previous next


3. C. Scribonius Curio, a son of the former. In B. C. 100, when the seditious tribune L. Appuleius Saturninus was murdered, Curio was with the consuls. In B. C. 90, the year in which the Marsic war broke out, Curio was tribune of the people. He afterwards served in the army of Sulla during his war in Greece against Archelaus, the general of Mithridates, and when the city of Athens was taken, Curio besieged the tyrant Aristion in the acropolis. In B. C. 82 he was invested with the praetorship, and in 76 he was made consul together with Cn. Octavius. After the expiration of the consulship, he obtained Macedonia as his province, and carried on a war for three years in the north of his province against the Dardanians and Moesians with great success. He was the first Roman general who advanced in those regions as far as the river Danube, and on his return to Rome in 71, he celebrated a triumph over the Dardanians. Curio appears to have henceforth remained at Rome, where he took an active part in all public affairs. He acted as an opponent of Julius Caesar, and was connected in intimate friendship with Cicero. When the punishment of the Catilinarian conspirators was discussed in the senate, Curio also spoke, and afterwards expressed his satisfaction with Cicero's measures. In the trial of P. Clodius, for having violated the sacra of the Bona Dea, Curio spoke in favour of Clodius, probably out of enmity towards Caesar; and Cicero on that occasion attacked both Clodius and Curio most vehemently in a speech of which considerable fragments are still extant. This event, however, does not appear to have at all interrupted their personal friendship, for Cicero speaks well of him as a mall on all occasions; he says, that he was one of the good men of the time, and that he was always opposed to bad citizens. In B. C. 57 Curio was appointed pontifex maximus; he died four years later, B. C. 53.


Like his father and his son, Curio acquired in his time some reputation as an orator, and we learn from Cicero, that he spoke on various occasions; but of all the requisites of an orator he had only one, viz. elocution, and he excelled most others in the purity and brilliancy of his diction; but his mind was altogether uncultivated ; he was ignorant without being aware of this defect; he was slow in thinking and inventing, very awkward in his gesticulation, and without any power of memory. With such deficiencies he could not escape the ridicule of able rivals or of his audience; and on one occasion, probably during his tribuneship, while he was addressing the people, he was gradually deserted by all his hearers.

His orations were published, and he also wrote a work against Caesar in the form of a dialogue, in which his son, C. Scribonius Curio, was one of the interlocutors, and which had the same deficiencies as his orations.

Further Information

The numerous passages in which he is spoken of by Cicero are given in Orelli's Onom. Tull. ii. p. 525, &c.; comp. Plut. Sull. 14; Appian, App. Mith. 60; Eutrop. 6.2; Oros. 4.23; Suet. Jul. 9, 49, 52; D. C. 38.16; V. Max. 9.14.5; Plin. Nat. 7.12; Solin. 1.6; Quint. Inst. 6.3.76.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
90 BC (1)
82 BC (1)
57 BC (1)
53 BC (1)
100 BC (1)
hide References (8 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (8):
    • Appian, Mithridatic Wars, 9.60
    • Suetonius, Divus Julius, 49
    • Suetonius, Divus Julius, 52
    • Suetonius, Divus Julius, 9
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 7.12
    • Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, Book 6, 3.76
    • Plutarch, Sulla, 14
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 9.14.5
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: