Labienus - Encyclopedia

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LABIENUS, the name of a Roman family, said (without authority) to belong to the gens Atia. The most important member was TITUS LABIENUS. In 63 B.C., at Caesar's instigation, he prosecuted Gaius Rabirius for treason; in the same year, as tribune of the plebs, he carried a plebiscite which indirectly secured for Caesar the dignity of pontifex maximus (Dio Cassius xxxvii. 37). He served as a legatus throughout Caesar's Gallic campaigns and took Caesar's place whenever he went to Rome. His chief exploits in Gaul were the defeat of the Treviri under Indutiomarus in 54, his expedition against Lutetia (Paris) in 52, and his victory over Camulogenus and the Aedui in the same year. On the outbreak of the civil war, however, he was one of the first to desert Caesar, probably owing to an overweening sense of his own importance, not adequately recognized by Caesar. He was rapturously welcomed on the Pompeian side; but he brought no great strength with him, and his ill fortune under Pompey was as marked as his success had been under Caesar. From the defeat at Pharsalus, to which he had contributed by affecting to despise his late comrades, he fled to Corcyra, and thence to Africa. There he was able by mere force of numbers to inflict a slight check upon Caesar at Ruspina in 46. After the defeat at Thapsus he joined the younger Pompey in Spain, and was killed at Munda (March 17th, 45)

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