Classical Quarterly 42 (1):279-282 (1992)

Abstract
In his prefatory epistle dedicating his Naturalis Historia to Vespasian, the elder Pliny takes great pains to plead that his magnum opus is unworthy of the emperor: ‘maiorem te sciebam, quam ut descensurum hue putarem’. Continuing in this vein, Pliny goes on to say ‘praeterea est quaedam publica etiam eruditorum reiectio’, and appeals for support to the great Cicero: ‘utitur ilia et M. Tullius extra omnem ingenii aleam positus, et, quod miremur, per aduocatum defenditur’. Cicero's aduocatus is the satirist Lucilius, from whom a mangled fragment in trochaic septenarii is then quoted: ‘nec doctissimis. Manium Persium haec legere nolo, Iunium Congum uolo.’ The sense of this fragment, which Pliny very probably quoted from the now-lost beginning of Cicero's preface to his De Re Publica, can be restored from Cicero, De Oratore 2.25: ‘nam ut C. Lucilius…dicere solebat ea quae scriberet neque ab indoctissimis se neque a doctissimis legi uelle, quod alteri nihil intelligerent, alteri plus fortasse quam ipse; quo etiam scripsit “Persium non curo legere”, “Laelium Decimum uolo” : sic ego…’. This latter passage has allowed the former to be restored, to some extent exempli gratia, to the following form in Warmington's and Krenkel's editions of Lucilius.
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DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0009838800042804
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