For a discussion of the structure of the opening period, see general Introd. p. xlvii.

frequens conspectus vester, the sight of you in full assembly.

hic locus, the Rostra. The scanty remains of the rostra may be seen at the left of the Temple of Concord.

ad agendum, for public business, i.e. among the many duties of a magistrate there is none more dignified (amplissimus) than this of addressing the whole people in a political assembly; agere cum populo was the technical expression for transacting business in the comitia or a contio.

ornatissimus, honorable (of private glory as an orator).

Quirites, fellow-citizens: the name by which the Romans were addressed when acting in a civil capacity.

hoc aditu, this avenue (i.e. addressing the people on political questions).

optimo cuique, i.e. to such as the presiding magistrate would permit, for only these had a right to speak in a contio.

rationes, plan: the plural indicates the details of the plan, i.e. the particular considerations that determine a general course of conduct.

cum (temporal), while: ยง 546 (323, 2); B. 288, I, b; G. 585; H. 600, ii, I (521, 2); H.-B. 524.

auctoritatem: the act of speaking in a contio indicated that the speaker was a proper person to advise the people, and hence it would confer auctoritas (weight, prestige).

attingere, aspire to.

perfectum ingenio, perfected by force of intellect, i.e. the fruit of fully developed mental power.

elaboratum, carefully wrought (such, therefore, as needed more practice than youth could give).

amicorum temporibus, exigencies of my friends. A Roman lawyer was not regarded as doing a service for hire, but was expected to defend his friends gratuitously. He was, indeed, prohibited from receiving pay; but, though no bargain was made, the obliged party was expected to give a liberal present, in some form or other, to his patronus.

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  • Commentary references from this page (1):
    • A. A. Howard, Benj. L. D'Ooge, G. L. Kittredge, J. B. Greenough, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar, 546
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