Citations:

Text #9604

"Lucius Appuleius Saturninus", in Wikipedia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucius_Appu...

Lucius Appuleius Saturninus (died December 100 BC) was a Roman populist and tribune; he was a political ally of Gaius Marius, and his downfall caused a great deal of political embarrassment for Marius, who absented himself from public life until he returned to take up a command in the Social War of 91 to 88 BC.

As quaestor (104 BC) he superintended the imports of grain at Ostia, but was removed by the Roman Senate (an unusual proceeding), and replaced by Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, one of the chief members of the Optimates. He does not appear to have been charged with incapacity or mismanagement, and the standard view is that the injustice of his dismissal drove him into the arms of the Populares.

In 103 BC he was elected tribune. He entered into an agreement with Gaius Marius, and in order to gain the favour of his soldiers proposed that each of his veterans should receive an allotment of 100 iugera of land in the Roman province of Africa. He was also chiefly instrumental in securing the election of Marius to his fourth consulship (102 BC).

An opportunity to retaliate against the Nobiles was afforded him by the arrival (101 BC) of ambassadors from Mithridates VI of Pontus, with large sums of money for bribing the Senate; compromising revelations were made by Saturninus, who insulted the ambassadors. He was brought to trial for violating the law of nations, and only escaped conviction by an ad misericordiam appeal to the people. To the first tribunate of Saturninus is probably to be assigned his law on majestas, the exact provisions of which are unknown, but its object was probably to strengthen the power of the tribunes and the Populares; it dealt with the minuta majestas (diminished authority) of the Roman people, that is, with all acts tending to impair the integrity of the Commonwealth, being thus more comprehensive than the modern word “treason”.

One of the chief objects of Saturninus’s hatred was Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus, who, when censor, endeavoured to remove Saturninus from the Senate on the ground of immorality, but his colleague refused to assent. In order to ingratiate himself with the people, who still cherished the memory of the Gracchi, Saturninus took about with him Lucius Equitius, a paid freedman, who made himself out to be the son of Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus. Sempronia, sister of the dead Gracchi, refused to acknowledge her alleged nephew.

Marius, on his return to Rome after his victory over the Cimbri, finding himself isolated in the senate, entered into a compact with Saturninus and his ally Gaius Servilius Glaucia, and the three formed a kind of triumvirate, supported by the veterans of Marius and many of the common people. By the aid of bribery and assassination Marius was elected (100 BC) consul for the sixth time, Glaucia praetor, and Saturninus tribune for the second time. Saturninus now brought forward an agrarian law, an extension of the African law already alluded to. It was proposed that all the land north of the Padus (Po) lately in possession of the Cimbri, including that of the independent Celtic tribes which had been temporarily occupied by them, should be held available for distribution among the veterans of Marius. This was problematic, since the land was already the property of the provincials who had been dispossessed by the Cimbri.

Colonies were to be founded in Sicilia, Achaea and Macedonia, on the purchase of which the “Tolosan gold,” the temple treasures embezzled by Quintus Servilius Caepio (consul in 106), was to be employed. Further, Italians were to be admitted to these colonies, and as they were to be burgess colonies, the right of the Italians to equality with the Romans was thereby partially recognized. This part of the bill was resented by many citizens, who were unwilling to allow others to share their privileges.

A clause provided that, within 5 days after the passing of the law, every senator should take an oath to observe it, under penalty of being expelled from the senate and heavily fined. All the senators subsequently took the oath except Metellus Numidicus, who went into exile. Saturninus also brought in a bill, the object of which was to gain the support of the people by** supplying grain at a nominal price. The quaestor Quintus Servilius Caepio declared that the treasury could not stand the strain, and Saturninus’ own colleagues interposed their veto. Saturninus ordered the voting to continue, and Caepio dispersed the meeting by violence. **The Senate declared the proceedings null and void, because thunder had been heard; Saturninus replied that the Senate had better remain quiet; otherwise the thunder might be followed by hail. The bills (leges Appuleiae) were finally passed by the aid of the Marian veterans.

