The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Cornelius



dicated to Cornelianus his "Ecloge," speaks of him in terms of high praise, and describes him as wor­ thy of the age of Demosthenes. (Comp. Phrynich. s. v. jSacriAicro'a, p. 225, s. v. rd Trpocranra, p. 379, ed. Lobeck.) Fronto (Epist. ad Amic. i. 4, p. 187 and p. 237) mentions a rhetorician of the name of Sulpicius Cornelianus; but whether he is the same as the friend of Phrynichus, as Mai supposes, is uncertain, though there is nothing to oppose the supposition. [L. S.]

CORNELIUS. Many plebeians of this name frequently occur towards the end of the republic without any cognomen. [cornelia gens.] Their great number is no doubt owing to the fact men­tioned by Appian (B. C. i. 100), that the dictator Sulla bestowed the Roman franchise upon 10.000 slaves, and called them after his own name, " Cor-nelii," that he might always have a large number among the people to support him. Of these the most important are :—

1. cornelius, a secretary (scriba] in Sulla's dictatorship, lived to become city quaestor in the dictatorship of Caesar. (Sail. Hist, in Or. Lep.; Cic. de Off. ii. 8.)

2. cornelius phagita, the commander of a company of soldiers, into whose hands Caesar fell when he was proscribed by Sulla in b. c. 82. It •was with difficulty that Cornelius allowed liim to escape even after receiving a bribe of two talents, but Caesar never punished him when he afterwards obtained supreme power. (Suet. Caes. 74; Pint. Caes. 1.

3. C. cornelius, tribune of the plebs, b.c. 67, whom Cicero defended. See below.

4. C. cornelius, a Roman knight, and one of Catiline's crew, undertook, in conjunction with L. Vargunteius to murder Cicero in b.c. 63, but their plan was frustrated by information conveyed to Cicero through Curius and Fulvia. When accused subsequently, he could obtain no one to defend him; but he escaped punishment probably on ac­count of the information he gave respecting the conspiracy. When P. Sulla was accused in b.c. 62 of participation in the conspiracy, Cornelius caused his son to come forward as a witness against Lira. (Sal. Cat. 17, 28; Cic.^ro Suit. 2, 6, 18.)

5. P. cornelius, tribune of the plebs, b.c. 51. (Cic. ad Fam. viii. 8.)

6. cornelius, a centurion in the army of young Octavianus, was at the head of the embassy sent to Rome in b. c. 43, to demand in the name of the army the consulship for their general. When the senate hesitated to comply with their demands, Cornelius threw back his cloak, and pointing to the hilt of his sword, exclaimed, " This shall make him consul, if you won't."(Suet. ^4^.26.)

C. CORNE'LIUS, of a plebeian branch of the Cornelia gens, was quaestor of Pompey the Great. In the year B. c. 67, he was tribune of the plebs, and proposed a law in the senate to prevent the lending of money to foreign ambassadors at Rome. The proposition was not carried, since many of the senators derived profit from the practice, which had led to shameful abuses by the bribery and ex­tortions which it covered. He then proposed that 110 person should be released from the obligations of a law except by the populus. The senate had of late exercised a power, analogous to that of the British Parliament in passing private acts, which exempt individuals in certain cases from the general provisions of the law. This power the senate was


unwilling to be deprived of, and the tribune Ser-vilius Globulus, a colleague of Cornelius, was per­suaded to interpose, and prohibit the reading of the rogation by the clerk. Cornelius thereupon read it himself, and a tumult followed. Cornelius took no part in the riot, and evinced his moderation by being content with a law, which made the presence of 200 senators requisite to the validity of a dispensing senatusconsultum. When his year of office was ended, he was accused of majestas by P. Cominius, for reading the rogation in defiance of the intercession of Globulus; the accusation was dropped this year, but renewed in b. c. 65. Cornelius was ably defended by Cicero (part of whose speech is extant), and was acquitted by a majority of votes. [cominius, Nos. 5 and 6.]

In his tribuneship, he was the successful pro­ poser of a law, of which the importance can scarcely be over-rated. In order to check the partiality of occasional edicts, it was enacted by the lex Cornelia " ut praetores ex edictis suis per- petuis jus clicerent." (Diet, of Ant. s. v. Edictum.} Cornelius was a man of blameless private life, and, in his public character, though he was accused of factiousness by the nobles, seems to have advo­ cated useful measures. (Asconius, in Cic. pro Cornel.; Dion Cass. xxxvi. 21, 23; Drumann's Gescli. Roms, ii. p. 613.) - [J. T. G.J

CORNELIUS, succeeded Fabianus as bishop of Rome on the 4th of June, a. d. 251. He is chiefly remarkable on account of the controversy which he maintained with Novatianus in regard to the readmission of the Lapsi, that is, Christians who after baptism, influenced by the terrors of per­ secution, had openly fallen away from the faith. Cornelius was disposed to be lenient towards the renegades upon receiving full evidence of their contrition, while Novatianus denied the power of the church to grant forgiveness under such circum­ stances and restore the culprits to her communion. The result of the dispute was, that, upon the elec­ tion of Cornelius, Novatianus refused to acknow­ ledge the authority of his opponent, who summoned a council, by which his own opinions were fully confirmed. Upon this the religious warfare raged more fiercely than ever; Novatianus was irregu­ larly chosen bishop by some of his own partisans, and thus arose the schism of the Novatians. [no­ vatianus.] Cornelius, however, enjoyed his dignity for but a very brief period. He was banished to Civita Vecchia by the emperor Gall us, in a. d. 252, where he soon after died, or, accord­ ing to some accounts, suffered martyrdom. He is known to have written several Epistles, two of which addressed to Cyprian will be found in the works of that prelate, and in Constant's " Epistolae Pontificum," p. 125, while a fragment of a third is preserved in the ecclesiastical history of Eusebius. (vi. 43.) [cyprianus.] [W. R.]

CORNELIUS, SE'RVIUS. In the Graeco-Roman Epitome Legum, composed about A. d. 945 by one Embatus, and preserved in MS. at Flo­rence (Cod. Laurent. Ixxx. 6), it is stated, that Servius Cornelius was employed by the emperor Hadrian, in conjunction with Salvius Julianus, to collect, arrange, and remodel the edictum per-petuum. The passage (which, though the late­ness of its date diminishes its value, is the most explicit of the few that relate to this obscure part of legal history) is given by Klenze. (Lehrlmch der GescJt. des Rom. Reclits. p. 54.) [J. T. G.]

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of