Key to Umbria

Colonies in the 2nd century BC 

Home   Cities    History    Art    Hagiography    Contact

  1. Roman Republic: Roman Prefectures

  2. Victory Temples and the Third Samnite War      Victory Temples in Rome (146 BC)

  3. End of theRepublic


  1. “[In 197 BC,], Gaius Atinius, tribune of the people, carried a proposal that 5 colonies should be established on the sea-coast,

  2. two at the mouths of the Vulturnus and Liternus rivers [i.e. Volturnum and Liternum];

  3. one at Puteoli;

  4. one at Castrum Salerni [Salernum];

  5. to which Buxentum was added.

  6. It was ordered that 300 families be sent to each colony.  A commission of three, to hold office for three years, was created to found these colonies, and Marcus Servilius Geminus, Quintus Minucius Thermus, and Tiberius Sempronius Longus were chosen as its members.

In 194 BC, Scipio became consul for the second time.  Despite the fact that Hannibal had had taken refuge with King Antichos of Macedonia, the Senate chose to continue with its policy of removing consular armies from the Greece and Macedonia (as Scipio had wanted): instead he and his colleague, Tiberius Sempronius Longus, were both assigned to Italy.


  1. “Colonies of Roman citizens were founded [in 194 BC] at

  2. Puteoli, Volturnum, Liternum, 300 to each; and

  3. Salernum and Buxentum. 

  4. The triumvirs who established them were Tiberius Sempronius Longus (one of the consuls of the year), Marcus Servilius and Quintus Minucius Thermus. The land which had belonged to the Campanians was divided among them. 

  5. Likewise at Sipontum, in the territory which had belonged to [a centre called Arpi, Argyrippa, or Argos Hippium], a colony of Roman citizens was founded by other triumvirs, Decimus Iunius Brutus, Marcus Baebius Tamphilus, and Marcus Helvius.

  6. [Likewise at:]

  7. Tempsa ... ,which had been taken from the Brutti, who in turn had expelled the Greeks. The triumvirs for Tempsa were Lucius Cornelius Merula, Quintus(?) and Caius Salonius; and and

  8. at Croton, which had been held by the Greeks.  The triumvirs for Croton were: Cnaeus Octavius, Lucius Aemilius Paulus, and Gaius Laetorius; , (‘History of Rome’, 34: 45: 1-5).

194: Buxentum (supplemented in 186 BC)

194: Sipontum, supplemented in 186 BC

192 Tempsa and Croton

Edward Salmon (referenced below. at p. 97) described the subsequent establishment of eight relatively small maritime colonies of Roman citizens in southern Italy after the Second Macedonian War: Volternum, Liternum, Puteoli, Salernum, Buxentum, Sipontum, Tempsa and Croto.  The first five had been planned in 197 BC and all eight were  established in 194 BC, the year of Scipio Africanus’ second consulship (see Livy: ‘History of Rome’, 32: 29: 3 for 197 BC and ‘History of Rome’, 34: 45: 1-5 for 194 BC).  Salmon observed that:

  1. “... it may be that this colonisation programme was a favourite project of [Scipio Africanus]. It is to be noted that, when he later fell out of favour, he retired to one of these colonies , ... Liternum ...”.

From these accounts, we can reasonably assume that Scipio did indeed take an active interest in the settlement of his veterans, and that this extended into the 190s BC.  

Simone Sisani (referenced below, 2007, at p. 218) pointed out that, in 199 BC, when Scipio Africanus held the post of princeps senatus, the praetorship of Caius Sergius Plautus was extended into the following year:

  1. “... so that he might superintend the distribution of land to the soldiers who had served for many years in Spain, Sicily, and Sardinia ...” (‘History of Rome’, 32: 1: 6).

He reasonably suggested that Scipio Africanus had probably arranged for Sergius’ term of office to be prorogued in order facilitate the settlement of his own veterans.  David Gargola (referenced below, at p. 104) assumed that Livy’s three records of 201, 200 and 199 BC:

  1. “... probably record the initial passage of a programme [of veteran settlement] and two later modifications to the project.”

This programme, as amended, might be have extended beyond Samnium and Apulia, although no other territories are identified.

Reinforcement of Latin colonies

Narnia 199 BC

Cosa 197

Cales 183 (185?)

New Latin Colonies

Thurii Copia in 193 BC: 20 iugera

Vibo in 192 BC: 15 iugera


  1. “At the end of[194 BC]. Quintus Aelius  Tubero, the tribune of the people, on the authority of the Senate, proposed to the people and the assembly voted that two Latin colonies should be founded:

  2. one among the Brutti; and

  3. the other in the country around Thurii.

  4. Triumvirs were chosen to establish these colonies, whose authority should continue through three years;

  5. for the colony among the Brutti, Quintus Naevius, Marcus Minucius Rufus, and Marcus Furius Crassipes;

  6. for the colony in the land of Thurium, Aulus Manlius, Quintus Aelius, and Lucius Apustius.

  7. These two elections were conducted by the city praetor Gnaeus Domitius on the Capitoline”, (‘Roman History’, 34: 53: 1-2).


