Roscius, Quintus (kwĭnˈtəs rŏshˈəs) [key], c.126 B.C.–62 B.C., Roman actor. Born a slave at Solonium, he became the greatest comic actor of his time. From the dictator Sulla, Roscius received the honor of the gold ring signifying equestrian rank. In a lawsuit, Cicero, whom he had taught elocution, defended him by an extant oration, Pro Q. Roscio Comoedo. The title "the young Roscius" or "the new Roscius" has been bestowed on several English actors as a mark of supreme distinction.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.