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Scaurus, Marcus Aemilius

SCAURUS, MARCUS AEMILIUS (c. 163-88 B.C.), Roman statesman, was a member of a great patrician family which had sunk into obscurity. His father had been a coal-dealer, and he himself had thought of becoming a money-changer, but finally decided in favour of a political career. Having served in the army in Spain and Sardinia, he became curule aedile, praetor and (after an unsuccessful attempt in 117) consul in 115. During his consulship he celebrated a triumph for his victory over certain Alpine tribes. In 112 he was one of the commissioners sent to Africa to arrange the dispute between Jugurtha and Adherbal. When a special committee was appointed to examine the charges of venality in their dealings with Jugurtha brought against the Roman representatives, Scaurus, who was equally guilty with the rest, was especially active in promoting the establishment of the committee, and even managed to get himself put at the head of it. He thus saved himself, but his intercession on behalf of the other offenders was of no avail. In 109 Scaurus was censor, and constructed the Via Aemilia and restored the Mulvian bridge. 1 In 104 he superseded Saturninus (q.v.) in the management of the corn supply at Ostia.

During all his life Scaurus was a firm adherent of the moderate aristocratical party, which frequently involved him in quarrels with the representatives of the people and the extremists on his own side. Though not a great orator, his speeches were weighty and impressive. His wife was Caecilia Metella, who after his death married the dictator Sulla. His daughter Aemilia was the wife of Manius Acilius Glabrio, and subsequently of Pompey, the triumvir.

See Sallust, Jugurtha; Orelli's Onomasticon Tullianum; Asconius, In Scaurum; Aurelius Victor, De viris illustribus, 72; A. H. J. Greenidge, Hist, of Rome, i. 296; and M. G. Bloch, Melanges d'histoire ancienne, i. (1909).

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

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