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[13] These may have been figures when Sallust made them; but it is a question whether they can now be so considered, since they have met with such general acceptance. For we are in the habit of accepting common parlance as sufficient authority where current phrases are concerned: for example, rebus agentibus in the sense of while this was going on, which Pollio rebukes Labienus1 for using, has become an accredited idiom, as has contumeliam fecit, which, as is [p. 451] well known, is stigmatised by Cicero2: for in his day they said ad fici contumelia.

1 See IV. i. 11; I. V. 8.

2 Phil. III. ix. 22. Quintilian appears primafacie to regard the phrase as meaning “to suffer insult.” But in Plautus and Terence it means to “inflict an insult,” and Quintilian probably quotes the phrase in this sense. He should, however, have said adficere, not adfici, to make his meaning clear.

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