  1. “[In 193 BC], a Latin colony was established at Castrum Frentinum [Thurii] by the triumvirs Aulus Manlius Volso, Lucius Apustius Fullo and Quintus Aelius Tubero; by the law of the last-named the colony was created.  3,000 infantry and 300 hundred cavalry joined it, a small number in proportion to the size of the tract.  The allotments of land could have been 30 iugera per infantryman and 60 per cavalryman.  At the suggestion of Apustius one-third of the land was reserved, whereby they were enabled later to enrol new colonists if they saw fit. 20 iugera were given to each infantryman, 40  to each cavalryman”, (‘Roman History’, 35: 9: 7-8).


  1. “[In 192 BC], In the same year a colony was established at Vibo in accordance with a decree of the Senate and an enactment of the assembly.  3,700 infantry went there and 300 cavalrymen; the commission which established it consisted of: Quintus Naevius; Marcus Minucius; and Marcus Furius Crassipes.  15 iugera of land were given to each infantryman and twice that to each cavalryman.  The land had recently belonged to the Brutti; they in turn had taken it from the Greeks”, (‘Roman History’, 35: 9: 7-8).

Bononia in 189 BC: 15 iugera

Aquileia in 181 BC, reinforced in 169 BC


  1. “[In 181 BC], Aquileia, a city situated on land belonging to the Gauls, received ... a body of Latin colonists; 3,000 infantry soldiers were settled there, and each man was allotted 50 iugera, the centurions 100, and the cavalry men 140. The supervisors of the settlement were P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica, C. Flaminius and L. Manlius Acidinus”, (‘Roman History’, 40: 34: 1-2).

Citizen colonies

Pisaurum and Potentia 194 BC

Parma and Mutina in 183 BC

Saturnia in 183 BC

Graviscae in 181 BC

Luna in 177 BC

Citizen Colony at Pisaurum (184 BC)

According to Livy:

  1. “... two colonies were founded [in 184 BC]:

  2. Potentia in the Picene territory; and

  3. Pisaurum in the ager Gallicus;

  4. 6 iugera were given to each colonist.  The division of the land and the organisation of these two colonies were the work of the same tresviri coloniae deducendae (board of three colonial commissioners):

  5. Quintus Fabius Labeo;

  6. Marcus Fulvius Flaccus, and

  7. Quintus Fulvius Nobilior”, (‘History of Rome’, 39: 44; 9-11). 

Cicero recorded that one of these triumvirs:

  1. “Quintus Nobilior, the son of Marcus, ... presented [the poet] Ennius (who had served under his father in Aetolia [in 189 BC]) ... with Roman citizenship when he founded a colony in capacity of triumvir”, (‘Brutus, a History of Famous Orators’, 79).

Thus, we might reasonably assume that Ennius (who came from Rudiae in Apulia) received Roman citizenship as a colonist at either Pisaurum or Potentia, and hence that these were both citizen colonies.  In the case of the former, the new citizen colonists were apparently assigned to the Camilia, the tribe that had probably been assigned to the original viritane settlers here after the conquest ( as discussed above).

Citizen Colonies of the 2nd Century BC

Pisaurum and Potentia had similar characteristics to a small number of other  broadly contemporary colonies:

  1. Parma and Mutina, which were both founded in the Po valley in 183 BC (‘History of Rome’, 39: 55: 6–8);

  2. two colonies in Etruria:

  3. Saturnia, which was founded in 183 BC (‘History of Rome’, 39: 55: 9); and

  4. Graviscae, which was founded in 181 BC (‘History of Rome’, 40: 29: 1); and 

  5. Luna, which was founded in Liguria in 177 BC (‘History of Rome’, 41: 13:  4–5; for the rendering here of ‘Luna’ rather than ‘Luca’, see, for example, ‘Lunam colonia eodem’ in the same passage reproduced in the website of the Latin Library).

Livy explicitly described three of these colonies (Parma, Mutina, Saturnia, and Luna) as citizen colonies:

  1. Individual allotments at Parma, Mutina and Saturnia were in the range 5-10 iugera.

  2. Livy’s figure of 51.5 iugera at Luna is almost certainly incorrect, and Saskia Roselaar (referenced below, at p. 325 and note 141), citing earlier scholars, suggested 6.5 iugera

Thus, the individual allotments at the six members of this group that are known to have been citizen colonies (Pisaurum, Potentia, Parma, Mutina, Saturnia, and Luna) fell into the range 5-10 iugera.  This size of allotment seems to have marked a shift in Roman colonial policy: it was:

  1. very small when compared to the typical allocations at contemporary Latin colonies (see below); but

  2. considerably larger that the 2 iugera per colonist that seems to have been the norm in earlier citizen colonies, all of which were founded on coastal sites.

