Aper, Marcus

, one of the finest orators of his time, was a Gaul by birth, and flourished in the first century. His inclination leading him to travelling, he extended his journey as far as Britain, but afterwards returned to Rome, where he fixed his residence, attended the bar, and acquired great reputation for wit and eloquence. Although considered at Rome as a foreigner, this circumstance did not prevent his rising to the highest offices, as he became senator, questor, tribune, and prsetor; but none of these promotions had charms so attractive to him as his original | profession. He is most celebrated for his “Dialogue on the corruption of eloquence,” the object of which is to prefer the modern to the ancient eloquence. This dialogue is supposed to have been written in the 16th year of Vespasian, or the year 74 of our aera, and his death has been fixed at the year 83. The dialogue, however, has been attributed to Quintilian and to Tacitus, and is usually printed in their works, but modern critics are of opinion it was not written by either, and D. Rivet, from whom this article is taken, attributes it, in his literary history of France, to Aper, and advances such proofs as appear to have great weight. An excellent dissertation on it may be seem in Murphy’s translation of Tacitus, vol. IV. p. 445. 1


Chaufepie.—Rivet’s Hist. Litt. vol. I. p. 218—223.—Moreri.