This paper argues that the comparison of a feast staged by Piso and Gabinius to a banquet of Centaurs and Lapiths in Pis. 22 is significant for the invective as a whole. It shows how Cicero builds up his characterization of Piso to suggest that his opponent is like a Centaur and examines the implications of this comparison for the orator’s treatment of Piso’s proconsulship and intellectual activities. The image of Piso as a Centaur shows that he is naturally disposed to be an enemy of civilization.

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