Mucia'nus, P. Lici'nius Crassus Dives
was the son of P. Mucius Scaevola, consul B. C. 175, and brother of P. Mucius Scaevola, who was consul B. C. 133, in the year in which Tib. Gracchus lost his life. (Plut. Tib. Gracchus,
9.) Mucianus was adopted by P. Licinius Crassus Dives, who was the son of P. Licinius Crassus Dives, consul B. C. 205.
This at least is Drumann's opinion, who thinks that it is more probable that he was adopted by the son than by the father. On being adopted he assumed, according to Roman fashion. the name of Crassus, with the addition of Mucianus, which indicated his former gens. Cicero (Cic. de Orat. 1.56
) speaks of his being a candidate for the aedileship; and he gives an anecdote of Serv. Sulpicius Galba, who was a distinguished orator, pressing Crassus hard on a question of law, and of Crassus being compelled to support his legal opinion against the equitable arguments of Servius by referring to the writings of his brother, P. Mucius, and of Sext. Aelius.
Mucianus attained the dignity of pontifex maximus, and A. D. 131 he was elected consul, in which year he left Rome to conduct the war against Aristonicus in Asia, who maintained his claim to the kingdom of Perganius against the will of Attalus III., who had bequeathed it to the Romans. Crassus was the first pontifex maximus, according to Livy (Liv. Epit. 59
) who went beyond the limits of Italy; but this is not true, unless Scipio Nasica was deprived of his office, for Nasica was pontifex maximus B. C. 133, after the death of Tib. Gracchus, and retired to Asia, where he soon died. (Plut. Tib. Gracchus,
21.) Crassus succeeded Nasica in the pontificate. Crassus was unsuccessful in the war.
He was attacked at the siege of Leucae by Aristonicus, and defeated. Between Elaea and Smyrna he was overtaken by the Thracian body-guard of Aristonicus; and to avoid being made prisoner, he provoked one of the Thracians to kill him. His head was carried to Aristonicus.
The historian Sempronius Asellio (Gellius, 1.13
) says that Crassus possessed five things, which of all good things are the greatest and the chief.
He was most wealthy, noble, eloquent, most learned in the law, and pontifex maximus.
The same historian records an instance of the unreasonable severity with which he punished at the siege of Leucae a deviation from the strict letter of his orders. Crassus had two daughters; the elder lieininia, was the wife of C. Sulpicius Galba, the son of Serv. Sulpicius Galba, consul B. C. 144. (Cic. Brut. 26
The younger Licinia was the wife of C. Sempronius Gracchus (Plut. Tib. Gracchus,
21; Dig. 24
. tit. 3. s. 66), according to Plutarch, whose opinion is supported by the passage in the Digest.
Crassus was both an orator and a lawyer.
As an orator, however, he is considered by Cicero to have been inferior to his contemporary P. Sulpicius Galba.
He was, however, a distinguished speaker, an eminent jurist (Cic. de Orat. 1.37
, 56, Brut.
26), and a man of exemplary industry, which is shown by the fact of his mastering the various dialects of Greek, when he was in Asia, so completely, as to be able to make his decrees in the dialect which the suitor had adopted. (V. Max. 8.7.6
.) No legal work of his is mentioned.
Crassus is mentioned by Pomponius (Dig. 1
. tit. 2. s. 2.40, &c.) in the following terms:-- "Etiam Lucius Crassus, frater Publii Mucii, qui Mucianus dictus est. Hunc Cicero ait jurisconsultorum disertissimum." Grotius considers the words "frater . . . dictus est," to be an interpolation, and that the L. Crassus is not Mucianus, because he is called Lucius, and because the description does not suit him.
But it is remarked by Zimmern that Cicero calls Mucianus " in numero disertissimorum" (De Orat.
1.56), and he says the same in substance in another passage (Brut.
26). Besides this, L. Crassus, who must be taken to be Crassus the orator, if the reading of Grotius is right, was not a jurist.
The criticism of Grotius is therefore groundless.
The authorities for the life of Mucianus are contained in Drumann, Geschichte Roms,
Licinii Crassi, No. 21.