo magis ante mirabar, hunc, cum haec nesciret, in dicendo posse tantum.' 'Atqui, Catule,' inquit Antonius 'non ego utilitatem aliquam ad dicendum aucupans horum libros et non nullos alios, sed delectationis causa, cum est otium, legere soleo. 2.62. Sed illuc redeo: videtisne, quantum munus sit oratoris historia? Haud scio an flumine orationis et varietate maximum; neque eam reperio usquam separatim instructam rhetorum praeceptis; sita sunt enim ante oculos. Nam quis nescit primam esse historiae legem, ne quid falsi dicere audeat? Deinde ne quid veri non audeat? Ne quae suspicio gratiae sit in scribendo? Ne quae simultatis? 2.63. Haec scilicet fundamenta nota sunt omnibus, ipsa autem exaedificatio posita est in rebus et verbis: rerum ratio ordinem temporum desiderat, regionum descriptionem; vult etiam, quoniam in rebus magnis memoriaque dignis consilia primum, deinde acta, postea eventus exspectentur, et de consiliis significari quid scriptor probet et in rebus gestis declarari non solum quid actum aut dictum sit, sed etiam quo modo, et cum de eventu dicatur, ut causae explicentur omnes vel casus vel sapientiae vel temeritatis hominumque ipsorum non solum res gestae, sed etiam, qui fama ac nomine excellant, de cuiusque vita atque natura; 2.64. verborum autem ratio et genus orationis fusum atque tractum et cum lenitate quadam aequabiliter profluens sine hac iudiciali asperitate et sine sententiarum forensibus aculeis persequendum est. Harum tot tantarumque rerum videtisne nulla esse praecepta, quae in artibus rhetorum reperiantur? In eodem silentio multa alia oratorum officia iacuerunt, cohortationes, praecepta, consolationes, admonita, quae tractanda sunt omnia disertissime, sed locum suum in his artibus, quae traditae sunt, habent nullum.
5. Cicero, Letters To His Friends, 5.12 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

6. Lucian, How To Write History, 2, 16 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
ab urbe condita Poulsen, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2021), 43
annales maximi Poulsen, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2021), 43
annalistic Poulsen, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2021), 43
annals Poulsen, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2021), 43
antonius, m. (orator) Poulsen, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2021), 43
arrian Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 5
athens Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 61
cato the elder Poulsen, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2021), 43
catulus Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 15
cicero Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 5, 15, 61
documents, official, in letter of aristeas Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria: A Study in the Narrative of the Letter of Aristeas (2003) 74
elaboration, literary, in greco-roman literature, in historiography Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria: A Study in the Narrative of the Letter of Aristeas (2003) 74
florus Poulsen, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2021), 43
greece, greeks Poulsen, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2021), 43
herodotus Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 5
importation motif Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria: A Study in the Narrative of the Letter of Aristeas (2003) 74
julius caesar Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 15
l. calpurnius piso frugi (the historian) Poulsen, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2021), 43
letter of aristeas, historical reliability of Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria: A Study in the Narrative of the Letter of Aristeas (2003) 74
lists Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria: A Study in the Narrative of the Letter of Aristeas (2003) 74
livy Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 15, 61
lucceius Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 61
lucian Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 5
lxx, alexandrian jews Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria: A Study in the Narrative of the Letter of Aristeas (2003) 74
lxx, origins, in letter of aristeas Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria: A Study in the Narrative of the Letter of Aristeas (2003) 74
m. tullius cicero Poulsen, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2021), 43
myth, of translators Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria: A Study in the Narrative of the Letter of Aristeas (2003) 74
paradigm, alexandrian, in letter of aristeas Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria: A Study in the Narrative of the Letter of Aristeas (2003) 74
paradigm, literary, narrative Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria: A Study in the Narrative of the Letter of Aristeas (2003) 74
parthian war Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 5
pliny the younger Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 5
populus Poulsen, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2021), 43
pupius piso calpurnianus Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 61
q. fabius pictor Poulsen, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2021), 43
republic, the roman, memory and trauma Poulsen, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2021), 43
sallust Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 15
tacitus, p. cornelius Poulsen, Usages of the Past in Roman Historiography (2021), 43
thucydides Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 5
translators, of lxx, were egyptian jews Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria: A Study in the Narrative of the Letter of Aristeas (2003) 74
truth, ancient standards of, and narrative patterns' Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria: A Study in the Narrative of the Letter of Aristeas (2003) 74
xenophon Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 5