aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Suetonius, On Grammarians and Rhetoricians 25 (1)

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An extreme example of state interference in education, from 161 BC.

rhetorica quoque apud nos perinde atque grammatica fere recepta est, paulo etiam difficilius, quippe quam constet nonnunquam etiam prohibitam exerceri. quod ne cui dubium sit vetus S.C. item censorium edictum subiiciam: C. Fannio Strabone M. Valerio Messala cons. M. Pomponius praetor senatum consuluit. quod verba facta sunt de philosophis et rhetoribus, de ea re ita censuerunt ut M. Pomponius praetor animadverteret curaretque, ut si ei e re p. fideque sua videretur, uti Romae ne essent.

Rhetoric also was pretty much accepted among us just like grammar, but with a little more difficulty, since (as is well known) at times it was even forbidden from being practised. So there can be no doubt about this, I shall append an old decree of the Senate and likewise an edict of the censors. “In the consulship of Gaius Fannius Strabo and Marcus Valerius Messala, the praetor Marcus Pomponius put a motion to the Senate. As a discussion was held concerning philosophers and rhetoricians, they issued a decree about this matter, saying that the Marcus Pomponius should take heed and ensure that, if he thought it in accord with the state and the oath he had taken, they should not be allowed to live in Rome.”

The decree of the censors will be coming to you in a couple of days!

Written by aleatorclassicus

November 8, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Suetonius

One Response

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  1. […] as promised, is the second part of Suetonius’ account of the expulsion of the philosophers and rhetoricians. de eisdem interiecto tempore Cn. Domitius […]

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