«by Hugo Thomas Dupuis Whitfield A thesis submitted to the Department of Classics In conformity with the requirements for the Degree of Masters of ...»
This priesthood was part of the Imperial cult, which began in 9 B.C. with the dedication of the cult of Augustus by Drusus in Lyon and which spread after Augustus’ death in A.D. 14 (Livy, Per., CXLII). The recognition of the Emperor as a living god helped to insure his position among the peoples of the Empire.
The text adds that Maximus was a priest to the cult of Drusus and Germanicus, princes during the reign of Tiberius. Drusus was Tiberius’ son from his first marriage to Vipsania while Germanicus, who was the son of Drusus, the Emperor Tiberius’ brother, was adopted by Tiberius in A.D. 4 on the order of Augustus. These two principes became extremely popular amongst the Roman people because of their charisma and their military victories against the Germanic tribes.
With regard to the dating here, Germanicus died in A.D. 19, while Drusus died in A.D. 23, and it is this latter year of A.D. 23 that is most relevant in dating this inscription. The cult emerged shortly following their deaths and would have ended most likely shortly thereafter as Tiberius despised Germanicus’ popularity and would not have promoted his nephew’s provincial cult.
This places the end of Iulius Maximus’ career shortly after A.D. 23 and the bulk of his career during the reign of Augustus.
The tribunus militum, military tribune, was a senior officer within the legion in which there were only six posts available, which were reserved for equestrians. Military tribunes were men with military experience who had the ability to assume a leadership role within the legion. It is through the actions of Claudius that the tribunus militum along with the praefectus cohortis and the praefectus equitum were reserved for equestrians (Suet., Claud., 25). Iulius Maximus was a
Roman soldiers’ pride of appartenance to their specific legion and its accomplishments. Without the legion’s name, it is impossible to know where in the Empire he served before returning to Nemausus to continue his civic career.63 The post of military tribune became for many local provincial elites the culmination of their careers and would have been a great honour.64 If the military tribuneship was his most prestigious office, it may signal his family’s recent adlection into the order. Iulius Maximus, with most of his offices being completed in Nemausus, would have seen the military tribuneship as a great accomplishment, an indication of his recent introduction to the equestrian order.
The post of praefectus fabrum (prefect of the workmen) first appeared in the late Republican period as is known through several leading figures of that time.65 The duties of the prefect are not well known but it is likely that they were decided by the individual who had chosen him and would have been wide raging.66 In the case of Iulius Maximus, his prefecture immediately preceded his military tribuneship, which, according to Dobson’s research, may indicate that it was an honorary appointment.67 This fact along with Iulius Maximus’ lengthy municipal career suggests that his prefecture was sinecure, which can be described as an office 63 Being stationed as a military tribune along the limes would hold more prestige and could become a stepping stone for further ascension in one’s cursus compared to a post in a senatorial province.
64 Hubert Devijver, “De leeftijd van de ridderofficeren tijdens het Vroeg-Romeinse Keizerrijk”, in The Equestrian Officers of the Roman Imperial Army, Hubert Devijver, (Amsterdam: Gieben Publisher, 1989), p.138.
65 Brian Dobson, “The Praefectus Fabrum in the Early Principate”, in Roman Officers and Frontiers by David J. Breeze and Brian Dobson, (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1993), p.220. Varro, Caesar, Cicero, Pompey, M. Brutus and Antony are some of the leading figures attested by Dobson who held this particular office.
66 Dobson, n.65, p.221.
67 Dobson, n.65, p.221.
28 that involved minimal duties.68 The interesting aspect of the case of Iulius Maximus is that his prefecture along with his military tribuneship occurred in the middle of all his municipal offices.
In order to attain the highest local priesthoods, he had to gain recognition not only in the municipality but also in the Roman military. Without his prefecture and military tribuneship, Iulius Maximus would not have accomplished his priesthoods. In essence, Iulius Maximus’ role as prefect of the workmen is unclear beyond the fact that he was a junior administrator who was appointed by a commander. The praefectus fabrum lost its military importance at the beginning of the Principate through the creation and the development of standardized military and political careers.69 For high-ranking provincials, their careers, it was hoped, would culminate in the quattuorvirship of their hometown. Quattuorvirs were the epitome of the local civic cursus and the office of the quattuorviri iure dicundo was usually found in the Italian municipalities or Latin colonies.70 Iulius Maximus did not achieve the highest offices within the equestrian order, and it could thus be construed, that he was not influential and only one amongst tens of thousands.
