Antistius Labeo, Marcus

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Was a leading Roman lawyer in the time of Augustus. His father, also a lawyer, was killed fighting for the republican cause. As a member of a commission to reconstitute the senate in 18 bc he showed his independent spirit. Out of sympathy with the new order, his political career stopped at the praetorship: the consulship belatedly offered him by Augustus he refused. Tacitus contrasts his attachment to republican principle with the obsequiousness of his contemporary Ateius Capito. He acquired expertise not only in law but also in dialectics, language, literature, and grammar, which he brought to bear on legal problems. Author of many innovations, he divided his time equally between teaching in Rome and writing in the country, and wrote in all some 400 books. He drew a line under republican jurisprudence, which was henceforth cited largely through him.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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