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1. Q. Varius Hybrida, tribune of the plebs, B. C. 90, was a native of Sucro in Spain, and received the surname of Hybrida, because his mother was a Spanish woman. He is called by Cicero vastus homo atque focdus, but nevertheless obtained considerable power in the state by his eloquence. In his tribuneship he proposed a lex de majestate, in order to punish all those who had assisted or advised the Socii to take up arms against the Roman people. He brought forward this law at the instigation of the equites, who made common cause with the people against the reforms of Drusus; and as they possessed the judicia at this time, they hoped by banishing the most distinguished senators to get the whole power of the state into their hands. The senators used all their influence to prevent the proposition from passing into a law. The other tribunes put their veto upon it, but the equites with drawn swords compelled them to give way, and the law was carried. The equites quickly put the law into execution. Bestia and Cotta went voluntarily into exile, and other distinguished men were condemned. Varius even accused M. Scaurus, the princeps senatus, who was then seventy-two years of age, but was obliged to drop this accusation. [SCAURUS, p. 736b.] Varius himself was condemned under his own law in the following year, and was put to death. (Appian, App. BC 1.37; V. Max. 8.6.4; Cic. de Orat. 1.25, Brut. 62; V. Max. 3.7.8; Cic. pro Scaur. i; Ascon. in Scaur. p. 22, ed. Orelli; Cic. Brut. 56, de Nat. Deor. 3.33.) Cicero in the passage last quoted accuses Varius of the murder of Drusus and Metellus.

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90 BC (1)
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