Aurea Gemma <Gallica> 1.12-13
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[1.12] Immediately after the salutation one should employ a beginning by means of insinuation, that is, by an oration which covertly procures good-will for him through some circumlocution and dissimulation.1 Examples will also be posed about a similar issue, either greater or lesser, and thereafter approach his proposition step by step, quote adduced authorities and extol by worthy laudations those who determined this, admiring their prudence and justice and mildness. Sallust maintains that <order> diligently in <the speech> C. C. Pro Lentulo.2 After recommending the authority which he has adduced, he immediately adds a plea and the oration is terminated in the plea itself.

[1.13] This <order> should also be maintained with careful vigilance, so that not only the harmony of words, but also the consequence of meaning itself should also be heeded, according to the ratio of these words. For example: If you have as a proposition and as an intention to invite someone to do a favor, you should commend his generosity and liberality above all. And this <order> should not only be maintained in human petitions, but indeed also in divine prayers; so that if God is invoked, that He might take mercy on and spare human crimes, His might and the rigor of His inflexible justice should not be invoked, but rather the sweetness of divine mercy should be commended and extolled. But when He is invited to vindication, His might and magnificence and justice should be invoked. So also in human affairs the same sequence of rationes should be heeded. For if you have maintained this sequence carefully and have observed the dignities of persons, you will obtain what you shall have desired in all trials.


1 Cicero, De inventione 1.17 (23-24).

2 Sallust De coniuratione Catalinae 51. Julius Caesar's oration argued for leniency to the continuator of the Cataline conspiracy, P. Cornelius Lentulus Sura (consul with C. Domitius, A.U.C. 592). The following oration in Sallust, Cato's accusation against Lentulus, is described below, Aurea Gemma <Gallica> 1.62.

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© Steven M. Wight, Los Angeles 1998
Scrineum © Universitą di Pavia 1999