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Marcus Aemilius Scaurus

MARCUS AEMILIUS SCAURUS, his son, served during the third Mithradatic War (74-61 B.C.) as quaestor to Pompey, by whom he was sent to Judaea to settle the quarrel between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus. Scaurus decided in favour of the latter, who was able to offer more money. On his arrival in Syria, Pompey reversed the decision, but, ignoring the charge of bribery brought against Scaurus, left him in command of the district. An incidental campaign against Aretas, king of the Nabataeans, was ended by the payment of 300 talents by Aretas to secure his possessions. This agreement is represented on coins of Scaurus Aretas kneeling by the side of a camel, and holding out an olive branch in an attitude of supplication. As curule aedile in 58, Scaurus celebrated the public games on a scale of magnificence never seen before. Animals, hitherto unknown to the Romans, were exhibited in the circus, and an artificial lake (euripus) was made for the reception of crocodiles and hippopotamuses. One of the greatest curiosities was a huge skeleton brought from Joppa, said to be that of the monster to which Andromeda had been exposed. A wooden theatre was erected for the occasion, capable of holding 80,000 spectators. In 56 Scaurus was praetor, and in the following year governor of Sardinia. On his return to Rome (54) he was accused of extortion in his province. Cicero and five others (amongst them the famous Q. Hortensius) undertook his defence, and, although there was no doubt of his guilt, he was acquitted. During the same year, however (according to some, two years later, under Pompey'snew law), Scaurus was condemned on a charge of illegal practices when a candidate for the consulship. He went into exile, and nothing further is heard of him.

See Josephus, Anliq. xiv. 3-5, Bell. Jud. i. 7; Appian, Syr. 51, Bell. civ. ii. 24; Pliny, Nat. Hist, xxxvi. 24; Cicero, Pro Sestio, 54, fragments of Pro Scauro, numerous references in the Letters; Asconius, Argumentum in Scaurum. See also, for both the above, AEMILIUS (Nos. 140, 141) in Pauly-Wissowa's Realencyctopadie der classischen Altertumswissensckaft, i. pt. I. (1894), and Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography, s.v. SCAURUS.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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