This paper examines how and for what purpose Claudian praised the intellectu- al prowess of his addressee in the Panegyric in Honour of Mallius Theodorus, the only political poem of the author, in which the literary bilingualism is a main topic. The analysis of the technique deployed by the panegyrist reveals the polit- ical significance of this poem unattended so far, locating it properly in Claudian¿s production during the years 398-399. The verbal echoes and remi- niscences in the portrayal of different philosophical schools in lines 61-112 dis- close a sophisticated imitation of Lucretian poetical language. This set of allu- sions, read in the broader context of the poem as a whole, shows Claudian draft- ing a more wide-ranging framework in which Theodorus surpasses the preced- ing tradition and, in particular, Cicero as a paradigm of the philosopher-orator and of the intellectual bridge between Greece and Rome. This reading also allows to understand the specific propagandistic message of the poem: Theodorus complements Stilicho¿s political mission, drawing together the two traditions of the Empire and ensuring the continuity of Theodosius¿ legacy.