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[6] 2. FANNIUS. What you say is true, Laelius; for there was no better man than Africanus, and no one more illustrious. But you should realize that all men have fixed their eyes on you alone; you it is whom they both call and believe to be wise. Recently1 this title was given to Marcus Cato and we know that Lucius Acilius was called “the Wise” in our [p. 115] fathers' time, but each of them in a somewhat different way: Acilius because of his reputation for skill in civil law; Cato because of his manifold experience, and because of the many well-known instances wherein both in Senate and forum he displayed shrewdness of foresight, resolution of conduct, or sagacity in reply; and as a result, by the time he had reached old age, he bore the title of “the Wise” as a sort of cognomen.

1 Cato died in 149 B.C., hence Fannius by “recently” means “twenty years ago.” The date of Cato's imagined discourse on old age was 150 B.C.

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