Nasica Sticks it to Ennius

“Nasica once came to Ennius’ house and the maid at the doorway told him that Ennius was not home. Nasica could perceive that she told him this at her master’s request, and that actually Ennius was inside. A few days later, Ennius came to see Nasica at his house and called out to him at the door. Nasica responded that he was not there. Ennius then exclaimed, ‘What? Do I not recognize your voice?’ Thereupon, Nasica replied, ‘You’re rather impudent – when I went to your house, I believed your maid when she said that you weren’t home, but you don’t believe me when I tell you the same thing?'”

Cicero, de Oratore 2.68


ut illud Nasicae, qui cum ad poetam Ennium venisset eique ab ostio quaerenti Ennium ancilla dixisset domi non esse, Nasica sensit illam domini iussu dixisse et illum intus esse; paucis post diebus cum ad Nasicam venisset Ennius et eum ad ianuam quaereret, exclamat Nasica domi non esse, tum Ennius “quid? Ego non cognosco vocem” inquit “tuam?” Hic Nasica “homo es impudens: ego cum te quaererem ancillae tuae credidi te domi non esse, tu mihi non credis ipsi?”


According to Macrobius, Cicero was well-known for his quick wit. (Although many who have languished through the Catilinarians might disagree….)

4 thoughts on “Nasica Sticks it to Ennius

    1. Trust me, I’ll find my way back there soon enough! And you know, Gellius, Macrobius, it’s all pretty much the same. (But Gellius is much better.)

Leave a Reply