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PRO ARCHIA POETA ORATIO

A. DCXCII A. V. C. HABITA

[1] si quid est in me ingeni, iudices, quod sentio quam sit exiguum, aut si
qua
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exercitatio dicendi, in qua me non infitior mediocriter esse versatum, aut
si huiusce
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rei ratio aliqua ab optimarum artium studiis ac disciplina profecta, a qua
ego nullum
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confiteor aetatis meae tempus abhorruisse, earum rerum omnium vel in
primis hic
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A. Licinius fructum a me repetere prope suo iure debet. nam quoad
longissime
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potest mens mea respicere spatium praeteriti temporis et pueritiae
memoriam
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recordari ultimam, inde usque repetens hunc video mihi principem et ad
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suscipiendam et ad ingrediendam rationem horum studiorum exstitisse.
quod si
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haec vox huius hortatu praeceptisque conformata non nullis aliquando
saluti fuit, a
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quo id accepimus quo ceteris opitulari et alios servare possemus, huic


profecto
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ipsi, quantum est situm in nobis, et opem et salutem ferre debemus. [2]
ac ne quis
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a nobis hoc ita dici forte miretur, quod alia quaedam in hoc facultas sit
ingeni
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neque haec dicendi ratio aut disciplina, ne nos quidem huic uni studio
penitus
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umquam dediti fuimus. Etenim omnes artes quae ad humanitatem
pertinent habent
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quoddam commune vinclum et quasi cognatione quadam inter se
continentur. [3]
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sed ne cui vestrum mirum esse videatur, me in quaestione legitima et in
iudicio
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publico, cum res agatur apud praetorem populi Romani, lectissimum
virum, et apud
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severissimos iudices, tanto conventu hominum ac frequentia hoc uti
genere dicendi
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quod non modo a consuetudine iudiciorum verum etiam a forensi


sermone
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abhorreat, quaeso a vobis ut in hac causa mihi detis hanc veniam
accommodatam
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huic reo, vobis, quem ad modum spero, non molestam, ut me pro
summo poeta
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atque eruditissimo homine dicentem hoc concursu hominum
litteratissimorum, hac
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vestra humanitate, hoc denique praetore exercente iudicium, patiamini


de studiis
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humanitatis ac litterarum paulo loqui liberius, et in eius modi persona
quae propter
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otium ac studium minime in iudiciis periculisque tractata est uti prope
novo quodam
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et inusitato genere dicendi. [4] quod si mihi a vobis tribui concedique
sentiam,
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perficiam profecto ut hunc A. Licinium non modo non segregandum,
cum sit civis,
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a numero civium verum etiam, si non esset, putetis asciscendum fuisse.


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nam ut primum ex pueris excessit Archias atque ab eis artibus quibus
aetas
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puerilis ad humanitatem informari solet, se ad scribendi studium
contulit, primum
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Antiochiae nam ibi natus est loco nobili celebri quondam urbe et
copiosa atque
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eruditissimis hominibus liberalissimisque studiis adfluenti, celeriter
antecellere
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omnibus ingeni gloria coepit. post in ceteris Asiae partibus cunctaque
Graecia sic
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eius adventus celebrabantur ut famam ingeni exspectatio hominis,
exspectationem
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ipsius adventus admiratioque superaret. [5] erat Italia tum plena
Graecarum artium
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ac disciplinarum, studiaque haec et in Latio vehementius tum colebantur
quam
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nunc isdem in oppidis, et hic Romae propter tranquillitatem rei publicae


non
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neglegebantur. itaque hunc et Tarentini <et Locrenses> et Regini et
Neapolitani
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civitate ceterisque praemiis donarunt, et omnes qui aliquid de ingeniis
poterant
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iudicare cognitione atque hospitio dignum existimarunt. hac tanta
celebritate famae
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cum esset iam absentibus notus, Romam venit Mario consule et Catulo.
nactus est
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primum consules eos quorum alter res ad scribendum maximas, alter
cum res
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gestas tum etiam studium atque auris adhibere posset. statim Luculli,
cum
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praetextatus etiam tum Archias esset, eum domum suam receperunt.
dedit etiam
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hoc non solum <lumen> ingeni ac litterarum verum etiam naturae atque
virtutis ut
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domus, quae huius adulescentiae prima favit, eadem esset


