A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

a learned historian and perhaps a jurist, is celebrated in some of the extant works of Cicero for the equanimity with which he bore blindness; and we find from St. Jerome (in Epitaph. Nepotiani, Opp. vol. iv. P. ii. p. 268, ed. Benedict.), that his patience was also recounted in the lost treatise de Consolatione. His corporeal blindness did not quench his intellectual vision. Bereaved of sight and advanced in age, he still attended his duties, and spoke in the senate, and found means to write a Grecian history. Cicero states (Tusc. Disp. 5.38), that he also gave advice to his friends (nec amicis deliberantibus deerat); and, on account of this expression, he has been ranked by some legal biographers among the Roman jurists. In his old age, he adopted Cn. Aurelius Orestes, who consequently took the name of Aufidius in place of Aurelius. This precedent has been quoted (Cic. pro Dom. 13) to shew that the power of adopting does not legally depend on the power of begetting children. Aufidius was quaestor B. C. 119, tribunus plebis, B. C. 114, and finally praetor B. C. 108, about two years before the birth of Cicero, who, as a boy, was acquainted with the old blind scholar. (De Fin. 5.19.)