While his name is not known throughout the empire, Iulius Maximus was one of the leading men in Nemausus itself, as witnessed by his completion of all the highest local honours.
68 Dobson, n.65, p.221. Dobson explains that it is impossible to determine if the office was purely honorary or not but rather to attach probabilities based on the individuals career where a purely municipal career would most likely result in an honorary appointment of the office and a lengthy and distinguished military career would most likely result in the actual completion of the prefecture.
69 Dobson, n.65, p.234.
Sir John Edwin Sandys, Latin Epigraphy: An Introduction to the Study of Latin Inscriptions, (Chicago:
Ares Publishers, 2nd ed., 1927), p.229.
4.3 Sextus Adgennius Macrinus:
This individual is remembered by an impressive monument bearing his engraved facial image and that of his wife. As part of the monument there are two inscriptions that bear his name
and much information about his family. The two inscriptions are as follows:
To the sacred spirits, of Licinia Flavilla, the daughter of Lucius, a priestess of Augustus; Sextus Adgennius Macrinus, a tribune of Legion VI Victrix, a quattuorvir for the pronouncing of the law, a priest, a prefect of the workmen (CIL XII, 3175)
2. SEX(TUS) ADGENNIUS SOLUTUS ET ADGENNIA LICINILLA PARENTIBUSSextus Adgennius Solutus and Adgennia Licinilla to their parents (CIL XII, 3368) Although they are presented as two separate inscriptions in the CIL they are from the same monument, as the second text (CIL XII, 3368) lacks any sense if interpreted by itself. It is clear that Sextus Adgennius Solutus and Adgennia Licinilla were the children of the couple named above.
Sextus Adgennius Macrinus’ most interesting feature is the Celtic origin of his nomen.
Burnand asserts that there are very few leading figures from either Gallia Narbonensis or Gallia Comata who used a Gallic nomen.71 The name Adgennius is a compound name with a prefix, in this case ‘-ad’, plus a substantive with the prefix governing the second element.72 The ‘ad-’, when it is accompanied by a substantive, here ‘-genn’, can be translated as ‘to’ instead of as an 71 Yves Burnand, Primores Galliarum: III-Étude sociale 1.Les racines, (Bruxelles: Éditions Latomus, 2007), vol.306, p.131.
D. Ellis Evans, Gaulish Personal Names: A Study of some Continental Celtic Formations, (Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1967), p.205.
30 intensive prefix when it is accompanied by an adjective.73 The ‘gen-, gen(n)-’ is a common Celtic name and is usually translated as ‘is born’ or ‘begets’ and can also mean ‘to give birth’.74 “The local distribution of forms in –gen(n)- with the prefixes ‘ad-’ and ‘con-’ shows a notable concentration of examples in Southern Gaul. Adgenn- occurs most frequently in Narbonensis, although the personal name Adgennonius is attested in Italy and the personal name Adgennus in Germania Inferior”.75 These facts therefore place Adgennius Macrinus’ ancestry as part of the native Celtic population and possibly of the local elites who came to be Romanized after the Volcae Arecomici had been subdued.76 Local elites were permitted to remain in power once Rome had conquered them in order to provide a sense of continuity for the local population, but also because Rome was not interested in overseeing every single town that it conquered, preferring rather to instill its laws and customs. The fact that Adgennius Macrinus kept his Celtic name and was able to become an equestrian illustrates how a local, native, former barbarian was able to integrate himself within the new Roman political structure, a good example of Romanization.