familiarissima
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senectuti. [6] erat temporibus illis iucundus Q. Metello illi Numidico et
eius
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Pio filio, audiebatur a M. Aemilio, vivebat cum Q. Catulo et patre et filio,
a L.
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Crasso colebatur, Lucullos vero et Drusum et Octavios et Catonem et
totam
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Hortensiorum domum devinctam consuetudine cum teneret, adficiebatur
summo
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honore, quod eum non solum colebant qui aliquid percipere atque audire
studebant
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verum etiam si qui forte simulabant. interim satis longo intervallo, cum
esset cum
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M. Lucullo in Siciliam profectus et cum ex ea provincia cum eodem
Lucullo
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decederet, venit Heracleam. quae cum esset civitas aequissimo iure ac
foedere,
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ascribi se in eam civitatem voluit idque, cum ipse per se dignus


putaretur, tum
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auctoritate et gratia Luculli ab Heracliensibus impetravit. [7] data est
civitas Silvani
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lege et Carbonis: SI QVI FOEDERATIS CIVITATIBVS ASCRIPTI FVISSENT, SI
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TVM CVM LEX FEREBATVR IN ITALIA DOMICILIVM HABVISSENT ET SI
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SEXAGINTA DIEBVS APVD PRAETOREM ESSENT PROFESSI. cum hic
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domicilium Romae multos iam annos haberet, professus est apud
praetorem Q.
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Metellum, familiarissimum suum. [8] si nihil aliud nisi de civitate ac lege
dicimus,
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nihil dico amplius; causa dicta est. quid enim horum infirmari, Gratti,
potest?
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Heracleaene esse tum ascriptum negabis? adest vir summa auctoritate
et religione
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et fide, M. Lucullus; qui se non opinari sed scire, non audisse sed vidisse,
non
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interfuisse sed egisse dicit. Adsunt Heraclienses legati, nobilissimi


homines, huius
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iudici causa cum mandatis et cum publico testimonio venerunt; qui hunc
ascriptum
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Heracliae esse dicunt. hic tu tabulas desideras Heracliensium publicas,
quas Italico
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bello incenso tabulario interisse scimus omnes? est ridiculum ad ea quae
habemus
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nihil dicere, quaerere quae habere non possumus, et de hominum


memoria tacere,
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litterarum memoriam flagitare et, cum habeas amplissimi viri religionem,
integerrimi
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municipi ius iurandum fidemque, ea quae depravari nullo modo possunt
repudiare,
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tabulas quas idem dicis solere corrumpi desiderare. [9] an domicilium
Romae non
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habuit is qui tot annis <ante> civitatem datam sedem omnium rerum ac
fortunarum

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suarum Romae conlocavit? an non est professus? immo vero eis tabulis
professus
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quae solae ex illa professione conlegioque praetorum obtinent
publicarum
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tabularum auctoritatem. nam, cum Appi tabulae neglegentius
adservatae
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dicerentur, Gabini, quam diu incolumis fuit, levitas, post damnationem
calamitas
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omnem tabularum fidem resignasset, Metellus, homo sanctissimus
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modestissimusque omnium, tanta diligentia fuit ut ad L. Lentulum
praetorem et ad
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iudices venerit et unius nominis litura se commotum esse dixerit. his
igitur <in>
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tabulis nullam lituram in nomine A. Licini videtis. [10] quae cum ita sint,
quid est
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quod de eius civitate dubitetis, praesertim cum aliis quoque in
civitatibus fuerit
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ascriptus? etenim cum mediocribus multis et aut nulla aut humili aliqua
arte
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praeditis gratuito civitatem in Graecia homines impertiebant, Reginos
credo aut
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Locrensis aut Neapolitanos aut Tarentinos, quod scaenicis artificibus
largiri
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solebant, id huic summa ingeni praedito gloria noluisse! quid? cum
ceteri non
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modo post civitatem datam sed etiam post legem Papiam aliquo modo in
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eorum municipiorum tabulas inrepserunt, hic qui ne utitur quidem illis in
quibus est
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scriptus, quod semper se Heracliensem esse voluit, reicietur? [11]
census nostros
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requiris. scilicet; est enim obscurum proximis censoribus hunc cum
clarissimo
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imperatore L. Lucullo apud exercitum fuisse, superioribus cum eodem
quaestore
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fuisse in Asia, primis Iulio et Crasso nullam populi partem esse censam.
sed,
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quoniam census non ius civitatis confirmat ac tantum modo indicat eum
qui sit
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census ita se iam tum gessisse, pro cive, eis temporibus <is> quem tu
criminaris
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ne ipsius quidem iudicio in civium Romanorum iure esse versatum, et
testamentum
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saepe fecit nostris legibus, et adiit hereditates civium Romanorum, et in
beneficiis
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ad aerarium delatus est a L. Lucullo pro consule. quiere argumenta, si
quae potes;
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numquam enim hic neque suo neque amicorum iudicio revincetur.
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[12] quaeres a nobis, Gratti, cur tanto opere hoc homine delectemur.
Quia
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suppeditat nobis ubi et animus ex hoc forensi strepitu reficiatur et aures
convicio
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defessae conquiescant. An tu existimas aut suppetere nobis posse quod


