Cicero, pro Archia (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Arch.].
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If there is any natural ability in me, O judges,—and I know how slight that is; or if I have any practice as a speaker,—and in that line I do not deny that I have some experience; or if I have any method in my oratory, drawn from my study of the liberal sciences, and from that careful training to which I admit that at no part of my life have I ever been disinclined; certainly, of all those qualities, this Aulus Licinius is entitled to be among the first to claim the benefit from me as his peculiar right. For as far as ever my mind can look back upon the space of time that is past, and recall the memory of its earliest youth, tracing my life from that starting-point, I see that Archias was the principal cause of my undertaking, and the principal means of my mastering, those studies. And if this voice of mine, formed by his encouragement and his precepts, has at times been the instrument of safety to others, undoubtedly we ought, as far as lies in our power, to help and save the very man from whom we have received that gift which has enabled us to bring help to many and salvation to some.

2 And lest any one should, perchance, marvel at this being said by me, as the chief of his ability consists in something else, and not in this system and practice of eloquence, he must be told that even we ourselves have never been wholly devoted to this study. In truth, all the arts which concern the civilising and humanising of men, have some link which binds them together, and are, as it were, connected by some relationship to one another.

ch. 2


And, that it may not appear marvellous to any one of you, that I, in a formal proceeding like this, and in a regular court of justice, when an action is being tried before a praetor of the Roman people, a most eminent man, and before most impartial judges, before such an assembly and multitude of people as I see around me, employ this style of speaking, which is at variance, not only with the ordinary usages of courts of justice, but with the general style of forensic pleading; I entreat you in this cause to grant me this indulgence, suitable to this defendant, and as I trust not disagreeable to you,—the indulgence, namely, of allowing me, when speaking in defence of a most sublime poet and most learned man, before this concourse of highly-educated citizens, before this most polite and accomplished assembly, and before such a praetor as him who is presiding at this trial, to enlarge with a little more freedom than usual on the study of polite literature and refined arts, and, speaking in the character of such a man as that, who, owing to the tranquillity of his life and the studies to which he has devoted himself, has but little experience of the dangers of a court of justice, to employ a new and unusual style of oratory.

4 And if I feel that that indulgence is given and allowed me by you, I will soon cause you to think that this Aulus Licinius is a man who not only, now that he is a citizen, does not deserve to be expunged from the list of citizens, but that he is worthy, even if he were not one, of being now made a citizen.

ch. 3

For when first Archias grew out of childhood, and out of the studies of those arts by which young boys are gradually trained and refined, he devoted himself to the study of writing. First of all at Antioch, (for he was born there, and was of high rank there,) formerly an illustrious and wealthy city, and the seat of learned men and of liberal sciences; and there it was his lot speedily to show himself superior to all in ability and credit. Afterwards, in the other parts of Asia, and over all Greece, his arrival was so talked of wherever he came, that the anxiety with which he was expected was even greater than the fame of his genius;—but the admiration which he excited when he had arrived, exceeded even the anxiety with which he was expected.

5 Italy was at that time full of Greek science and of Greek systems, and these studies were at that time cultivated in Latium with greater zeal than they now are in the same towns; and here too at Rome, on account of the tranquil state of the republic at that time, they were far from neglected. Therefore, the people of Tarentum, and Rhegium, and Neapolis, presented him with the freedom of the city and with other gifts; and all men who were capable of judging of genius thought him deserving of their acquaintance and hospitality. When, from this great celebrity of his, he had become known to us though absent, he came to Rome, in the consulship of Marius and Catulus. It was his lot to have those men as his first consuls, the one of whom could supply him with the most illustrious achievements to write about, the other could give him, not only exploits to celebrate, but his ears and judicious attention. Immediately the Luculli, though Archias was as yet but a youth, [Note] received him in their house. But it was not

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only to his genius and his learning, but also to his natural disposition and virtue, that it must be attributed that the house which was the first to be opened to him in his youth, is also the one in which he lives most familiarly in his old age.

6 He at that time gained the affection of Quintus Metellus, that great man who was the conqueror of Numidia, and his son Pius. He was eagerly listened to by Marcus Aemilius; he associated with Quintus Catulus,—both with the father and the sons. He was highly respected by Lucius Crassus; and as for the Luculli, and Drusus, and the Octavii, and Cato, and the whole family of the Hortensii, he was on terms of the greatest possible intimacy with all of them, and was held by them in the greatest honour. For, not only did every one cultivate his acquaintance who wished to learn or to hear anything, but even every one pretended to have such a desire.

ch. 4

In the meantime, after a sufficiently long interval, having gone with Lucius Lucullus into Sicily, and having afterwards departed from that province in the company of the same Lucullus, he came to Heraclea. And as that city was one which enjoyed all the rights of a confederate city to their full extent, he became desirous of being enrolled as a citizen of it. And, being thought deserving of such a favour for his own sake, when aided by the influence and authority of Lucullus, he easily obtained it from the Heracleans.

Cicero, pro Archia (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Arch.].
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