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Afer, Domi'tius

of Nemausus (Nismes) in Gaul, was praetor A. D. 25, and gained the favour of Tiberius by accusing Claudia Pulchra, the consobrina of Agrippina, in A. D. 26. (Tac. Ann. 4.52.) From this time he became one of the most celebrated orators in Rome, but sacrificed his character by conducting accusations for the government. In the following year, A. D. 27, he is again mentioned by Tacitus as the accuser of Varus Quintilius, the son of Claudia Pulchra. (Ann. 4.66.) In consequence of the accusation of Claudia Pulchra, and of some offence which he had given to Caligula, he was accused by the emperor in the senate, but by concealing his own skill in speaking, and pretending to be overpowered by the eloquence of Caligula, he not only escaped the danger, but was made consul suffectus in A. D. 39. (D. C. 59.19, 20.) In his old age Afer lost much of his reputation by continuing to speak in public, when his powers were exhausted. (Quint. Inst. 12.11.3; Tac. Ann. 4.52.) He died in the reign of Nero, A. D. 60 (Tac. Ann. 14.19), in consequence of a surfeit, according to Hieronymus in the Chronicon of Eusebius.

Quintilian, when a young man, heard Domitius Afer (comp. Plin. Ep 2.14), and frequently speaks of him as the most distinguished orator of his age. He says that Domitius Afer and Julius Africanus were the best orators he had heard, and that he prefers the former to the latter. (10.1.118.) Quintilian refers to a work of his "On Testimony" (5.7.7), to one entitled "Dicta" (6.3.42), and to some of his orations, of which those on behalf of Domitilla, or Cloantilla, and Volusenus Catulus seem to have been the most celebrated. (8.5. 16, 9.2.20, 3.66, 4.31, 10.1.24, &c.) Respecting the will of Domitius Afer, see Plin. Ep. 8.18.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Tacitus, Annales, 14.19
    • Tacitus, Annales, 4.52
    • Pliny the Younger, Epistulae, 8.18
    • Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, Book 12, 11.3
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