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[113] Asinius Pollio1 had great gifts of invention and great precision of language (indeed, some think him too precise), while his judgment and spirit were fully adequate. But he is so far from equalling the polish and charm of Cicero that he might have been born a generation before him. Messala,2 on the other hand, is polished and transparent and displays his nobility in his utterance, but he fails to do his powers full justice.

1 Asinius Pollio (75 B.C.—A.D. 4), the friend of Virgil, distinguished as poet, historian and orator.

2 M. Valerius Corvinus (64 B.C.—A.D. 8), the friend of Tibullus and distinguished as an orator.

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