- Marcus Antonius Orator
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marcus Antonius Orator (died 87 BC) was a Roman politician of the Antonius family and one of the most distinguished Roman orators of his time. He started his cursus honorum as quaestor in 113 BC, and in 102 BC he was elected praetor with proconsular powers for the province of Cilicia. During his term, Antonius fought the pirates with such a success that the Senate voted a naval triumph in his honor. He was then elected consul in 99 BC, together with Aulus Postumius Albinus, and in 97 BC, he was elected censor. He held a command in the Marsic War in 90 BC. During the civil war between Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Antonius supported the latter. This cost him his life; Marius and Lucius Cornelius Cinna executed him when they obtained possession of Rome in 87 BC.
Throughout his political career he continued to appear as a mediative defender or an accuser in Roman courts of law. Antonius' modern reputation for eloquence derives from the authority of Cicero, since none of his speeches survive. He is one of the chief speakers in Cicero's De Oratore. He had two sons, Marcus Antonius Creticus and Gaius Antonius Hybrida, who would not live up to his reputation of excellence. The former was the father of the famous general and triumvir, Mark Antony.
* Velleius Paterculus ii. 22
* Appian, Bell. Civ. i. 72
* Dio Cassius xlv. 47
* Plutarch, Marius, 44
* Cicero, Orator, 5, Brutus, 37
* Quintilian, Instit. iii. 1, 19
* O. Enderlein, De M. Antonio oratore (Leipzig, 1882)
* This article incorporates text from the Encyclopędia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.