4. L. Scribonius
Libo, probably son of No. 3, tribune of the plebs, B. C. 149, accused in that year Ser. Sulpicius Galba on account of the abominable outrages which he had committed against the Lusitani. [GALBA, No. 6.] This accusation was supported in a powerful speech by M. Cato, who was then 85 years old; but, notwithstanding the eloquence of the accusers and the guilt of the accused, Galba escaped punishment. Cicero was in doubt (ad Att.
12.5.3) whether Libo was tribune in B. C. 150 or 149, but it must have been in the latter year that he held the office, as we are expressly told that Cato spoke against Galba in the year of his death, and this we know was B. C. 149. (Liv. Epit. 49
; V. Max. 8.1.2
; Cic. Brut. 23
, de Orat.
2.65; Meyer, Orator. Roman. Fragm.
p. 120, &c., p. 166, &c., 2d ed.)
It was, perhaps, this same Libo who wrote an historical work (liber annalis
), referred to once or twice by Cicero, and which must have come down at least as late as B. C. 132. (Cic. Att. 13.30
.) But Ernesti has remarked, with some justice, that supposing the accuser of Galba and the annalist were the same, it is rather strange that Cicero should have made no mention of Libo's historical compositions, when he was speaking of his style of oratory. (Comp. Krause, Vitae et Fragm. Histor. Roman.
It was perhaps this same Libo who consecrated the Puteal Scribonianum
or Puteal Libonis,
of which we so frequently read in ancient writers, and which is often exhibited on coins of the Scribonia gens.
One of these is given below, the obverse representing a female head, with the legend LIBO BON. EVENT. (that is, bonus eventss,
and the reverse the puteal adorned with garlands and two lyres.
The Puteal Scribonianum was an enclosed place in the forum, near the Arcus Fabianus, and was so called from its being open at the top, like a puteal or well. C. F. Hermann, who has carefully examined all the passages in ancient writers relating to it (Ind. Lect. Marburg.
1840), comes to the conclusion that there was only such puteal at Rome, and not two, as was formerly believed, and that it was dedicated in very ancient times either on account of the whetstone of the augur Navius (comp. Liv. 1.36
), or because the spot had been struck by lightning; that it was subsequently repaired and re-dedicated by Scribonius Libo, who had been commanded to examine the state of the sacred places (Festus, s. v. Scribonianum
); and that Libo erected in its neighbourhood a tribunal for the praetor, in consequence of which the place was of course frequented by persons who had law-suits, such as money lenders and the like. (Comp. Hor. Sat.
2.6. 35, Epist.
1.19. 8; Ov. Remed. Amor.
561; Cic. pro Sex.