1. Q. Granius
, a clerk employed by the auctioneers at Rome to collect the money at sales. His wit and caustic humour rendered him famous among his contemporaries, and have transmitted his name to posterity. Although his occupation was humble (comp. Hor. Ep. 1.7. 56
), his talents raised him to the highest society in Rome (Cic. Fam. 9.15
; Schol. Bob. pro Planc.
p. 259, Orelli); the satirist Lucilius made frequent mention of him (Cic. Brut. 43
, ad Att.
6.3), and the name Granius became a proverbial expression for a man of wit. Cicero remarks that the only event at all memorable in the tribuneship of L. Licinius Crassus the orator [CRASSUS, No. 23] was his supping with Granius (Brut.
43). Some of the replies of Granius are recorded by Cicero (Cic. de Orat. 2.60
, 62). They may be denominated puns, and are not always intelligible in another language. In B. C. 111, the consuls P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica, and L. Calpurnius Bestia [BESTIA, No. 1.], suspended all public business, that the levies for the war with Jugurtha might proceed without interruption. Scipio, seeing Granius idle in the forum, asked him " whether he grieved at the auctions being put off? " " No," was the clerk's reply ; "but I am at the legations being put off."
The point of the reply lies in the double meaning of " rejectae"
in the original; the senate had sent more than one fruitless embassy (legatio
) to Jugurtha, who bribed both the legati and the senate. In B. C. 91, the celebrated tribune of the plebs, M. Livius Drusus [DRUSUS, No. 6.], meeting Granius, asked him " How speeds your business? " "Nay, Drusus," rejoined the auction-clerk, "how speeds yours ?
" Drusus being at the time unable to perform his promises to the Italian allies and subjects of Rome. Catulus, Crassus, and Antonius, and the leading men of all parties at Rome in the seventh century of the city, were in turn the objects of Granius' licence of speech. (Cic. pro Planc.
2, 3. CN. and Q. GRANII, two brothers of senatorian rank at Rome in B. C. 87. One of them was step-son to C. Marius.
The two Granii were proscribed with Marius on Sulla's first occupation of Rome in that year. One of these brothers, the step-son, accompanied Marius in his light form the city, was separated from him in the neighbour hood of Minturnae, escaped to the island of Aenaria, on the coast of Campania, and afterwards accompanied him to Africa. (Plut. Mar. 35
: App B. C. 1.60, 62.)