cotidie
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dicamus in tanta varietate rerum, nisi animos nostros doctrina
excolamus, aut ferre
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animos tantam posse contentionem, nisi eos doctrina eadem relaxemus?
ego vero
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fateor me his studiis esse deditum. ceteros pudeat, si qui ita se litteris
abdiderunt
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ut nihil possint ex eis neque ad communem adferre fructum neque in
aspectum
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lucemque proferre; me autem quid pudeat qui tot annos ita vivo, iudices,
ut a
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nullius umquam me tempore aut commodo aut otium meum abstraxerit
aut
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voluptas avocarit aut denique somnus retardarit? [13] qua re quis
tandem me
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reprehendat, aut quis mihi iure suscenseat, si, quantum ceteris ad suas
res
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obeundas, quantum ad festos dies ludorum celebrandos, quantum ad


alias
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voluptates et ad ipsam requiem animi et corporis conceditur temporum,
quantum
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alii tribuunt tempestivis conviviis, quantum denique alveolo, quantum
pilae, tantum
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mihi egomet ad haec studia recolenda sumpsero? atque id eo mihi
concedendum
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est magis quod ex his studiis haec quoque crescit oratio et facultas
quae,
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quantacumque <est> in me, numquam amicorum periculis defuit. quae


si cui
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levior videtur, illa quidem certe quae summa sunt ex quo fonte hauriam
sentio. [14]
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nam nisi multorum praeceptis multisque litteris mihi ab adulescentia
suasissem
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nihil esse in vita magno opere expetendum nisi laudem atque
honestatem, in ea
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autem persequenda omnis cruciatus corporis, omnia pericula mortis


atque exsili
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parvi esse ducenda, numquam me pro salute vestra in tot ac tantas
dimicationes
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atque in hos profligatorum hominum cotidianos impetus obiecissem. sed
pleni
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omnes sunt libri, plenae sapientium voces, plena exemplorum vetustas;
quae
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iacerent in tenebris omnia, nisi litterarum lumen accederet. quam multas
nobis
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imagines non solum ad intuendum verum etiam ad imitandum
fortissimorum
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virorum expressas scriptores et Graeci et Latini reliquerunt! quas ego
mihi semper
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in administranda re publica proponens animum et mentem meam ipsa
cogitatione
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hominum excellentium conformabam. [15] quaeret quispiam: 'quid? illi
ipsi summi
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viri quorum virtutes litteris proditae sunt istane doctrina quam tu effers
laudibus
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eruditi fuerunt?' difficile est hoc de omnibus confirmare, sed tamen est
certum quid
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respondeam. ego multos homines excellenti animo ac virtute fuisse sine
doctrina,
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et naturae ipsius habitu prope divino per se ipsos et moderatos et gravis
exstitisse
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fateor; etiam illud adiungo, saepius ad laudem atque virtutem naturam
sine
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doctrina quam sine natura valuisse doctrinam. atque idem ego hoc
contendo, cum
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ad naturam eximiam et inlustrem accesserit ratio quaedam
conformatioque
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doctrinae, tum illud nescio quid praeclarum ac singulare solere exsistere.
[16] ex
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hoc esse hunc numero quem patres nostri viderunt, divinum hominem,
Africanum,
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ex hoc C. Laelium, L. Furium, moderatissimos homines et


continentissimos, ex hoc
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fortissimum virum et illis temporibus doctissimum, <M.> Catonem illum


senem; qui
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profecto si nihil ad percipiendam colendamque virtutem litteris
adiuvarentur,
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numquam se ad earum studium contulissent. quod si non hic tantus
fructus
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ostenderetur, et si ex his studiis delectatio sola peteretur, tamen, ut
opinor, hanc
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animi remissionem humanissimam ac liberalissimam
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