Marcus Popillius Laenas (Consul 173 BC)

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Marcus Popillius Laenas was a Roman politician in the first half of the 2nd century BC. Chr.

Together with his brother Gaius , he was one of the most controversial politicians of his time. Both at the praetur (176 BC) and at the consulate (173 BC) he preceded his brother by a year. In 159 BC He became a censor ; during his tenure, his brother was elected consul a second time (158 BC).

Before his praetur he belonged to 180 BC. He joined a three-man commission with his brother, which accepted a donation of land from the city of Pisae for the foundation of Latin colonies . As consul, he redeemed Liguria as provincia , where, out of lust for glory, he began a war against the tribe of Statellates, which he was able to defeat with great losses. Despite the surrender of the tribe, he sold the survivors into slavery and destroyed the city of Carystus . His conduct was strongly condemned by the Senate ; he ignored the request to reverse his action. The dispute also overshadowed the next year in office, in which the consuls, his brother Gaius and Publius Aelius Ligus , also opposed the Senate. As proconsul , he attacked the statellates again and again killed many of them. Only at the beginning of the year 171 BC Chr. Laenas gave in; however, he avoided conviction because of his skillful tactics.

None of this harmed his political career: In the 3rd Macedonian War he was the legate of the consul Quintus Marcius Philippus . He ended his career with censorship. The date of his death is unknown. His son of the same name reached the consulate in 139 BC. Chr.


  • Titus Livius : Roman History. Book 42,7-9 (war against the Ligurians) and 21f. (Dispute with the Senate).