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Against an unknown Victius, or Vittius (Haupt and a singie interpolated MS.), or Vettius (Statius and many others). The man referred to may be L. Vettius, the Titus Oates of his time, who in B.C. 62 charged Julius Caesar with complicity in the conspiracy of Catiline (Suet. Iul. 17), and three years later trumped up against a number of leading senators a charge of conspiracy to assassinate Pompey. He was himself accused of forging his evidence, and was cast into prison, and died there. But though Vettius is a much more common name than either of the others, some mere loud-mouthed nonentity may be meant instead of the notorious Lucius Vettius.

[2] fatuis: especially used of silly speakers, and distinguished from insulsus by Donatus (ad Ter. Eun. 1079fatui sunt qui verbis et dictis fatui sunt; insulsi vero corde et animo” ); cf. Serv. ad Verg. A. 7.47fatuos dicimus inconsiderate loquentes” .

[4] carpatinas: a rude shoe made from a single piece of hide and apparently worn only by the lowest classes.

[5-6] si nos: etc., i. e. such is our just fear of being addressed by yout foul tongue that you have only to open your mouth to see us immediately drop dead.

[5-6] omnino: out-and-out; modifying not omnes, but perdere; cf. v. 6 omnino efficies (but Cic. Invent. 86omnino imnis argumentatio” ).

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  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Servius, Commentary on the Aeneid of Vergil, 7.47
    • Terence, The Eunuch, 5.8
    • Suetonius, Divus Julius, 17
    • Cicero, De Inventione, 1.46
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