Publius Popillius Laenas
PUBLIUS POPILLIUS LAENAS, son of the preceding. When consul in 132 B.C. he incurred the hatred of the democrats by his harsh measures as head of a special commission appointed to take measures against the accomplices of Tiberius Gracchus. In 123 Gaius Gracchus brought in a bill prohibiting all such commissions, and declared that, in accordance with the old laws of appeal, a magistrate who pronounced sentence of death 1 The name is said by Cicero to be derived from laena, the sacerdotal cloak carried by Marcus Popillius (consul 359) when he went to the forum to quell a popular rising.
against a citizen, without the people's assent, should be guilty of high treason. It is not known whether the bill contained a retrospective clause against Laenas, but he left Rome and sentence of banishment from Italy was pronounced against him. After the restoration of the aristocracy the enactments against him were cancelled, and he was recalled (121).
See Cicero, Brutus, 25. 34, and De domo sua, 31 ; Veil. Pat. ii. 7; Plutarch, C. Gracchus, 4.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)