Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 545 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LIBO, in ancient Rome, the name of a family belonging to the Scribonian gene. It is chiefly interesting for its connexion with the Puteal Scribonianum or Puteal Libonis in the forum at Rome,3 dedicated or restored by one of its. members, perhaps the praetor of 204 B.c., or the tribune of the people in 149. In its vicinity the praetor's tribunal, removed from the comitium in the 2nd century B.C., held its sittings, which led to the place becoming the haunt of litigants, money-lenders and business people. According to ancient authorities, the Puteal Libonis Puteal was the name given to an erection (or enclosure) on a spot 'which had been struck by lightning; it was so called from its resemblance to the stone kerb or low enclosure round a well (puteus). was between the temples of Castor and Vesta, near the Porticus Julia and the Arcus Fabiorum, but no remains have been discovered. The idea that an irregular circle of travertine blocks, found near the temple of Castor, formed part of the puteal is now abandoned. See Horace, Sat. ii. 6. 35, Epp. i. 19. 8; Cicero, Pro Sestio, 8; for the well-known coin of L. Scribonius Libo, representing the puteal of Libo, which rather resembles a cippus (sepulchral monument) or an altar, with laurel wreaths, two lyres and a pair of pincers or tongs below the wreaths (perhaps symbolical of Vulcanus as forger of lightning), see C. Hulsen, The Roman Forum (Eng. trans. by J. B. Carter, 1906), p. 150, where a marble imitation found at Vcii is also given.
End of Article: LIBO

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