What can be so ridiculous as a sannio?

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Cicero, De Oratore 2.61.251-52
What can be so ridiculous as a sannio? We laugh at his grimaces, his mimicry of other people’s characters, his voice, in short, his whole person. I call him witty, not, however, in the way I should wish an orator to be witty, but only the mime. That is why this method, which makes people laugh, does not belong to us. I mean the peevishness, superstitiousness, suspiciousness, boastfulness, foolishness. Such characters are in themselves ridiculous: we jeer at their roles on the stage, we do not act them.

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3 thoughts on “What can be so ridiculous as a sannio?

  1. M.A. Rivera

    This reminds me of that iconic Che Guevara poster where you only see his head. In an alternate reality I see people marching up and down the streets with posters of your face (i.e. the one above) shouting something revolutionary and, of course, they’re accompanied by weasels. Blessings.

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  2. Oh these Romans: Always keep in up with appearances, like modern anglo-saxon american. But Cicero committed some acts of when He faked not to know some Greek names in front of the Senate, just to keep the exterior of “unsophisticated” roman macho…

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