Marius, finding himself overshadowed by his colleagues and compromised by their excesses, thought seriously of breaking with them, and Saturninus and Glaucia saw that their only hope of safety lay in their retention of office. Saturninus was elected tribune for the third time for the year beginning December 10, 100, and Glaucia, although at the time praetor and therefore not eligible until after the lapse of 2 years, was a candidate for the consulship. Marcus Antonius Orator was elected without opposition; the other Optimate candidate, Gaius Memmius, who seemed to have the better chance of success, was beaten to death by the hired agents of Saturninus and Glaucia, while the voting was actually going on.

This produced a complete revulsion of public feeling. The Senate met on the following day, declared Saturninus and Glaucia public enemies, and called upon Marius to defend the State. Marius had no alternative but to obey. Saturninus, defeated in a pitched battle in the Roman Forum (December 10), took refuge with his followers in the Capitol, where, the water supply having been cut off, they were forced to capitulate. Marius, having assured them that their lives would be spared, removed them to the Curia Hostilia, intending to proceed against them according to law. But the more impetuous members of the aristocratic party climbed onto the roof, stripped off the tiles, and stoned Saturninus and many others to death. Glaucia, who had escaped into a house, was dragged out and killed.

His daughter Appuleia married well despite the family disgrace, and was mother of two consuls, including the triumvir Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. Another descendant Sextus Appuleius was consul in 29 BC, and his son Sextus Appuleius (consul in 14 BC) married (as her third husband) Claudia Marcella Major, a niece of Augustus, in or after 2 BC (when her second husband Iullus Antonius died). Their daughter was Appuleia Varilla living in 17 AD. The Marcus Appuleius who was consul in 20 BC may have been another descendant.

References

Appian, Bell. civ. i. 28-33

Diod. Sic. xxxvi 12

Plutarch, Marius, 28-30

Livy, Epit. 69

Florus iii. 16

Velleius Paterculus ii. 12

Auctor ad Herennium i. 21

Aurelius Victor, De viris illustribus, 73

Orosius v. 17

Cicero, Pro Balbo, 21, 48, Brutus, 62, De oratore, ii. 49, De haruspicum responsis, 19, Pro Sestio, Pro Rabirio, passim

Mommsen, Hist. of Rome (Eng. trans.), bk. iv. ch. 6

G. Long, Decline of the Roman Republic, ii. ch. 10

E. Klebs in Pauly-Wissowa’s Realencyclopädie, ii. 1 (1896).

Text #9601

"Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus", in Wikipedia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publius_Ser...

Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus (c. 122 BC – 44 BC), was a Roman politician and general who was Roman consul in 79 BC. He was granted the agnomen Isauricus after his victories over the pirates in Cilicia.

Vatia Isauricus was the son of Gaius Servilius Vatia and a member of the Plebeian branch of the gens Servilia, while his mother was Caecilia Metella, daughter of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus.

A traditionalist, he was among the group of young Roman nobles who killed Lucius Appuleius Saturninus in the Curia Hostilia after his failed revolt. It has been conjectured that he served as Plebeian Tribune in 97 BC. He held the office of Praetor in 90 BC, following which he was given a propraetoreal governorship in 89 BC, with his province being either Corsica et Sardinia or Cilicia. Due to some unrecorded victories in his province, Vatia Isauricus was awarded a triumph in 88 BC upon his return to Rome.

In 88 BC, with the support of the consul Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Vatia Isauricus put himself forward as Sulla’s preferred candidate for the consular elections of 87 BC, but was defeated in the subsequent election by Lucius Cornelius Cinna, a supporter of Gaius Marius. In 87 BC, he was one of Sulla’s lieutenant’s in Italy, and he attempted to stop the return of Gaius Marius and his supporters, but was driven from Ariminum by Marcus Marius Gratidianus, who took command of his army. Sometime after this defeat he fled Italy to join Sulla in Greece.

Vatia Isauricus returned to Italy in 82 BC with Sulla, and was put in charge of an army which defeated some Marian forces at Clusium. Later, in September of 82 BC, Vatia Isauricus was one of Pompey’s lieutenants at the Second Battle of Clusium (82 BC). Sulla was made Dictator after his victory, and in 79 BC, he appointed Vatia Isauricus as consul alongside Appius Claudius Pulcher. While Vatia Isauricus was still consul designate, he opposed the awarding of a triumph to the young Pompey.

