Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights, 10.3: Some (fools) Prefer Gracchus to Cicero

“Gaius Gracchus is esteemed as a strong and enthusiastic orator. No one denies this. But how is it possible to tolerate the opinion of some, that he is more serious, more pointed, and more effective than Marcus Tullius Cicero?”

Fortis ac vehemens orator existimatur esse C. Gracchus. Nemo id negat. Sed quod nonnullis videtur severior, acrior ampliorque esse M. Tullio, ferri id qui potest?

We have often contemplated M. T. Cicero. Is it any wonder that his legacy and importance were already subject of debate in antiquity? Gaius Gracchus was a populist rabble-rouser while Cicero was far more of a Republican traditionalist. There’s no surprise that some might prefer one to the other!

Aulus Gellius?

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