Since the allotment size at Graviscae was 5 iugera, it is usually assumed to have been a citizen colony of the new type and thus included in this group.   In short, it seems that Pisaurum and Potentia belonged to a small group of citizen colonies formed in the period 184-77 BC, each of which was characterised by individual allotments of 5-10 iugera.  We know from Livy that three of these seven colonies (Mutina, Parma and Luni) each received 2,000 colonists, and this might well have been the standard practice for such foundations at this time, in sharp contrast to the 300 colonists that seems to have been the norm in earlier citizen colonies.  Furthermore, some of this group of larger citizen colonies (Parma, Mutina, Saturnia) were founded on inland sites.  Pisaurum and Potentia are often claimed as the first of such large citizen colonies to be founded.  However, as noted above, recent archeological evidence suggests that two precedents existed on the Adriatic coast, at:

  1. Sena Gallica in the ager Gallicus; and

  2. Castrum Novum in Picenum;

both of which  been founded almost a century earlier.  Having said that, these might well have been isolated examples before the 2nd century BC, and the concentration of similar colonies founded in 184-77 BC is striking. 

One reason for this change of practice can probably be discerned from the recent experience in the Po valley: according to Livy (‘History of Rome’, 37: 47: 1-2), the Senate had decided to found two new Latin colonies there in 190 BC, after the final defeat of the Boii.  Edward Salmon (referenced below, 1970, at p. 101) observed that this plan had proved to be:

  1. “... over-optimistic: 

  2. By offering very large allotments of 50 iugera each, [the Roman authorities] attracted 3,000 colonists for one new foundation on the site of the Etruscan settlement of Felsina ... [near modern Bologna].  They planted this [Latin] colony in 189 BC, giving it the optimistic name of Bononia  [as recorded by Livy, ‘History of Rome’, 37: 57: 12-15].

  3. However, not even the prospect of 50 iugera of free land could attract  sufficient settlers for the second Latin colony, and it, accordingly, was never founded.”

In the light of this, and of other difficult experiences in relation to the broadly contemporary Latin colonies:

  1. at Thurii and Vibo/Valentia in Bruttium (both elected in 194 BC); and

  2. at Aquileia on the new northern frontier with Istria (elected in 183 BC);

the authorities seem to have decided on other occasions to offer smaller allotments to fewer colonists, but to add what was, by this time, the valuable incentive of Roman citizenship.

Three of the seven citizen colonies of 184-77 BC (Parma, Mutina and Luna) were founded on newly-acquired ager publicus, and their function would have been to nucleate the Roman settlement of the area.  However, the other four  (Pisaurum, Potentia, Saturnia and Graviscae) were founded on land that had been confiscated almost a century earlier.  Saskia Roselaar (referenced below , at pp. 70-1) noted that there is no record of any protest from people who had been dispossessed in the process.  She then offered a possible explanation: the decades  after the Second Punic War constituted:

  1. “... a period in which the population [of Italy] was low, while the amount of ager publicus was very large.  It may be that the population of the areas in which [these four colonies] were founded had declined during the war, so that there were few people who could protest against the use of the land by the state.”

This impression is reinforced by the fact that some existing Latin colonies  in nearby locations had required reinforcement in the recent past:

  1. Cosa, near Graviscae, had enrolled additional colonists in 197 BC; and

  2. Placentia and Cremona in the Po valley had required similar reinforcement in 190 BC (as discussed above). 

If this is correct, then the primary function of the  new citizen colonies at Pisaurum, Potentia, Saturnia and Graviscae might well have been to stimulate the repopulation of land that had been effectively abandoned. 

Function of the Colony at Pisaurum

If the hypothesis above is correct, we must assume that, despite the lex Flaminia agraria of 232 BC and the construction of the Via Flaminia in 220 BC, the Roman authorities’ efforts to populate the ager Gallicus had met with little lasting success before the pacification of the Boii in 190 BC, at least in the coastal strip around Pisaurum.  This would explain why there was land here for a new colony that might nucleate resettlement. However, one wonders why the Roman authorities chose to create a new citizen colony here rather than to reinforce the existing citizen colony Sena Gallica, some 30 km to the south.  The answer is probably that, as discussed above, the earlier colony had not been particularly successful: indeed, it is possible that the apparent depopulation of the coastal strip by 184 BC extended as far south as Sena Gallica, and that the authorities had been able to choose the location of the new colony without any reference to earlier patterns of population.  If this was indeed the situation, then the choice of Pisaurum might well have reflected a desire not only to repopulate the coastal strip but also to encourage new settlement in the northern part of the territory, now that the threat from the Boii had disappeared. 

It is possible that the putative re-routing of Via Flaminia to cross the Apeninnes via the Gola del Furlo in 187 BC (discussed above) was associated with this development.

Tresviri Coloniae Deducendae at Pisaurum and Potentia

As noted above, Livy (‘History of Rome’, 39: 44; 9-11) identified the triumvirs who enrolled the colonists of 184 BC and led them to their new homes at Pisaurum or Potentia:

  1. Quintus Fabius Labeo;

  2. Marcus Fulvius Flaccus, and

  3. Quintus Fulvius Nobilior. 

In order to explore the impact that these individuals might have had on the character and development of these colonies, we must first establish their identities:

  1. Quintus Fabius Labeo can be securely identified as the consul of in 183 BC (in which year he also served as one of the triumvirs who founded the citizen colony at Saturnia). 

