In a passage from the late rhetorical treatise generally known as De optimo genere oratorum , Cicero defends his past forensic competence in the face of Atticist critique by praising his Pro Milone as an example of grand style (9–10): quod qui ita faciet, ut, si cupiat uberior esse, non possit, habeatur sane orator, sed de minoribus; magno autem oratori etiam illo modo saepe dicendum est in tali ... [Show full abstract] genere causarum. (10) ita fit ut Demosthenes certe possit summisse dicere, elate Lysias fortasse non possit. sed si eodem modo putant, exercitu in foro et in omnibus templis, quae circum forum sunt, conlocato, dici pro Milone decuisse, ut si de re privata ad unum iudicem diceremus, vim eloquentiae sua facultate, non rei natura metiuntur.
If anyone speaks in this manner without being able to use a fuller style if he wishes, he should be regarded as an orator, but a minor one. The great orator must often speak in that way in dealing with cases of such a kind. (10) In other words, Demosthenes could certainly speak calmly, but Lysias perhaps not with passion. But if they think that at the trial of Milo, when the army was stationed in the Forum and in all the temples round about, it was fitting to defend him in the same style that we would use in pleading a private case before a single judge, they measure the power of eloquence by their own limited ability, not by the nature of the art.