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The Roman World of Cicero's De Oratore$
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Elaine Fantham

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199263158

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199263158.001.0001

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The Public Careers of L. Licinius Crassus and M. Antonius

The Public Careers of L. Licinius Crassus and M. Antonius

(p.26) 2 The Public Careers of L. Licinius Crassus and M. Antonius
The Roman World of Cicero's De Oratore

Elaine Fantham

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that in L. Licinius Crassus and M. Antonius, it is possible to see clearly how Romans of the governing class could rise to the heights of a political career through widely different applications of eloquence. Antonius seems to have come from an undistinguished family and may have had to make his own name through his success in the courts. Crassus was born to a noble family linked to the Mucii Scaevolae by the adoption of P. Licinius Crassus Mucianus, the liberal consul of 131. It can be said of both that it was their oratory, rather than any political or military skills, which earned them the glory of high office. In this, either man could serve as a precedent and model for Cicero's ambitions to achieve the consulship through his oratory alone. And together their contrasting styles and fields of oratory made them choice advocates for the education and training of the ideal speaker and statesman who is the theme of De Oratore.

Keywords:   L. Licinius Crassus, M. Antonius, orators, eloquence, oratory

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