  2. Unfortunately, the identities of the other two triumvirs are less clear, not least because Livy used the following somewhat ambiguous formula to identify them:

  3. “M. et Q. Fulvii, Flaccus et Nobilior”, (39: 44: 11). 

  4. This presents at least two problems:

  5. Although this is usually translated as ‘Marcus Fulvius Flaccus and Quintus Fulvius Nobilior (as I assume in the discussion below), it is not absolutely certain that Livy meant this: perhaps he simply did not know which praenomen belonged to which cognomen.

  6. Livy did not include the filiations of the triumvirs.  This makes it particularly difficult to identify specific members of the Fulvii Nobilores and Fulvii Flacci: most of those that are documented at this time in the surviving sources had the praenomen Marcus or Quintus.

Marcus Fulvius Flaccus

John Briscoe (referenced below, 2008, at p. 368) observed that:

  1. “As the text [of Livy] stands, M. Fulvius Flaccus would be the brother of  Q. Fulvius Flaccus, [the consul of 179 BC], under whom he served in Spain in 181 BC.” 

The record of Marcus serving under his brother (who was a praetor at this time) comes in the ‘History of Rome’, 40: 30: 4) .  According to Amanda Coles (referenced below, in the table at p. 315), there is no evidence that he had entered public life before his triumvirate at Pisaurum and Potentia.

Two other documentary records that might relate to our subject:

  1. Livy (40: 41: 7) names “M. Fulvius Nobilior, brother of Q. Fulvius” as a military tribune in Liguria in 180 BC who was disciplined by the Senate for disbanding his legion without authorisation. 

  2. The only ‘Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, brother of Quintus’ at this time in the surviving sources is the son of the eponymous consul of 189 BC.  However, Livy would surely have identified him by his filiation, rather than by referring to his younger brother.  Thus, ‘Nobilior’ here is probably a mistake.

  3. This person was more probably the brother of a Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, but there are unfortunately two of these in our surviving sources:

  4. -the suffect consul of 180 BC; and

  5. -the consul of 179 BC, who became censor in 174 BC.

  6. Thus there are two possibilities:

  7. If the brother in question was the second of these, then the disgraced military tribune would have been Marcus Fulvius Flaccus. 

  8. However, in the passage above (at lines 2-3), Livy had mentioned the serving consuls:

  9. -‘[Aulus] Postumius’, who had reported the tribune to the Senate; and

  10. - ‘Fulvius’, who was Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, the suffect consul of 180 BC. 

  11. I therefore think that the military tribune was more probably the brother of this Quintus Fulvius Falccus, whom Scullard (at p. 268 and p. 312) named as Cnaeus. 

  12. Livy (41: 27: 2) recorded that the censors of 174 BC::

  13. Aulus Postumius, the consul of 180 BC, and

  14. Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, the consul of 179 BC.

  15. expelled nine senators, including ‘Lucius Fulvius, the brother of the censor’.   Many scholars (for example, Howard Scullard, referenced below, at p. 178 and p. 268) reasonably argue that the military tribune of 180 BC and the expelled senator of 174 BC were the same man: Aulus Postumius had probably been dissatisfied of the punishment he had received in 180 BC and now used his position of censor to punish him further.  Thus Livy must be wrong in naming the expelled senator as Lucius:

  16. -If he was the censor’s brother, he would be Marcus Fulvius Flaccus.

  17. -However, Velleius Paterculus (1: 10: 6) identified him as: 

  18. “... Cnaeus Fulvius, who was the brother of the censor and co-heir with him in his estate ...”.

  19. I doubt that both Livy and Velleius were both wrong about his praenomen.  In other words, I think seems to me that we should probably follow Vellius in naming him as Cnaeus Fulvius Flaccus, albeit that he was the cousin rather than the brother of the censor.

Thus, in my opinion, all we know about Marcus, the brother of the consul of 179 BC, is contained in my opening paragraph above:

  1. Livy apparently named him as one of the triumvirs who founded Pisaurum and Potentia in 184 BC; and

  2. he served under his brother in Spain three years later.

However, Amanda Coles (referenced below, at p. 315), for example, had an open mind on this, characterising him as:

  1. “leg. lieut. 181 BC, tr. mil.? 180 BC, et al

In either scenario, we can safely assume that if Livy  had correctly identified this triumvir as the brother of the consul of 179 BC, then he had held no significant public offices before his triumvirate and only junior military positions thereafter.

Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, consul of 179 BC

Marcus’ brother, Quintus, had a much more successful career.  He is first recorded in the surviving sources in 184 BC, when he caused outrage by campaigning for the praetorship while serving as curule aedile.  He failed on this occasion but was elected as a praetor in 182 BC, and he served in this capacity in Spain for two years.  According to Livy, he:

  1. “... returned to Rome [in 179 BC] with a great reputation after his work [there].  While he was still outside the City waiting for his triumph, he was elected consul, together with L. Manlius Acidinus [Fulvianus, his brother by birth, who had been adopted into the gens Manilia].  A few days later, he entered the City in triumph with the soldiers he had brought with him [from Spain]”, ‘Roman History’, 40: 43: 4-5).

