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date: 27 November 2022

Cornelius Fronto, Marcuslocked

, c. 95–c. 166 ce

Cornelius Fronto, Marcuslocked

, c. 95–c. 166 ce
  • Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Extract

Marcus Cornelius Fronto, orator, *suffect consul July–August 142; born at *Cirta (Constantine) in *Numidia; completed his education in Rome; a leading advocate under *Hadrian, he was appointed tutor by *Antoninus Pius to Marcus *Aurelius (Caesar) and his adoptive brother Lucius *Verus, remaining on intimate terms with them until his death, probably from the plague of 166/7 (Commodi 159. 12 seems to mean Verus). Marcus proposed a statue to him.Though famous for his oratory (‘not the second but the other glory of Roman eloquence’, XII Panegyrici Latini 8 (5). 14. 2), Fronto is known today almost exclusively through his correspondence, chiefly with Marcus, but also with Pius, Verus, and various friends. The letters expound and illustrate his stylistic theories: the orator must seek out the most expressive word in Early Latin texts, preferring the unusual to the commonplace provided it is not obscure or jarring (but new coinages are discountenanced); he must dispose his words in the best order and cultivate rhetorical figures, the *sententia, and the image-like description (εἰκών).

Subjects

  • Latin Literature

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