A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

A Roman jurist of this name is mentioned by legal biographers and by writers who have made lists of jurists, as Val. Forsterus, Rutilius, Guil. Grotius, and Fabricius, but they give no authority for their statement. The only authority that we can find for this name is an anecdote in Plutarch's life of Cicero (100.26), repeated in his Apophthegmata. When P. Consa, an ignorant and empty man, who held himself forth as a jurist, was summoned as a witness in a cause, and declared that he knew nothing whatever about the matter that he was examined upon, Cicero said to him, drily, " Perhaps you think that the question relates to law."

The reading of the name in Plutarch is exceedingly doubtful,--Publius may be Popillius, and Consa may be Caius, Cassius, or Cotta.