After his consulship, in 78 BC Vatia Isauricus was assigned the post of proconsular governor of Cilicia, with the responsibility of clearing out the pirates which had been ravaging shipping for many years. The posting lasted until 74 BC, with the first year allocated to the military preparations, and the following two years he fought a combined naval and land campaign against pirates and the Isauri in Cilicia. From 77 to 76 BC, he achieved a number of naval victories against the pirates off the Cilician coast, and was able to occupy the Lycian and Pamphylian coasts. After the pirates fled to their fortified strongholds, Vatia Isauricus began attacking their coastal fortresses. He captured the town of Olympos and killed the pirate captain Zenicetus. He then went on to capture Phaselis before subduing Corycus and a number of minor pirate strongholds, capturing a number of pirate captains in the process, including the famous Nicon.

Then in 75 BC he advanced across the Taurus Mountains (the first time a Roman army had crossed these mountains) and succeeded in defeating the Isauri along the northern slopes. He laid siege to their principal town, Isaura, and managed to capture it after diverting the course of a river, thereby depriving the defenders in the town from their only source of water, after which they soon surrendered. It was during this part of the campaign that he was acclaimed Imperator by his legions. By 74 BC, Vatia Isauricus had organized the territory he had conquered and incorporated it into the province of Cilicia.

Upon his return to Rome in 74 BC he was granted a triumph, as well as being awarded the agnomen Isauricus for his victories in Isauria. After parading the captured pirates in his triumph, he deposited the entire war booty he had captured into the treasury and kept none for himself, unlike the rest of his peers, for which he was widely acclaimed.

By now, Vatia Isauricus was considered one of the leading members of the Senate, and sometime prior to 76 BC, Vatia Isauricus was admitted to the College of Pontiffs. In 70 BC, Vatia served as one of the judges in the trial of Gaius Verres, while in 66 BC he supported the proposal of Gaius Manilius to give Pompey the command of the renewed war against the pirates. In 63 BC he was a candidate for the position of pontifex maximus, but was defeated by Julius Caesar, who had served under him in his war against the pirates the decade before. Towards the end of that same year he had supported the consul Cicero in the suppression of the Catiline conspiracy, and spoke in the senate in favour of imposing the death penalty upon Catiline and his supporters.

In 57 BC, he joined the other members of the aristocracy to bring about Cicero’s return from banishment, while in the following year (56 BC) he opposed in the senate the restoration of Ptolemy XII Auletes, preferring instead to annex Egypt as a Roman province. In 55 BC he was elected censor, a position he held until at least July 54 BC. During his time as censor, he and his colleague attempted to regulate the stream of the Tiber River after a destructive flood in 54 BC.

From 55 to 44 BC, Vatia Isauricus was the Princeps Senatus. Due to his being close to 80 years of age, he took no part in the civil wars and died in the early summer of 44 BC.

Vatia Isauricus was the father of the consul of 48 BC and 41 BC, Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus. He also had a daughter named Servilia.

References

Broughton, T. Robert S., The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, Vol II (1952).

Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, Vol III (1867).

Text #9669

Editorial comment by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Saturninus was a political ally of Marius. At one point, Marius entered into a compact with Saturninus and his ally Gaius Servillius Glaucia, forming a sort of triumvirate with the backing of Marius’ veterans and the masses of common people. They wanted to pass an agrarian law giving land to army veterans and the poor as well as extending the citizenship franchise to other Italians. Gaius Memmius, a candidate for the consulship, was beaten to death by the hired agents of Saturninus and Glaucia, while the voting was actually going on.

The Senate met on the following day, declared Saturninus and Glaucia public enemies, and called upon Marius to defend the State. Saturninus, defeated in a pitched battle in the Roman Forum, took refuge with his followers in the Capitol, where, the water supply having been cut off, they were forced to capitulate. Marius assured them that their lives would be spared and placed them in the Curia Hostilia, intending to proceed against them according to law. But members of the aristocratic party (i.e. senators) climbed onto the roof, stripped off the tiles, and stoned Saturninus and many others to death. Glaucia, who had escaped into a house, was dragged out and killed. This caused a great deal of political embarrassment for Marius, who absented himself from public life until he returned to take up a command in the Social War of 91 to 88 BC.

Please view our Legal Notice before you make use of this Database.

See also our Credits page for info on data we are building upon.