Quintus Laberius Durus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Quintus Laberius Durus (died August 54 BC) was a Roman military tribune who died during Julius Caesar's second expedition to Britain. Caesar describes how soon after landing in Kent, the Romans were attacked whilst building a camp by the native Britons. Before re-inforcements could arrive, Laberius was killed.[1] His burial site is traditionally the earthworks of Julliberrie's Grave near Chilham (which is in fact a Neolithic long barrow).

Orosius, in his Seven Books of History Against the Pagans, calls him Labienus,[2] confusing him with Caesar's legate Titus Labienus, who lived to fight against Caesar in the Civil War. The error was perpetuated by Bede[3] and Geoffrey of Monmouth,[4] both of whom refer to a tribune called Labienus being killed in Britain. The latter says he was killed by Nennius.

Despite his status as a footnote in history, a long modern poem by American poet Gabriel Gudding is dedicated to Laberius ("For Quintus Laberius Durus, Who, Because of a Javelin in His Lungs, Died Near Kent, in Early August, 54 B.C") and appears in his book, A Defense of Poetry (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002). An historical novel, Caesar (Harper, 1999), by Australian writer Colleen McCullough, also involves him.

References[edit]