Lu'cius (Λεύκιος v.r. Λούκιος), a Roman consul (ὕπατος ῾Ρωμαίων), who is said to have written the letter to Ptolemy (Euergetes) which assured Simon I of the protection of Rome (B.C. cir. 139-8; 1 Macc. 15:10, 15-24). The whole form of the letter — the mention of one consul only, the description of the consul by the proenomen, the omission of the senate and of the date (comp. Wernsdorf, De fide Macc. § 119) — shows that it cannot be an accurate copy of the original document; but there is nothing in the substance of the letter which is open to just suspicion. Josephus omits all mention of the letter of "Lucius" in his account of Simon, but gives one very similar in contents (Ant. 14:8, 5), as written on the motion of Lucius Valerius in the ninth (nineteenth) year of Hyrcanus II; and unless the two letters and the two missions which led to them were purposely assimilated, which is not wholly improbable, it must be supposed that he has been guilty of a strange oversight in removing the incident from its proper place.

The imperfect transcription of the name has led to the identification of Lucius with three distinct persons:

(1.) [Lucius] Furius Philus (the lists, Clinton, Fasti Hell. 3:114, give P. Furius Philus), who was not consul till B.C. 136, and is therefore at once excluded.

Bible concordance for LUCIUS.

(2.) Lucius Caecilius Metellus Calvus, who was consul In B.C. 142, immediately after Simon assumed the government. On this supposition it might seem not unlikely that the answer which Simon received to an application for protection, which he made to Rome directly on his assumption of power (comp. 1 Macc. 14:17,18) in the consulship of Metellus, has been combined with the answer to the later embassy of Numenius (1 Macc. 14:24; 15:18).

(3.) But the third identification with Lucius Calpurnius Piso, who was consul B.C. 139, is most probably correct. The date exactly corresponds, and, though the praenomen of Calpurnius is not established beyond all question, the balance of evidence is decidedly against the common lists. The Fasti Capitolini are defective for this year, and only give a fragment of the name of Popillius, the fellow-consul of Calpurnius. Cassiodorus (Chron.), as edited, gives Cn. Calpurnius, but the eye of the scribe (if the reading is correct) was probably misled by the names in the years imrmediately before. On the other hand, Valerius Maximus (1:3) is wrongly quoted from the printed text as giving the same prsenomen. The passage in which the name occurs is in reality no part of Valerius Maximus, but a piece of the abstract of Julius Paris inserted in the text. Of eleven MSS. of Valerius which have been examined, it occurs only in one (Mus. Bri. Burn. 209), and there the name is given Lucius Calpurnius, as it is given by Mai in his edition of Julius Paris (Script. Vet. Nova Coll. 3:7). Sigonius says rightly (Fasti Cons. page 207): "Cassiodorus prodit consules Cn. Pisonem... epitoma L. Calpurnium." The chance of an error of transcription in Julius Paris is obviously less than in the Fasti of Cassiodorus; and even if the evidence were equal, the authority of 1 Macc. might rightly be urged as decisive in such a case.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.