ne tu: cf. ne, Ep. XVI [.2 n.
Graecos aut Oscos ludos: comedy and tragedy were essentially of Greek origin, and Cicero speaks of them therefore as ludi Graeci in distinction from the fobulae Atellanae (ludi Osci), which were indigenous to Italian soil. These Atellan farces were comic representations of life with fixed characters. They were cast in dialogue form, varied by occasional songs. The action was lively, and the language the vulgar Latin. After the conquest of Campania, in 211 B.C.
, these farces were introduced into Rome, given in course of time a more distinctly dramatic form, and used as afterpieces on the stage. Cf. Ep. LXI. 7; also Ribbeck, Röm. Dichtung, 1.207-217.
in senatu vestro: Marius would seem to have been a decurio, or member of the town council, probably in Pompeii, and in the deliberations of his Oscan colleagues upon petty matters of town government, he could find all the elements of an 'Oscan burlesque' without taking the trouble to come to Rome for