Cicero the Prankster


“When Cicero served as quaestor in Sicily, he erected a silver monument to the gods. He inscribed upon it the first two parts of his name, Marcus Tullius, and then, as a joking substitute for the third, he ordered the craftsman to engrave a chickpea next to the names.”

NOTE: “Cicer” was the Latin word for “chickpea.” The name Cicero was sometimes thought to have been assigned to one of Cicero’s ancestors in reference to a wart.

ταμιεύων δ’ ἐν Σικελίᾳ καὶ τοῖς θεοῖς ἀνάθημα ποιούμενος ἀργυροῦν, τὰ μὲν πρῶτα δύο τῶν ὀνομάτων ἐπέγραψε, τόν τε Μᾶρκον καὶ τὸν Τύλλιον, ἀντὶ δὲ τοῦ τρίτου σκώπτων ἐρέβινθον ἐκέλευσε παρὰ τὰ γράμματα τὸν τεχνίτην ἐντορεῦσαι..


2 thoughts on “Cicero the Prankster

    1. I was under the impression that the CIL would contain only those inscriptions for which a physical monument survives, as direct archaeological from antiquity. But I don’t profess to know for sure!

Leave a Reply