Marcus Aemilius Scaurus

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Marcus Aemilius Scaurus (born circa 163 BC – died 88 BC) was a Roman politician. During his time, he was considered one of the best.

Scaurus was born in a patrician family, although impoverished. In order to maintain the family lifestyle, his father became a coal-dealer. However, Scaurus himself declined any commercial activities (forbidden for senators) and embarked in a political life. Scaurus’ cursus honorum started when he became a military tribune in the Hispania provinces. Then he became curule aedile in charge of the public games, and afterwards praetor. He was elected consul in 115 BC with Marcus Caecilius Metellus as his junior colleague. In the same year he was nominated princeps senatus by the censors in office (Lucius Caecilius Metellus Diadematus and Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus). As leader of the Roman senate he was often sent abroad to settle disputes amongst foreign kings. In 109 BC, he was elected censor in partnership with Marcus Livius Drusus, who died in the next year putting an end to the censorship. As censor, he ordered the construction of the Via Aemilia Scaura and restored several bridges. In 104 BC, he became responsible for Rome’s grain supply. This was a very important office, given only to the most trustworthy persons, because the happiness of the population (and absence of mutinies) depended on it. Scaurus was throughout his political career the leader of the aristocratic conservative faction of the senate.

His second wife was Caecilia Metella Dalmatica who was later the third wife of Lucius Cornelius Sulla. From this marriage, he had two children:

Marcus Aemilius Scaurus was a Roman politician of the 1st century BC and son of the above. Young Scaurus lost his father very young, but his education was insured by several family friends. Pompey the Great was briefly married to his sister Aemilia and, even after her death, he continued to take personal interest on the young man. During the Third Mithridatic War, Pompey asked for Scaurus by name to become his military tribune. During the campaign, Scaurus was responsible for the Judea region. At the time, the area was involved in a bloody civil war between the brothers Hyrcanus and Aristobulus. Caught in a siege, Aristobulus asked for Pompey's intervention through Scaurus and offered an enormous bribe. Afterwards, he accused Scaurus of extortion, but Pompey, who trusted his brother in law, decided to give Judea to his opponent Hyrcanus. Scaurus was killed soon afterwards, while fighting against the king of Petra, an ally of Aristobulus. Scaurus' death is mentioned in the Dead Sea Aemilius Scaurus


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