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Macer, C. Lici'nius

1. A Roman annalist and orator, was the father of C. Licinius Calvus [CALVUS], and must have been born about B. C. 110. He was quaestor probably in B. C. 78, was tribune of the plebs B. C. 73, was subsequently raised to the praetorship and became governor of a province. He was distinguished by his hostility towards C. Rabirius, whom he charged (B. C. 73) with having been accessory to the death of Saturninus, an offence for which the same individual was brought to trial a second time ten years afterwards. Macer himself was impeached by Cicero, A. D. 66, when the latter was praetor, under the law De Repetundis; and finding that, notwithstanding the influence of Crassus, with whom he was closely allied, the verdict was against him, he instantly committed suicide, before all the forms were completed, and thus saved his family from the dishonour and loss which would have been entailed upon them had he been regularly sentenced. This is the account given by Valerius Maximus, and it does not differ in substance from that preserved by Plutarch.

His Annales, or Rerum Romanarum Libri, or Historiae, as they are variously designated by the grammarians, are frequently referred to with respect by Livy and Dionysius. They commenced with the very origin of the city, and extended to twentyone books at least; but whether he brought down the record of events to his own time it is impossible for us to determine, since the quotations now extant belong to the earlier ages only. He appears to have paid great attention to the history of the constitution, and to have consulted ancient monuments, especially the Libri Lintei preserved in the temple of Juno Moneta, noting down carefully the points in which they were at variance with the received accounts. In consequence of his diligence in this department, Niebuhr conceives that he must have been more trustworthy than any of his predecessors, and supposes that the numerous speeches with which he was fond of diversifying his narrative afforded materials for Dionysius and Livy. Cicero speaks verycoldly, and even contemptuously, of his merits, both as a writer and a speaker, but some allowance must perhaps be made in this case for personal enmity.

A few words from an oration, Pro Tuscis, have been preserved by Priscian (10.8, p. 502, ed. Krehl), and a single sentence from an Epistola ad Senatum, by Nonius Marcellus (s. v. contendere). (Pigh. Ann. ad ann. 675; Sall. Histor. 3.22, p. 252, ed. Gerlach; Cic. Att. 1.4, pro Rabir. 2, de Leg. 1.2, Brut. 67; V. Max. 9.12 § 7 ; Plut. Cic. 9; Macrob. 1.10, 13; Censorin. de Die Nat. 20; Solin. 8; Non. Marcell. s. vv. clypeus, contendere, luculenetum, lues, patibulum; Diomed. i. p. 366, ed. Putsch; Priscian. 6.11, p. 256, 10.6, p. 496, ed. Krehl; in the last passage we must read Licinius for Acmilius; Liv. 4.7, 20, 23, 7.9, 9.38, 46, 10.9; Dionys. A. R. 2.52, 4.6, 5.47, 74, 6.1 , 7.1; Auctor, (de Orig. Gent. Rom. 19, 23; Lachmann, de Fontibus Historiar. T. Livii Comment. prior, § 21; Krause, Vitae et Frag. Hist. Rom. p. 237; Meyer, Orat. Rom. Frag. p. 385, 2nd ed.; Weichert, Poet. Lat. Reliquiae, p. 92.)


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73 BC (2)
66 AD (1)
78 BC (1)
110 BC (1)
hide References (10 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (10):
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 1.4
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 9, 38
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 7, 9
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 4, 20
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 10, 9
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 9, 46
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 4, 23
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 4, 7
    • Plutarch, Cicero, 9
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 9.12
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