Adgennius Macrinus’ career began as a praefectus fabrum and presumably after this he was appointed as a priest, a pontifex, in Nemausus. The priesthood that he served in is unknown as is where he was stationed as praefectus fabrum, which could indicate that he received the title without actually completing the duties of the office. Following this he became a quattuorvir, thus achieving the highest possible municipal office. He served as a military tribune for the Legio VI Victrix, which was stationed in Spain until A.D. 69, and then was moved to the Rhine from A.D.
73 Evans, n.72, p.129.
74 Evans, n.72, p.203.
75 Evans, n.72, p.204.
76 The Volcae Arecomici were the Celtic tribe who had Nemausus as its capital and were defeated during Rome’s War of Annexation from 125-121 B.C. (see p.3).
31 71 to 120.77 The legion was given the title of Pia Fidelis after it remained faithful to Domitian during the revolt of Lucius Antonius Saturninius in A.D. 89.78 Adgennius Macrinus was a tribune on the Rhine before the revolt because of the missing title.
Licinia Flavilla, the wife of Adgennius Macrinus, was a priestess of Augusta. The Licinii of Rome, a plebeian family, became an illustrious family during the Roman Republic due to the military and political acheivements of the Licinii Crassi and the Licinii Luculli, two branches of the Licinii. Licinia Flavilla’s father was Lucius Licinius but his career remains unknown. Her ancestors may have been of Italian descent or may have been local natives who became Romanized, but either option is viable due to a lack of evidence.
Licinia Flavilla’s profile is displayed alongside her husband’s on the epitaph, and of note is her hairstyle, that is sculpted in the distinct Flavian style, which helps to date the inscription to the Flavian time period between the years of A.D. 71 to 89. 79 The cippus (tombstone) also serves as a reminder of Adgennius Macrinus’ military offices. He is displayed with a spear on his left side along with his military uniform, which comprises a breastplate, shoulder pads and a cape on his left shoulder. Adgennius Macrinus is depicted as a tribunus legionis on the monument as he is dressed in his military garb. The spear on Adgennius Macrinus’ right represents the fasces, which were symbols of the power of his office and an indication of his status.80 Describing Adgennius Macrinus and his wife, Licinia Flavilla, as a “power couple” of Nemausus may not be overstretching the extent of their influence; with her role as a priestess and his completion of municipal offices they must have been regarded as one of the leading families 77 Brill’s New Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World, n.54, vol.7, p.366.
78 Brill’s New Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World, n.54, vol.7, p.366.
79 Nancy Ramage and Andrew Ramage, Roman Art: Romulus to Constantine, (New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall,, 4th ed., 2001), pp.172-173.
80 Hubert Devijver, “Equestrian Officers and their Monuments”, in The Equestrian Officers of the Roman Imperial Army, (1989), p.435.
32 of the provincial town. Their influence and social standing within Nemausus is further supported by the addition of a certain Sextus Adgennius Hermetis, a sevir Augustalis, whose inscription places him as a freedman of our equestrian (CIL XII, 3188).
4.4 Gaius Aemilius Postumus:
Gaius Aemilius Postumus is another Nemausian equestrian known to us solely from a simple inscription.
C(AIO) AEMILIO C(AI) F(ILIO) VOLT(INIA) POSTUMO OMNIBUS HONORIB(US) IN COLONIA SUA FUNCTO TRIB(UNO) MIL(ITUM) LEG(IONIS) VI VICTR(ICIS) D(ECRETO) D(ECURIONUM) To Gaius Aemilius Postumus, the son of Gaius, of the Voltinia tribe, having completed all the public offices in his own colony, military tribune of Legion VI Victrix, [having been set up] by a decree of the Decurions (CIL XII, 3176) The family of the Aemilii is one of the six original Roman patrician families dating back to the beginning of the Roman Republic. It is one of the most illustrious names in Roman history because of the actions of members from both the Aemilii Lepidi and the Aemilii Paulli. We can presume that the ancestors of this C. Aemilius Postumus became attached to that great family and assumed their nomen when they received Roman citizenship. The name Postumus, when used as a praenomen, indicates that the individual was born after his father’s death but in the case of Aemilius Postumus, his cognomen does not have any added significance.
He completed all the local offices of Nemausus, which are not actually named but grouped together under one term. This practice does save space, as it could be essential in certain