The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

880

CBASSUS.

the plebs and the censorship. In his quaestorship he travelled through Macedonia to Athens on his return from Asia, which seems to have been his province. In Asia he had listened to the teaching of Scepsius Metrodoras, and at Athens he received instruction from Charmadas and other philosophers and rhetoricians; but he did not remain so long as he intended in that city, from unreasonable resentment at the refusal of the Athenians to re­peat the solemnization of the mysteries, which were over two days before his arrival. (Cic. de Orat. iii. 20.) After his return to Rome, we find him engaged in pleading the causes of his friends. Thus, he defended Sergius Orata, who was accused of appropriating the public waters for the use of his oyster fisheries. (Val. Max. ix. 1. § 1.) He was engaged, on behalf of the same Orata, in an­other cause, in which the following interesting question arose :—How far is a vendor, selling a house to a person from whom he had previously purchased it, liable to damages for not expressly mentioning in the conveyance a defect in title that existed at the time of the former sale, and of which the purchaser might therefore be supposed to be cognizant? (Cic. de Off. iii. 16, de, Orat. i. 39.) He was tribune of the people in b. c. 107, but the period of this office was not distinguished by any­thing remarkable. In b. c. 106 he spoke in favour of the lex Servilia, by which it was proposed to restore to the equites the judicia, which were then in the hands of the senatorian order. The contests for the power of being selected as judices, which divided the different orders, prove how much the administration of justice was perverted by par­tiality and faction. As there is much confusion in the history of the judicia, it may be proper to mention some of the changes which took place about this period. In B. c. 122, by the lex Sem-pronia of C. Gracchus, the judicia were transferred from the senate to the equites. In b. c. 106, by the lex Servilia of Q. Servilius Caepio, they were restored to the senate ; and it is not correct to say (with Walter, Gesch. des Romisclien Rechts, i. p. 244, and others), that by this lex Servilia both orders were admitted to share the judicia. The lex Servilia of Caepio had a very brief existence ; for about b. c. 104, by the lex Servilia of C. Servi­lius Glaucia, the judicia were again taken from the senate and given to the knights. Much error has arisen from the existence of two laws of the same name and of nearly the same date, but exactly opposite in their enactments. The speech of Cras-sns for the lex Servilia of Caepio was one of re­markable power and eloquence (Cic. Brut. 43, de Orat. i. 52), and expressed the strength of his devotion to the aristocratic party. It was proba­bly in this speech, that he attacked Memmius (Cic. de Orat. ii. 59, 66) who was a strenuous opponent of the rogation of Caepio. In b. c. 103 he was curule aedile, and with his colleague, Q. Scaevola, gave splendid games, in which pillars of foreign marble were exhibited, and lion fights were intro­duced. (Cic. de Off. ii. 16; Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 3, viii. 16. s. 20.) After being praetor and augur, he became a candidate for the consulship, but he studiously kept away from the presence of his father-in-law, Q. Scaevola, the augur, not wishing that one whom he so respected should be a witness of what he considered the degradation of his can­vass. (Val. Max. iv. 5. § 4.) He was elected, b. c. 95, with his constant colleague, Q. Scaevola, the

CRASSUS.

pontifex maximus, who must be carefully distin­guished from the augur of the same name. During their consulship was passed the Lex Lieinia Mucia de Civibus regundis^ to prevent persons passing as citizens who were not entitled to that character, and to compel all who were not citizens to depart from Rome. The rigour and inhospitality of this law seems to have been one of the promoting causes of the social war. (Ascon. in Cic. pro Cornel.; Cic. de Off. iii. 11.) During the term of his office, he had occasion to defend Q. Servilius Caepio, who was hated by the equites, and was accused of majestas by the tribune C. Norbanus (Cic. Brut. 35); but Caepio was condemned. Crassus was now anxious to seek for renown in another field. He hastened to his province, Hither Gaul, and explored the Alps in search of an enemy; but he found no opposition, and was obliged to content himself with the subjugation of some petty tribes, by whose depredations he asserted that the pro­vince was disturbed. For this trifling success he was not ashamed to ask a triumph, and would perhaps have obtained his demand from the senate, had not his colleague Scaevola opposed such a mis­application of the honour. (Val. Max. iii. 7. § 6 ; Cic. in Pison. 26.) With this exception, his con­duct in the administration of his province was irreproachable. This was admitted by C. Carbo (the son of the Carbo whom he had formerly ac­cused), who accompanied him to Gaul, in order to seek out the materials of an accusation; but Crassus disarmed his opposition by courting in­quiry, and employing Carbo in the planning and execution of affairs.

One of the most celebrated private causes in the annals of Roman jurisprudence was the contest for an inheritance between M. Curius and M. Coponius, which was heard before the centumviri under the presidency of the praetor T. Manilius, in the year b. c. 93. Crassus, the greatest orator of the day, pleaded the cause of Curius, while Q. Scaevola, the greatest living lawyer, supported the claim of Coponius. The state of the case was this. A testator died, supposing his wife to be preg­nant, and having directed by will that if the son, who should be born within the next ten months, should die before becoming his own guar­dian,* M. Curius should succeed as heir in his place. (Cic. Brut. 52,53.) No son was born.— Scaevola argued that this was a casus omissus, and insisted upon the strict law, according to which Curius could have no claim unless a son were first born, and then died while under guardianship. Crassus contended for the equitable construction, according to which the testator could not be sup­posed to intend any difference between the case of no son being born, and the case of a son being born and dying before arriving at the age of puberty. The equitable construction contended for by Crassus was approved, and Curius gained the inheritance.

In b. c. 92 he was made censor with Cn. Do-mitius Ahenobarbus. A new practice had sprung up in Rome of sending youths to the schools of persons who called themselves Latin rhetoricians. Crassus disapproved the novelty, as tending to

* " Antequam in suam tutelam pervenisset," i. e. before attaining the age of 14 years, at which age a son would cease to be under the guardian­ship of another. The phrase has been misunder­stood by Drumann.

Pages
About | First

879

880

881
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.