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Licinius Macer Calvus, Gaius

LICINIUS MACER CALVUS, GAIUS (82-47 B-C-), Roman poet and orator, was the son of the annalist Licinius Macer. As a poet he is associated with his friend Catullus, whom he followed in style and choice of subjects. As an orator he was the leader of the opponents of the florid Asiatic school, who took the simplest Attic orators as their model and attacked even Cicero as wordy and artificial. Calvus held a correspondence on questions connected with rhetoric, perhaps (if the reading be correct) the commentarii alluded to by Tacitus (Dialogus, 23; compare also Cicero, Ad Fam. xv. 21). Twenty-one speeches by him are mentioned, amongst which the most famous were those delivered against Publius Vatinius. Calvus was very short of stature, and is alluded to by Catullus (Ode 53) as Salaputium disertum (eloquent Lilliputian).

For Cicero's opinion see Brutus, 82; Quintilian x. I. 115; Tacitus, Dialogus, 18. 21; the monograph by F. Plessis (Paris, 1896) contains a collection of the fragments (verse and prose).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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