Gaius Rabirius (senator

Gaius Rabirius was a senator who was involved in the death of Lucius Appuleius Saturninus. Titus Labienus (whose uncle had lost his life among the followers of Saturninus on that occasion) was put up by Gaius Julius Caesar to accuse Rabirius of having been implicated in the murder. Caesar's real object was to warn the Senate against interference by force with popular movements, to uphold the sovereignty of the people and the inviolability of the person of the tribunes, at the time of the conspiracy of Lucius Sergius Catilina. The obsolete accusation of perduellio was revived, and the case was heard before Caesar and his cousin Lucius Julius Caesar as commissioners specially appointed (duoviri perduellionis). Rabirius was condemned, and the people, to whom the accused had exercised the right of appeal, were on the point of ratifying the decision, when Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer pulled down the military flag from the Janiculum, which was equivalent to the dissolution of the assembly. Caesar's object having been attained, the matter was then allowed to drop. The defense was taken by Marcus Tullius Cicero, consul at the time; the speech is extant: Pro Rabirio reo perduellionis.

A nephew Gaius Rabirius Postumus was also defended by Cicero.


  • Cicero, Pro Rabirio, ed. W. E. Heitland (1882)
  • Dio Cassius, xxxvii. 26-38
  • H. Putsche, Über das genus judicii der Rede Ciceros pro C. Rabirio (Jena, 1881)
  • O. Schulthess, Der Prozess des C. Rabirius (Frauenfeld, 1891)
  • 1824 edition of Lempriére's Classical Dictionary

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain

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