Gaius Ateius Capito (jurist)

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Gaius Ateius Capito (about 30 BCE – 22) was a Roman jurist in the time of emperors Augustus and Tiberius and consul suffectus in the year 5.


Capito was a son of the tribune of the same name, and was educated as a jurist by Aulus Ofilius.[1] He was active as a jurist and a senator and became consul suffectus in the year 5. He was a strong proponent of the principate which brought him in opposition to Marcus Antistius Labeo.[2] In 11, he became curator aquarum and was responsible for water supply and regulation throughout the city of Rome.[3] In 15, he and Lucius Arruntius were entrusted by Tiberius to work on a plan to confine the river Tiber after heavy floods, but the project was not carried out due to heavy resistance from the populace.[4] His successor in the office of curator aquarum was Tarius Rufus.[3]


All of Capito's works are lost and are only known by their titles through quotes by later authors. Works known to have existed include:[5]

  • De pontificio iure ("About pontifical law"), at least six books about laws concerning the pontifices
  • De iure sacrificiorum ("About sacrificial law")
  • Coniectanea ("Miscellaneous"), at least 9 books about various themes
  • De officio senatorio ("About the senatorial office")
  • One work of unknown title about the auguries
  • Epistulae ("Letters")


Capito had considerable reputation as a jurist and gathered a school of jurists that became known as the Sabinian school after his pupil and successor Masurius Sabinus.[6] Capito's works were read and quoted until the sixth century, although more frequently by lexicographers (especially by Sextus Pompeius Festus and Aulus Gellius) than by jurists.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, William, ed. (1880). A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London. p. 599. 
  2. ^ Tacitus, Annals III 75
  3. ^ a b Frontinus, de aquis II 102
  4. ^ Tacitus, Annals I 79
  5. ^ for a list of known works, see Der kleine Pauly, article "C. Ateius Capito"
  6. ^ Der kleine Pauly, articles "C. Ateius Capito" and "Sabinus Massurius"


  • Der kleine Pauly. Lexikon der Antike. München 1979.
  • C. Atei Capitornis Fragmenta, L. Strzelecki (ed.), Wroclaw, Polska Akademia Nauk, 1960.
  • Tacitus, Annals
  • Frontinus, De aquis urbis Romae