Both consuls of 179 BC commanded in Liguria, and Fulvius was awarded a second triumph.  He became censor in 174 BC (as noted above).  Livy recorded that, in this capacity, he:

  1. “... agreed [funding] for:

  2. temples of Jupiter at Pisaurum, Potentia and Fundi;

  3. bringing water to Potentia; 

  4. paving the street of Pisaurum, and 

  5. many various works at Sinuessa ... 

  6. These works  ... gained him a high degree of favour with those colonists.”, (‘History of Rome’, 41: 27; 10-12; for the number and locations of temples to Jupiter and the completion of the place name ‘Potentia', see John Briscoe, referenced below, 2012, at p. 143)

He committed suicide in 172 BC.

Quintus Fulvius Nobilior

As noted above, Cicero recorded that:

  1. “Quintus Nobilior, the son of Marcus, ... presented [the poet] Ennius (who had served under his father in Aetolia [in 189 BC]) ... with Roman citizenship when he founded a colony in quality of triumvir”, (‘Brutus, a History of Famous Orators’, 79).

Cicero was clearly of the opinion that the third triumvir mentioned by Livy was the son of Marcus Fulvius Nobilor, the consul of 189 BC, who had been awarded a triumph in 187 BC for the defeat of the Aetolian League. 

Ernst Badian (referenced below, at pp. 183-5) suggested that this Quintus Fulvius was mentioned again by Livy in the context of an epidemic of plague in 180 BC, when:

  1. “Publius Manlius ..., one of the three epulones [superintendents of the sacrificial banquets] fell victim, and Quintus Fulvius, son of Marcus, was appointed in his place, while still wearing the toga praetexta”, (‘History of Rome’, 40: 42: 7).

If this is correct, then he would have been barley 12 years old in 184 BC.  Even if the young priest appointed in 180 BC was someone else, we are still potentially considering the career of someone who served as :

  1. triumvir at Pisaurum and Potentia in 184 BC;

  2. aedile in 160 BC; and

  3. consul in 153 BC.

Graham Sumner (referenced below, at p. 40), who was of the same opinion as Badian, argued that the gap 184-60 is a very long one, and that :

  1. “... it was surely not Quintus but Marcus Fulvius Nobilior [Quintus’ older brother, the aedile of 166 BC and consul of 159 BC] who was the triumvir of 184 BC (aged about 19 or 20).  What may have happened is that ‘M. Fulvius M.f’ and ‘Q. Fulvius M.f’’ in the original record ... were filled out with the wrong cognomina by a later source. ”

Thus, the correct record after the addition of the correct cognomina would have been:

  1. “Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, son of Marcus and Quintus FulviusFlaccus, son of Marcus”.

John Briscoe (referenced below, 2008, at p. 368) objected that this would leave us with an otherwise unknown a Quintus Fulvius Flaccus son of Marcus:

  1. the suffect consul of 180 BC was a son of Cnaeus; and

  2. the consul of 179 BC was a son of Quintus.

More generally, Briscoe reasonably pointed out that:

  1. “... we simply do not know the ages of the Nobiliores when they reached curule office, and it is not much easier to [countenance] a triumvir aged 19 or 20 [than one aged 12 or 13].  If the gap between 184 and 160 BC  is considered too long, a simpler solution would be to make [the triumvir] Q. Fulvius Nobilior a brother [rather than a son] of the consul of 189 BC.”

This is indeed possible, although it would leave us with a triumvir who was an otherwise unknown brother of the consul of 189 BC.

Perhaps it is better simply to take Livy and Cicero at face value, accepting that:

  1. although the younger son of the consul of 189 BC was probably older than 12 in 184 BC, he was probably in his teens; and

  2. after this early start to his career, he took another 24 years to attain curule office.

Amanda Coles (referenced below, at p. 315), for example, was apparently of this view: she reasonably assumed that this third triumvir had held no earlier significant public offices but that, after a gap, he became:

  1. “aed. cur. 160 BC, pr. by 156 BC, cos.153 BC, cens. 136 BC”.

M. et Q. Fulvii, Flaccus et Nobilior: Conclusions

Amanda Coles (referenced below in the table at p. 295) observed that:

  1. “... the two young Fulvii [in this triumvirate], M. Fulvius Flaccus and Q. Fulvius Nobilior ... were members of families [that were] well favoured politically and popularly at that time ... It seems unlikely that these two young Fulvii, neither of whom had yet held an office, could have been nominated, let alone elected, as stand-alone candidates for the colonial commission without their family’s assistance.”

