Albutius, Caius Silus

, a celebrated Roman orator in the time of Augustus, was a native of Novarre, and advanced to the office of sedile, but he left it on account of an insult offered to him by some persons who had lost their | suit. He then went to Rome, where he associated himself v.-ith Munacius Plancus, the orator, but rivalship soon parted them, and he formed a separate auditory, and at length ventured to plead causes. In this office, he met with a disgrace which obliged him to renounce it. In the warmth of pleading he one day made use of an expression which he meant only as a nourish: “Swear,” said he to his adversary, “by the ashes and by the memory of your fathers, and you shall gain your cause.” After he had amplified this thought, the advocate on the opposite side coolly replied, “We accept the condition;” and the judges admitting the oath, Albutius lost his cause, and his temper, at least, if not his credit. We hear no more of him, until he returned to Novarre, old and afflicted with an abscess, when he called the people together, and explained to them in a long speech the reasons that hindered him from desiring to live, and so starved himself to death. Seneca the father gives him the singular character of one who could neither bear nor offer an injury. A passage in Quintilian seems to intimate that he composed a “Treatise on Rhetorick.1


Gen. Dict. —Moreri. Suetonius in fra. de Claris eratoribus.