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La'beo, Corne'lius

a writer cited by Macrobius. He wrote books de Fastis (Saturn. 1.16), and de Oraculo Apollinis Clarii (1.18). From the former work are probably extracted the passages cited in Saturn. 1.12. He evidently went deep into mythological speculations. That he wrote a treatise entitled De Diis Penatibus cannot fairly be inferred from Saturn. 3.4, though it is clear that he treated of the Penates. In Saturn. 3.10, Labeo, without the name Cornelius (Labeo, sexagesimo et octavo libro), is coupled with Ateius Capito, and it is evident from the context, that here the same Labeo is meant as in Saturn. 3.4. Hence, there appears to be some ground for suspecting that Macrobius intends to designate the celebrated jurist Antistius Labeo, the contemporary of Capitol, and has given to him by mistake the name Cornelius. This suspicion is confirmed, when we find that Cornelius Labeo is nowhere mentioned but in Macrobius, that Labeo, without any additional name, is cited by other writers as having written on exactly similar subjects; and when we know that Antistius Labeo the jurist wrote upon pontifical law, was given to mythological research, and was learned in antiquity (literas antiquiores altioresque penetraverat, Gel. 13.10). Servius (ad Vig.. Aen. 3.168) cites a work of Labeo de Diis Animalibus, and Fulgentius (de Prisco Sermone, § 4. s. v. Manales) gives a fragment from the work of Labeo de Disciplinis Hetruscis Tagetis et Bacchetidis. There are several passages relating to ancient Roman mythology, cited from Labeo by St. Augustin (De CIV. Dei, 2.11 (compare 8.13), 2.14, 3.25, 9.19, 22.28).

Now we know from the citations of Festus (s. vv. Proculiunt, Spurcum, Prox, Sistere fana), that Antistius Labeo, the jurist, wrote a treatise, containing at least 15 books, de Jure Pontificio, and it is not unlikely that the 68th book, cited by Macrobius (Saturn. 3.10), is one of the books of this treatise. Pomponius (Dig. 1. tit. 2. s. 2.47) tells us that Antistius Labeo left behind him 400 volumes. The work De Oficio Augurum, mentioned by Festus (s. v. Remisso), probably formed a part of the treatise De Jure Pontificio. It cannot be doubted that the Labeo cited by Festus (s. v. Polpularia Sacra, Puilia Saxa), by Pliny (Plin. Nat. 10.15), and by Aulus Gellius (15.27), from the work of Laelius Felix ad Q. Mucium, is Antistius Labeo the jurist. Antistius Labeo probably treated of the Penates as Cornelius Labeo did, according to Macrobius, for we learn from Festus (s. v. Penatis) that Antistius Labeo thought that the word Penatis might be used in the singular number. Other fragments, similarly relating to antiquarian and pontifical researches (e. g. Festus, s. v. Septimontio, Prosimurium, Scriptum Lapidem, Secespita, Subigere Arietem ; Plut. Quaest. Rom. 100.46), where Antistius alone or Antistius Labeo is expressly mentioned, confirm our opinion as to the mistake of Macrobius (who is not accurate in names), and as to the identity of the jurist with the writer whom he calls Cornelius Labeo. (Heinec. Hist. Jur. Rom. § 182 ; Bach. List. Jur. Rom. 3.1.10; Bynkershoeck, Praetermissa ad Pomponium, § 47; Dirksen, Bruchstücke aus den Schriften der Römischen Juristen, p. 74-83.)


hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 10.15
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 15.27
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 13.10
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