However, the inclusion of two completely inexperienced individuals in a colonial commission would have been extremely unusual: her comprehensive table (at pp. 311-7) included only one other possible example.  As she elaborated (at p. 295), the combination of:

  1. “... an experienced magistrate and two relatively unknown young men seems [also] to have occurred [in] the commission to found Luca [in 180 BC, which comprised]:

  2. Fabius Buteo [probably the praetor of 181 BC]; and;

  3. [two men who had not previously held a public office]: M. Popilius Laenas and P. Popilius Laenas.

  4. Again, it is unlikely that Publius Popilius Laenas, who had held no magistracy before or after the commission, would have been elected as commissioner on his own in a direct election.”

John Briscoe (referenced below, 2008, at p. 520) pointed out that Pubius Popilius Laenas is otherwise unknown, and that Livy might well have been in error here: this was more probably Caius Popilius Laenas, the brother of Marcus and consul of 172 BC.  Nevertheless, Amanda Coles’ point stands: it is unlikely that either Marcus or Caius had held a significant public office before 180 BC (albeit that they both went on to higher things), and it thus seaam likely that they owed these appointment to family connections.  However, more importantly for our purposes, Briscoe also pointed out that Livy’s record of this commission (‘Roman History’, 40: 43: 1) does not mention Luca: the commission he described related to an unnamed Latin colony that was to be established on land offered by Pisae: 

  1. Edward Salmon (referenced below, 1933, at pp. 31-2) pointed out that there is no evidence to suggest that the colony in question was at Luca.

  2. John Briscoe (referenced below, 2008, at p. 520) suggested that this offer from Pisa was, in any case, never taken up. 

Thus, the commissioners of 180 BC, whom Livy described as “the supervisors of the settlement”, might simply have been appointed to report on the viability of the proposal.  If so, they cannot be compared to the colonial commissioners at Pisaurum and Potentia.

In other words, even allowing for the exceptional family connections of the two Fulvii named by Livy as triumvirs in 184 BC, their apparent inexperience at this time was, as far as we know, unprecedented for appointments of this kind, and this must raise concerns about the accuracy of Livy’s record.  There is also the question of  the formulation: “M. et Q. Fulvii, Flaccus et Nobilio: why did  he not simply record their names as ‘M. Fulvius Flaccus et Q. Fulvius Nobilior, if that is what he meant?  I suspect that his source was corrupt, and that he simply did not know which praenomen belonged with which cognomen.  Cicero was unlikely to have had a better source than Livy. It seems to me that the correct formulation would have been:

  1. Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, the older son of the consul of 189 BC, who became aedile in 166 BC and consul in 159 BC; and

  2. Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, the curule aedile of 184 BC, who became consul in 179 BC.

However, this is far from certain.   In my view, all we can really say is that the triumvirate of 184 BC comprised:

  1. Quintus Fabius Labeo, who became consul in the following year; and

  2. two members of the gens Fulvia

  3. one from the family of Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, the consul of 189 BC; and

  4. the other: either Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, the consul of 179 BC; or a member of his family.

Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, Consul of 189 BC

Amanda Coles (referenced below, at p. 295) suggested that:

  1. “... the coincidence of having two Fulvii on the commission [of 184 BC] suggests that there was cooperation in forming the board, which then campaigned as a unit in the election.”

It seems to me that the man behind this putative concerted action must have been Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, the consul of 189 BC, who was by far the most senior of the three men identified above.  This might have heralded an increasing role for assertive individuals to play an active role in colonisation.  For example, Edward Salmon (referenced below, 1970, at pp. 103) observed:

  1. “... since the Second Punic War, [the Senate] had been responsible for all foundations of new Latin colonies or reinforcements of old ones.  But large citizen colonies were not going to be left indefinitely to the discretion of the Senate.  The man responsible for a foundation became its patron and the settlers in it became his clients: a large citizen colony could provide a more influential retinue than a [small] colonia maritima or a large Latin colony might be expected to do. ... [Initially], the citizen colony continued to be in the main a strategic instrument, but it is significant that rivalry for the role of founding commissioner had already become very keen.”

Salmon suggest  that, increasingly, aspiring statesman began to pursue colonising programmes of their own, and observed (at. p. 186, note 181) that:

  1. “The military need for the colonies at Saturnia (183 BC) and Graviscae (181 BCis[,afterall’] not very evident.”

It seems to me that this was no less true at Pisaurum and Potentia in 184 BC.

In order to assess Fulvius’ possible impact on the character of the new colonies of 184 BC, it is worth discussing his career to this point in some detail.  (Much of this material is also relevant to the discussion below on the sculptures from Civitalba.)

Career of Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, Consul of 189 BC

When Fulvius was elected consul in 189 BC, he was given the province of Aetolia in northwestern Greece, while his colleague, Cnaeus Manlius Vulso, was assigned to Asia.  Each consul had his command prorogued until 187 BC, the year that saw the election as consul of Fulvius’ inveterate enemy, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus.  Livy reported that, immediately after his election, Aemilius argued that:

  1. “... since the Aetolian war was finished, since Asia had been rescued from Antiochus, [and since the Gallic tribes there, known as the Galatians] had been conquered, then:

  2. either [one of the new] consuls should be sent to command [all] the consular armies [in these regions; or

  3. these legions] should be recalled [to Rome]. 

