, an ancient Roman knight, who excelled in writing Mimes, or little satirical productions for the stage, died in 46 A. C. Though in his time men of birth made no scruple to furnish entertainments of the theatrical kind, yet it was highly disgraceful to represent them in their own persons. Julius Caesar, however, ordered Laberius to act one of his own Mimes; and though he made all the opposition he could, yet Caesar compelled him. The prologue to the piece is still extant, and Rollin thinks it one of the most beautiful morsels of antiquity. Laberius bemoans himself for the necessity he was under in a very affecting manner, but in the course of the piece glances several strokes of satire at Caesar, which were so well understood as to direct the eyes of the spectators upon him. Coesar, by way of revenge, gave the preference to Publius Syrius, who was his rival upon the same theatre; yet, when the Mimes were over, presented him with a ring, as if to re-establish him in his rank. The very small fragments which remain of Laberius, have been often collected and printed with those of Ennius, Lucilius, Publius Syrus, &c. The prologue above-mentioned is preserved in Aulus Gellius, and there is a good version of it in Beloe’s translation of that author. 2


Moreri. Vossii Poet, Lat.