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[51] Such ambiguity may even go so far as to present all the appearance of a riddle, witness the jest that Cicero made at the expense of Pletorius, the accuser of Fonteius: “His mother,” he said, “kept a school while she lived and masters after she was dead.”1 The explanation is that in her lifetime women of infamous character used to frequent her house, while after her death her property was sold. (I may note however that ludus, is used metaphorically in the sense of school, while magisiri is used ambiguously.)

1 magister may mean a schoolmaster or a receiver (magister bonorum)placed in charge of the goods to be sold. The phrase here has the same suggestion as “having the bailiffs in the house.” This passage does not occur in the portions of the pro Fonteio which survive.

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