  4. After hearing this, the Senate persisted in its decision that both [of the new] consuls should have Liguria as their province; [nevertheless,] it was  voted that Manlius and Fulvius should retire from their provinces and [return with] their armies ... to Rome”, (‘History of Rome’, 38: 42: 13).

Livy seems to imply here that, had Aemilius not intervened at this point, Fulvius and Manlius would have had their respective commands prorogued for another [lucrative] year.

Each of the returning ex-consuls requested a triumph: in the case of Fulvius, this related to his victory over the Aetolian League.  Crucially, this campaign had included the successful siege of Ambracia, the ancient capital of King Pyrrhus of Epirus: Fulvius lifted this siege only when the city surrendered and agreed to the payment of a vast treasure (much of it from the royal Palace) that was now destined for Rome.  However, while Fulvius was still in transit, Aemilius brought a delegation from Ambracia to Rome in the hope of thwarting his (Fulvius’) triumphal ambitions.  Livy was in no doubt as to Aemilius’ motivation:

  1. “There was a feud between Marcus Fulvius and the consul Marcus Aemilius [which dated back at least to Aemilius’s failure at the consular elections of 189 BC, a failure that he apparently blamed on Fulvius] ... Therefore, with a view to making Fulvius unpopular, [Aemilius] introduced to the Senate ambassadors of the Ambraciots, who had been previously coached as to their charges and were to complain [that Fulvius’ excessively savage treatment of them had been illegal, since there had been no declaration of war]”, (‘History of Rome’, 38: 43: 1-2).

Aemilius’ colleague, Caius Flaminius, opposed Aemilius in this attempt: according to Livy:

  1. “Gaius Flaminius took up the cause of Marcus Fulvius, saying ... ‘[It is true] that Ambracia was besieged and captured, that its statues and other works of art were removed, and that other things were done that are usually done when cities are captured ... [However, since] there is no way in which [the Ambraciots] can separate themselves from the Aetolians, [they cannot claim that they had not been at war with Rome when Fulvius took these actions against them.]  Therefore, let my colleague [Aemilius] either expend his malice in some other way: or, if he prefers [to continue], let him keep his Ambraciots here until the arrival of Marcus Fulvius.  I shall permit no decree to be passed concerning either the Ambraciots or the Aetolians in the absence of Marcus Fulvius’”, (‘History of Rome’, 38: 43: 7-13).

By the time that Fulvius arrived in Rome, Aemilius was campaigning in Liguria, but a tribune of the plebs, Marcus Arburius, threatened to veto any decree in relation to Fulvius’ prospective triumph in Aemilius’ absence.  However, after a heated debate, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus persuaded Arburius to withdraw his threat, and the triumph was duly awarded. 

Livy reported that, having thanked the Senate for the award to his triumph, Fulvius:

  1. “... went on to say that he had vowed the Great Games to Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the day when he had captured Ambracia [and] that, for this purpose, 100 pounds of gold had been contributed by the cities.  ... the Senate granted permission to Fulvius for [the necessary expenditure], provided that he did not exceed a total of 80,000 sesterces. ... [Fulvius duly] triumphed  over the Aetolians and over Cephallania [on 23rd December, 187 BC].  [The huge spoils from the victorious campaign were displayed in the triumphal procession] ...  To the soldiers, out of the booty, he gave 25 denarii each, twice that amount to each centurion, and thrice to each cavalryman”, (‘History of Rome’, 39: 5: 7-17).

Coincidently, the request of Fulvius’ erstwhile colleague, Cnaeus Manlius Vulso, for a triumph over the Galatians also faced opposition (for reasons that need not detain us).  Although the triumph was eventually granted, Manlius found it expedient to postpone it until the very end of the consular year.  What is potentially relevant for our purposes is Livy’s description of Manlius’ postponed triumph, which took place on 5th March, 186 BC:

  1. “In his triumph Gnaeus Manlius carried [a vast amount of gold and silver]; there were also arms and many Gallic spoils transported in carts ... To the soldiers, he gave 42 denarii each, twice that amount to each centurion and thrice to each cavalryman, and he gave them also double pay ...  Such songs were sung by the soldiers about their commander that it was easily seen that they were sung about an indulgent leader who sought popularity, and that the triumph was marked more by the applause of the military than by that of the civil population”, (‘History of Rome’, 39: 7: 1-3).

It seems to me that many of the soldiers who participated in these two triumphs had probably served in the east since 191 BC, and that many of them would therefore have been ready for retirement.  I wonder whether Fulvius’ apparently active interest in the forthcoming  colonial foundations at Pisaurum and Potentia arose in the context of a desire to resettle his veterans (and perhaps those of his erstwhile colleague).  After all, men like these, who had been amply rewarded for their service, might be expected to make excellent clients of their erstwhile commanders.

Livy subsequently described the lavish games that Fulvius staged in a particularly ‘Grecian’ manner 186 BC:

  1. “Then, for 10 days and with great magnificence, Marcus Fulvius gave the games that he had vowed during the Aetolian war.  Many actors ... came from Greece to do him honour.  Also, for the first time, a contest of athletes was then made a spectacle for the Romans, and a hunt of lions and panthers was [staged] ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 39: 2: 1-3).

