( 161 BC )

( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, p. 31, n. 34


   Conservative Romans became concerned during the first half of the second century B.C. with the effects of Greek thought, manners, and morals. Quintus Ennius ( 239-169 B.C. ), "father of Latin poetry," had introduced the skeptical approach to religion with his translation of the works of Euhemerus (  flor. 300 B.C. ), who advanced an anthropological theory of the deities ; and the excesses of the devotees of Magna Mater and of Bacchus had led to the suppression of the latter's cult in 186 B.C. Additional attempts to restrict the spread of Greek thought are seen, however, in the destruction of the false "Books of Numa" ( said to have been Pythagorean ) in 181 B.C., the expulsion of two Epicureans from Rome in 173 B.C. for teaching a philosophy of pleasure, and this document ( preserved by Suetonius, Rhet. I ad init. ), which authorizes the expulsion of all philosophers from Rome.

C. Fannio Strabone, M. Valerio Messala cos.
M. Pomponius praetor senatum consuluit.
In the consulship of Gaius Fannius Strabo and Marcus Valerius Messala, the praetor Marcus Pomponius consulted the Senate.
Quod verba facta sunt de philosophis et de rhetoribus, de ea re ita censuerunt :
Whereas a report was made concerning philosophers and rhetoricians, the senators proposed as follows in regard to the said matter :
ut M. Pomponius praetor animadverteret curaretque, uti ei e republica fideque sua videretur, uti Romae ne essent.
Marcus Pomponius, the praetor, shall take measures and shall provide that no philosophers or rhetoricians shall dwell in Rome, if it appears to him to be in the public interest and in accordance with his own good faith.