Gaius Livius Drusus

Gaius Livius Marcus Aemiliani f. Marcus n. Drusus[1] was a Roman politician who was consul in 147 BC, together with Scipio Aemilianus.


Livius Drusus was a member of the plebeian gens Livia. His father was born to the patrician gens Aemilia, most likely a younger brother of Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus, who was adopted by Marcus Livius Drusus Salinator.[2] He was the father of Marcus Livius Drusus.

Political career

Livius Drusus was elected Praetor around the year 150 BC. He was then elected consul for 147 BC, alongside Scipio Aemilianus, who was possibly his first cousin.[3] As the Third Punic War was raging, there was enormous concern in Rome about who was going to be assigned the command of the Roman forces against Carthage. Drusus, as was the custom, requested that lots be drawn to assign the provinces to the respective consuls. This was vetoed by one of the plebeian tribunes, who proposed that the assignment of the provinces be put before the concilium Plebis. The people then voted to assign the war against Carthage to Scipio Aemilianus.[4][5]

Career as a jurist

Livius Drusus has also been identified as the jurist mentioned by Cicero in his work Tusculanae Disputationes. Drusus composed works of great use to students of law, and was cited by subsequent writers on the law. Celsus cites an opinion of Livius Drusus concerning a seller’s rights at law, stating that the seller might bring an equitable action for damages against the buyer, to recover the expenses of the upkeep of a slave, whom the buyer, without due cause, had refused to accept. Priscian attributes to Drusus the sentence ”Impubes libripens esse non potest, neque antestari” (“Young boys cannot stand on their feet before they can learn to balance.”)[6]

In his old age, although he was blind, Livius Drusus continued to give advice to the crowds which used to gather before his house in order to consult him.[7]

Political offices
Preceded by
Spurius Postumius Albinus Magnus and Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Scipio Aemilianus Africanus
147 BC
Succeeded by
Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus and Lucius Mummius Achaicus





  1. Broughton, pg. 463
  2. Münzer, Friedrich, Ridley, T. (Tr.), Roman Aristocratic Parties and Families (1999), pg. 216
  3. Broughton, pg. 463; Boren, pg. 29
  4. Boatwright, Mary Taliaferro, The Romans: From Village to Empire (2004), pg. 154
  5. Appian, 8:112
  6. Smith, pg. 1077
  7. Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes, V.38
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