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the foot of the Aventine. (Plin. H. 2V. xv. 36 ; Serv. ad Aen. i. 724 ; Plut. Quaest. Rom. 20.) Some of the ecclesiastical writers preferred the de­ rivation from murcus, i. e. stupid or awkward. (August. De Civ. Dei, iv. 16 ; Arnob. adv. Gent. iv. 9.) Others again derived the name from the Syracusan word /uu/cpos, tender. (Salmas. ad Solin. p. 637.) [L. S.]

MURCUS, L. STA'TIUS, was Caesar's legatus in b. c. 48, and one of three commissioners ap­ pointed by him to treat with the Pompeians at Oricum (Caes. B. C. iii. 15). Murcus was one of the praetors in b. c. 45—44, and went into Syria after his year of office expired, with the title of proconsul, and as successor to Sextus Caesar, slain by his own soldiers in Apameia, at the instigation of Caecilius Bassus [caesar, No. 24 ; bassus], With the aid of Marcius Crispus, proconsul of Bithynia [Cms?us], Murcus besieged Bassus in Apameia, and compelled him to surrender. But on the arrival of C. Cassius Longinus [longinus, No. 11], Murcus and Crispus both surrendered their legions to him. Henceforward Murcus was an active supporter of the senatorian or Pompeian party. Cassius appointed him prefect of the fleet. He defeated Dolabella [dolabella] and the Rhodians off the coast of Cilicia, and blockaded Laodiceia. Murcus was next stationed off the coast of Peloponnesus, and subsequently in the Ionian sea, where he seized and occupied a small island opposite the harbour of Brundisium, and prevented M. Antony for some time from trans­ porting his forces to Illyricum and the main-land 'of Greece. After the ruin of the republican party at Philippi, in b. c. 42, Murcus carried his fleet over to Sextus Pompey in Sicily. But his past services to the Pompeians were ill-requited by their present leader ; for at the instigation of his freed- men Menas and Menodorus, to whom Murcus had borne himself loftily, Sextus caused him to be assassinated, and promulgated a report that he had been murdered by his own slaves. (Cic. Phil. xi. 12, ad Att. xii. 2, ad Fam. xii. 11 ; Pseudo-Brut. ad Cic. 11. 5 ; Veil. ii. 69, 72, 77 ; Joseph. Antiq. xiv. 11. §§ 1, 3, 4, B. J. i. 10. § 4 ; Appian, B. C. ii. 119, iii. 77, 78, iv. 58, 59,74, 82, 86,100,108, 115—117, v. 2, 15, 50, 70 ; Dion Cass. xlvii. 27, 28, 30, 35, 36, 47, xlviii, 19.) [W. B. D.]


MURENA, the name of a family of the Licinia gens, which was originally from Lanuvium, now Civita Lavigna, an old Latin town near the Via Appia. The name Murena, which is the pro­per way of writing the word, not Muraena, is said to have been given in consequence of one of the family having a great liking for the lamprey (mu-rena), and building tanks (vivaria) for them. (Plin. H. N. ix. 54, ed. Hard.; Macrob. Saturn, ii. 11.)

1. P. licinius was praetor, but in what year is unknown.

2. P. licinius murena, the son of P. Licinius, voi. ii.



attained the rank of praetor, and was a contem­porary of the orator L. Crassus. He was the first of the family who had the cognomen Murena.

3. P. licinius murena, the son of the pre­ceding, was a man of moderate talent, but he paid great attention to the study of antiquity, and wa£ a man of some literary knowledge. (Cic. Brut. 54.) He lost his life in the wars of Marias and Sulla (b. c. 82); for his death is mentioned by Cicero as taking place at the same time with the murder of Q. Mucius Scaevola, the jurist and Pontifex Maximus, or shortly after; and Cicero seems to mean that he died a violent death; and if so, he must have perished by the hands of the Marian faction, though there is no direct authority for that statement, which is made by Drumann. (Cic. Brut. 90 ; Drumann, Gescldckte Roms, vol. iv. p. 184.)

4. L. licinius murena, the brother of the preceding, was praetor probably before he served under Sulla in Greece. He was in the battle of Chaeroneia, b. c. 86, in which Sulla defeated Archelaus, the general of Mithridates. Murena had the command of the left wing, and was op­posed to Taxiles. (Pint. Sulla, 17, &c.) Murena accompanied Sulla into the Troad, where peace was made with Mithridates (b.c. 84),and Murena was left as propraetor in Asia, with the command of the two legions of Fimbria which had deserted their commander and come over to Sulla (Appian, Mithrid. 64). Murena, who wished to have a triumph, sought a quarrel with Mithridates, took Comana in Cappadocia, and robbed the rich temple. His answer to Mithridates, who complained of the infraction of the treaty, was that he could see no treaty; and, in fact, there was no written treaty between Sulla and Mithridates. Mithri­dates sent to Rome to complain, and in the mean time Murena crossed the swollen Hfelys, ravaged the country of Mithridates, and returned into Galatia and Phrygia loaded with booty. Cali-dius, who had been sent by the Roman senate, gave him verbal orders to stop hostilities, but he brought no written instructions with him, and Murena again commenced his ravages. Mithri­dates now sent Gordius against Murena, and soon joined Gordius with a larger force. A fierce battle was fought on the river, which was pro­bably the Halys, though Appian (Mithrid. 65) mentions no name, in which Murena was defeated with great loss, and he made his retreat over the mountains into Phrygia. In the early part of B. c. 81 Sulla sent A. Gabinius with strict orders to Murena to stop hostilities, and with instruc­tions to reconcile Mithridates and Ariobarzanes. Murena returned to Rome, and had a triumph in B. c. 81, which he did not deserve. He probably died soon after. His wife lived to see her son consul. (Cic. pro Muren. 41.)

5. L. licinius murena, the son of No. 4, served under his father (b. c. 83) in the war against Mithridates. He was quaestor at Rome with the jurist Serv. Sulpicius, who was afterwards his opponent in the canvas for the consulship. In his aedileship Murena adorned the walls of the Comi-tium ^vith Lacedaemonian stone (Plin. H. N. xxxv. 14). In the third Mithridatic war, which began B. c. 74, he served under L. Lucullus (Pluf,. LuculL 15, &c.), and was left by him to direct the siege of Amisus, while Lucullus advanced against Mithridates. At the capture of Amisus ( b. c. 71),

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