Quintus Mucius Scaevola (Auger) by Quintus Mucius Scaevola

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(Literature and the Ancient World, Critical Edition)

The details of Quintus Mucius Scaevola’s (KWIHN-tuhs MYEW-shee-uhs SEE-vuh-luh) life and career remain mostly hidden. He advanced slowly but surely up the political ladder in Rome. He governed the Roman province of Asia while praetor circa 120 b.c.e. He was later tried for extortion but acquitted. He also held the consulship in 117 b.c.e.


(Literature and the Ancient World, Critical Edition)

Along with his cousin, Quintus Mucius Scaevola (also known as Pontifex), Scaevola the Augur dominated the Roman legal scene of his day. In the late Republic, Romans relied upon legal specialists to draw up contracts, advise trial lawyers, and provide opinions on points of law. Scaevola was a legal specialist known for his mastery of Roman law. He rarely served as a trial lawyer, instead preferring to offer his legal opinions to those seeking clarification of Roman laws. Many of the Roman elite sent their sons to observe Scaevola, a renowned legal expert, and learn legal science from him. He taught the renowned orator Lucius Licinius Crassus as well as the more famous orator and statesman, Cicero. Cicero remembered his mentor fondly and used him as a character in a number of his famous literary dialogues.

Additional Resources

(Literature and the Ancient World, Critical Edition)

Frier, Bruce W. The Rise of the Roman Jurists: Studies in Cicero’s “Pro Caecina.” Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1985.

Robinson, O. F. The Sources of Roman Laws: Problems and Methods for Ancient Historians. London: Routledge, 1997.

Tellegen-Couperus, Olga. A Short History of Roman Law. London: Routledge, 1993.