- Quintus Mucius Scaevola Pontifex
Quintus Mucius Scaevola Pontifex (died 82 BCE), the son of
Publius Mucius Scaevola(consul in 133 BC and also Pontifex Maximus) was a politician of the Roman Republicand an important early authority on Roman law. He is credited with founding the study of law as a systematic discipline. He was nephew and son of two men elected Pontifex Maximus, and would himself be elected chief priest of Rome. Unfortunately, he was also the first Roman Pontifex Maximus to be murdered publicly, and that too in Rome in the Temple of the Vestals, signifying a total breakdown of all historical norms and religious taboos in the Republic.fact|date=April 2008
Scaevola was elected
tribunein 106 BCE, aedilein 104 BCE, and consulin 95 BCE. As consul, together with his relative Lucius Licinius Crassushe had a law (the " Lex Licinia Mucia") passed in the senate in that denied Roman citizenship to certain groups within the Roman sphere of influence ("Italians" and "Latins"). The passage of this law was one of the major contributing factors to the Social War.
Scaevola was next made governor of Asia, a position in which he became renowned for his harsh treatment of corrupt tax collectors and for publishing an edict that later became a standard model for provincial administration. He proved so popular that the people he governed instituted a festival day (the "dies Mucia") in his honour.
Returning to Rome, he was made
pontifex maximus, and took the opportunity to more strictly regulate the priestly colleges, and to ensure that traditional rituals were properly observed.
Scaevola was the author of a treatise on civil law ("Jus civile primus constituit generatim in libros decem et octo redigendo") that spanned 18 volumes, compiling and systematising legislation and precedents. He also wrote a short legal handbook (ο̉ροι, or simply "Liber Singularis") containing a glossary of terms and an outline of basic principles. Four short sections of this latter work were incorporated by
Justinian Iinto his " Pandectae", but nothing of the rest of his works is extant today. Speeches by Scaevola extant in ancient times were praised by Cicero.
Scaevola was killed in the civil unrest surrounding the power struggle between
Sullaand Gaius Marius the Youngerin 82 BC. Refusing to side with the Marians, he was pursued by them and killed in the temple of the Vestals and his body thrown into the Tiber. A previous attempt had been made on his life in 86 BCE.
Scaevola was twice married, to two women named Licinia. By his first wife, who was noted for her beauty, but whom he divorced after her adultery with another consul, he had a daughter
Mucia Tertia, who was wife of Pompey the Greatand mother of his three surviving children. By his granddaughter Pompeia (wife of Faustus Cornelius Sulla, eldest surviving son of the Dictator), Scaevola had illustrious descendants living well into the first and possibly second century BC.
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