The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Labeo – Laberius Decimus

LABEO.

there ought to be testes rogali^ one who was' acci­ dentally present alterius rei causa could not be a witness. Ulpian qualifies the rule, by saying that a person, though asked to come for another purpose, might be a witness, if specially informed before the attestation that he was wanted as such. The question of Domitius Labeo may mean to ask whether a person, invited to write, the will, and not .specially to witness it, was a good witness, if he signed without further intimation that his testimony was required. [J. T. G.]

LABEO, Q. FA'BIUS, was quaestor urbanus in b. c. 196. The augurs and priests had for some years resisted the payment of the tributum; but, after a stout contest, Labeo and his colleague L. Aurelius compelled them to yield the point, and pay up all arrears. (Liv. xxxiii. 42.) In b. c. 189 he was elected praetor, and was appointed by lot to the command of the fleet. Eager for some op­portunity of distinguishing himself, he sailed from Ephesus to Crete, where it was reported that a large number of Roman citizens were in a state of slavery. None but the Gortynii heeded his demand that they should be surrendered ; but from them he obtained a considerable number (4000 according to Valerius Antias), which afforded him a pretext for demanding a triumph. He then sent three ships to Macedonia, to demand the withdrawment of the garrisons of Antioclms from Aenus and Maronia. The treaty with Antiochus had just been concluded by Cn. Manlius, and in accordance with the terms of it Labeo was despatched to Patara, to destroy the ships of the king which were there. He afterwards got possession of Tel-missus, and then conducted the fleet back to Italy. The triumph which he demanded was accorded to him, notwithstanding the opposition of the tribunes. (Liv. xxxvii. 47, 50, 60, xxxviii. 39, 47). In b. c. 185 he became a candidate for the consulship ; but App. Claudius succeeded in getting his brother Publius elected in his stead. This was the second repulse of the kind which he had received. (Liv. xxxix. 32). In the folio wing year he was appointed one of the triumvirs for planting colonies at Potentia and Pisaurum. (Id. 44). In b. c. 183 he was elected consul with M. Claudius Marcellus. Li-guria was assigned to the consuls as their province. (Id. 45.) He was created pontifex in b. c. 180. (xl. 42.) Cicero (De Off. i. 10) has a story of a trick ;'by which either Labeo, or somebody else, having been appointed arbitrator between the towns of Nola and Neapolis, respecting some disputed land, obtained a tract of territory for the Romans. [C. P. M.]

LABEO, POMPO'NIUS, governor of the pro­vince of Moesia for eight years, in the reign of Tiberius. The emperor, in a letter to the senate, denounced him as guilty of maladministration and other offences. Labeo by a voluntary death anti­cipated the threatened execution. (a. d. 34.) His wife Paxaea imitated his example. (Tac. Ann, iv. 47, vi. 29 ; Dion Cass. Iviii. 24). [C. P. M.]

LABEO, TITI'DIUS, a Roman painter, cele­brated for small panel pictures. He was of prae­torian rank, and was at one time proconsul of Gallia Narbonensis, in which office he made him­self contemptible. He died at a great age, shortly before the time when Pliny the Elder wrote. (Plin. //. A7".' xxxv. 4. s. 7.) The common reading is Ateiits Labeo. Jan (Schulzeit. 1833, p. 723) sug­gested Tiiidius, which is adopted by Sillig, in his edition of Pliny. The MSS. are corrupt. [P. S.J

695

LABERIUS.

LABERIUS DECIMUS, a ftoman eques, and a distinguished writer of mimes. He was bom about b.c. 107, and died in January 43 (Hieron. in Euseb. Chron. Olymp. 184. 2), at Puteoli, in Campania, At Caesar's triumphal games in Oc­tober, b. c. 45, P. Syrus, a professional mimus, seems to have challenged all his craft to a trial of wit in extemporaneous farce; and Caesar, to whom Laberius may have been known through his friend Cn. Matius, himself a mimiambic poet, offered him 500,000 sesterces to appear on the stage. Laberius was sixty years old, and the profession of a mimus was infamous, but the wish of the dictator was equivalent to a command, and he reluctantly com­plied. Whether, by this somewhat wanton exer­cise of power, the usually indulgent Caesar meant to disgrace Laberius personally, or the equestrian order generally, or merely to procure for the spec­tators of the games an unusual spectacle, is uncer­tain. Laberius, however, had revenge in his power, and took it. His prologue awakened com­passion, and perhaps indignation : and during the performance he adroitly availed himself of his various characters to point his wit at his oppressor. In the person of a beaten Syrian slave he cried out,—

Marry ! Quirites, but we lose our freedom,

and all eyes were turned upon the dictator ; and in another mime he uttered the pregnant maxim

Needs must he fear, who makes all else adread.

Caesar, impartially or vindictively, awarded the prize to Syrus, saying to Laberius

Though I favoured you^ Laberius, Syrus bears the palm away.

He returned to him, however, his equestrian ring, and permitted him to resume his seat among the equites. As Laberius was passing by the senato-rian benches to the equestrian, Cicero called to him, " Were we not so crowded here, Laberius, I would make room for you,"—a double allusion to the degradation of the histrionic eques and to the num­ber of low-born and foreign senators created by Caesar. But Laberius parried the hit by replying, " I marvel, Cicero, you should be crowded, who usually sit on two stools,"—Cicero being at the time unjustly suspected of wavering in his politics. As Laberius was leaving the stage at the conclu­sion of a mime Syrus said to him,

Whom upon the stage you strove with, from the benches now applaud.

In the next mime, Laberius, alluding at once to Syrus' victory, and to Caesar's station, responded in graver tone,—

None the first place for ever can retain — But, ever as the topmost round you gain, Painful your station there and swift your fall. I fell — the next who wins with equal pain The slippery height, falls too — pride lifts, and lowers all.

(Macrob. Sat. ii. 3, 7, vii. 3 ; Cic. ad Fam. vii. 11, xii. 18 ; Hor. Sat. i. 10, 6 ; Suet Caes. 39 ; Sen; de Ira9 ii. 11, Controv. iii. 18 ; comp. Ziegler, de Mim. Roman. Getting. 1788; Fabric. BM. Lat. i. 16, § 3.)

If the prologue of Laberius, the longest fragment of his works (Macrob. Sat. ii. 7), may be taken as

y y 4

Pages
About | First

694

695

696
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.