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On this page: Laenius – Laerces – Laertes



his brilliant career by a fourth consulship, b. c. 348.

2. M. popillius, M. p. M. n. laenas, consul B.c. 316. (Liv.ix. 21.)

3. M. popillius P. p. p.n. laenas, one of the tribunes for establishing a colony near Pisae (Liv. xl. 43), was chosen praetor b.c. 176 (Liv. xli. 18), but obtained leave to stop at Rome instead of going into his province, Sardinia, the command of which was continued to the pro-praetor, Aebutius. Po-pillius was chosen consul b. c. 172, and sent with an army against the Ligurian mountaineers. He conquered them in a pitched battle, after great slaughter. The remainder of the whole tribe who had escaped from the carnage determined on sur­rendering themselves to the mercy of the Roman general; but they were all sold as slaves, and their city plundered and destroyed. When this news reached Rome, the senate disapproved of Popillius's proceedings, and decreed, in spite of his haughty and angry remonstrances, that he should restore the Ligurians to liberty, to their country, and, as far as possible, to their property. Popillius, how­ever, acted in direct opposition to this decree. On his return to Rome he was called to account, but escaped through the influence of his family. (Liv. xlii. 22.) Nevertheless, Popillius obtained (b. c. 159) the most honourable office of Rome, that of censor, which he exercised, as may be presumed, with vigour and severity. (Fast. Capitol. ; Liv. Epit. 47 ; Gell. iv. 20; Nonius, s. v. Strigosus.)

4. P. popillius laenas, brother to the pre­ceding, and with him triumvir coloniae deducendae. (Liv. xl. 43.)

5. C. popillius, P, p. P. n. laenas, brother to the two preceding ones, was consul (b. c. 172) in the year after his brother Marcus had so shamefully treated the Ligurians. He supported his brother, and warded off his punishment. He was the first plebeian consul who had a plebeian for a colleague (Fast. Capitol.); and he served afterwards as legate in Greece. (Liv. xliii. 19,24.) The haughtiness of his character is most apparent in his behaviour as ambassador to Antiochus, king of Syria, whom the senate wished to abstain from hostilities against Egypt. Antiochus was just marching upon Alexandria when he was met by the three Roman ambassadors. Popillius trans­mitted to him the letter of the senate, which Anti­ochus read and promised to take into consideration with his friends. Then Popillius described with his cane a circle in the sand round the king, and ordered him not to stir out of it before he had given a decisive answer. This boldness so frightened Antiochus, that he at once yielded to the demand of Rome. (Liv. xlv. 12; Polyb. Exc. Legat. 92; Val. Max. vi. 4; Veil. Pat. i. 10; App. Syr. 131.) C. Popillius was consul a second time b. c. 158.

6. M. popillius, M. f. P. n. laenas, the son of No. 3, was consul B. c. 139, and, as pro-consul in the following year, suffered a defeat from the Numantines. (Liv. Epit. 55; Frontin. Strateg. iii. 17; Aw.Hisp. 79.)

7. P. popillius, C. p. P. n. laenas, was consul B. c. 132, the year after the murder of Tib. Grac­chus. He was charged by the victorious aristo-cratical party with the prosecution of the accomplices of Gracchus; and in this odious task he showed all the hard-heartedness of his family. (Cic. Lad. 20 ; Val. Max. iv. 7; Plut. T. Gracch. 20.) C, Grac-,chus afterwards aimed at him in particular, when


he passed the bill that those magistrates who had condemned a citizen without trial should be called to account. Popillius withdrew himself, by volun-tary exile, from the vengeance of Gracchus, and did not return to Rome till after his death. (Veil. Pat. ii. 7 ; Cic. Brut. 25 ; Plut. T. Gracch. 20.)

8. C. popillius laenas, the son of the pre­ceding, is mentioned, as well as his father, by Cicero (Brut. 25), as an eloquent speaker. Perhaps he is the same C. Popillius who is spoken of by Cicero (Verr. i. 13) as being convicted for embez­zlement (peculatus),

9. C. p'opillius (laenas?), served as legate in Asia, and commanded, along with Minucius Rufus, a Roman fleet in the war with Mithridates. (Appian, Mith. 17.)

10. P. popillius laenas, tribune of the people b. c. 85, a furious partisan of Marius, had his pre­decessor, Lucilius, thrown down from the Tarpeian rock, and his colleagues banished. (Veil. Pat. ii. 24.)

11. popillius laenas, a senator who unin­tentionally frightened Brutus and his fellow-con­spirators by his confidential conversation with Caesar in the senate on the day Caesar was mur­dered. (Appian, #. C. ii. 115, 116.)

12. C. popillius laenas, the military tribune who executed on Cicero the sentence of the trium­ virs in cutting off his head and right hand, for which he was rewarded by Antonius with 1,000,000 sesterces above the stipulated price. (Appian, B.C. iv. 19.) [W, I.]

M. LAE'NIUS, or LE'NIUS FLACCUS, a friend of Atticus, who, notwithstanding the strin­gent edict of Clodius, b. c. 58 (" Lex Clodia in. Ciceronem," Pseud. Cic. pro Dom..\1}^ sheltered Cicero in his country-house near Brundisium, until he could securely embark for Epeirus. The father, brother, and sons of Laenius were equally earnest in befriending the exile. Laenius afterwards, b. c. 51, met Cicero in Asia Minor, and applied to him for a sub-prefecture in Cilicia, where Laenius, had money at interest. Cicero, however, refused to gratify him, since he had made a rule to grant no money-lender (negotianti] office in his province. Yet in the same year, and for a similar purpose, he highly recommended Laenius to P. Silius Nerva, pro-praetor in Bithynia and Pontus. (Cic. pro Plane. 41, ad Fam. xiii. 63, xiv. 4, ad Att* v. 20, 21, vi. 1, 3.)

LAENIUS, STRABO. [strabo.]

LAERCES (Aaep/ojs), a mythical artist in gold, mentioned by Homer, in a passage from which we learn that it was the custom, in offering a sacrifice of the greatest solemnity, to gild the horns of the victim. (Horn. Od. iii. 425 ; see also Nitzsch's note and the Scholia.) [P. S.J

LAERTES (AacpTTjs), a son of Acrisius and Chalcomedusa, and husband of Anticleia, by whom he became the father of Odysseus and Ctimene. (Horn. Od. iv. 755, xi, 85, xv. 362, xvi. 118; Eustath. ad Horn. p. 1791.) It should, however, be remembered that, according to others, Odysseus was the son of Sisyphus. (Hygin. Fab. 201 ; Schol. ad Soph. Philoct. 417.) In his youth Laertes had conquered Nericum, a coast town in Cephalenia (Horn. Od. xxiv. 376), and he is also said to have taken part in the Calydonian hunt, and in the ex­pedition of the Argonauts. (Hygin. Fab. 173 ; Apollod. i. 9. $ 16.) At the time when Odysseus returned from Troy, Laertes lived in rural retire-

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