As Amanda Coles (referenced below, at p. 295) pointed out, these games took place:

  1. “... perhaps right around the time when the commission [that would arrange the foundation of the colonies at Pisaurum and Potentia] was elected.”

The implication of this remark seems to be that the resulting public popularity would have facilitated Fulvius’ putative campaign for the election of a triumvirate for these foundations, which would be conducive to his interests.

A Fulvian Faction ?

The events surrounding the award of Fulvius’ triumph in 187 BC illustrate how fierce was the competition between the leading men of Rome at this point: even the most successful among them needed a body of support from among his peers.  This is not to say that either Caius Flaminius or  Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus belonged to a recognisably pro-Fulvian faction that supported his cause for no other reason: they presumably saw through the malice in Aemilius‘ actions and opposed him accordingly.  Nevertheless, it is hard to avoid the feeling that prominent men like Fulvius and Aemilius would have had allies, bound to them by family ties and/or mutual self-interest, who would support them ‘right or wrong’.

Howard Scullard (referenced below, at p. 135) suggested that Fulvius had emerged at the head of a recognisable faction during the consular election of 189 BC.  According to Livy, this was:

  1. “... a heated contest. Marcus Aemilius Lepidus sought the office under general censure because,  in order to sue for the office, he had left his province of Sicily without having asked the Senate for permission.  His competitors for office were: Marcus Fulvius Nobilior; Cneius Manlius Vulso; and Marcus Valerius Messala.  Fulvius alone was elected consul, since the others could not make up the [required] number of centuries; and the next day, rejecting Lepidus, (for Messala had declined) , [Fulvius] declared Cneius Manlius as his colleague” (‘History of Rome, 37: 47; 6-7).

This is a compressed account of what was obviously an unusual election, and it seems very unlikely that, after Valerius’ apparent elimination, Fulvius was in a position to decide which of Aemilius and Manlius would prevail.  Nevertheless, as discussed above, Livy obviously believed that the enmity between Fulvius and Aemilius date back to these events.  Howard Scullard (referenced below, at pp. 135-6), was of the opinion that, by whatever means, Fulvius had:

  1. “... secured the rejection of Aemilius by obtaining Manlius as his colleague.  [Thus he] ...  aided Manlius, whose family links had [previously] been with the Fabii ... [and thus was able] to establish [a] new coalition.”

It is important to note that the activities of Fulvius and Manlius were not particularly co-ordinated.  Furthermore, while Aemilius apparently engineered the end of both commands in 187 BC, his action was probably motivated by the hope of securing the eastern command himself, and by his enmity with Fulvius: there is no evidence that he had any particular animus towards Manlius.  There is certainly no evidence that Aemilius was behind the problems that Manlius faced in relation to his request for a triumph.  Both men were among the nine ex-consuls who competed for the censorship in 184 BC, but there is no evidence that they campaigned together and neither was successful.  In short, the suggestion that the two men had a particularly close relationship following the election of 189 BC, although is is possible that the Scullard’s suggested coalition between the Fulvii, the Manlii and the Fabii can be detected in the triumviral commission of 184 BC.

Quintus Fabius Labeo

Fabius was elected as praetor in 189 BC and served under Cnaeus Manlius Vulso in Asia.  Howard Scullard (referenced below, at p. 136) argued that the putative ‘arrangement’ by which Fulvius had secured Manlius as his consular colleague at this time:

  1. “...was further demonstrated by the fact that [at least two] of the praetors for 189 BC were ... Fabians: Q. Fabius Labeo and Q. Fabius Pictor ... the new consuls pressed home their success ... : Asia fell to Manlius and  Aetolia fell to Fabius, while Q. Fabius Labeo ... [received]the eastern naval command.”

In other words, Fabius’ links to Fulvius had begun in 189 BC, with the formation of what was, in effect, a new and recognisable political faction.

Livy reported that:

  1. “Cnaeus Manlius, the consul, arrived in Asia and Quintus Fabius Labeo, the praetor, reached the fleet [there], at about the same time.  ... It appeared best to Quintus Fabius ... to sail over to the island of Crete [where he might find something useful to do.]   Valerius Antias relates that the Cretans released as many as 4,000 [Roman] captives [to Fabius] ... because they feared his threats of war; and that this was deemed a sufficient reason for Fabius to obtain from the Senate a naval triumph [in 188 BC], although he performed no other exploit”, (‘History of Rome’, 37: 60: 1-6).

Livy’s source here, Valerius Antias, seems to have drawn on a body of opinion in Rome that opposed Fabius’ triumph (perhaps with good reason).   All we know about the formal process that led to the award of this triumph comes from a remark that (according to Livy) Manlius made in his speech in the Senate in furtherance of his own triumphal aspirations:

  1. “Conscript fathers, I envy no man's honours; but, on a recent occasion, you yourselves deterred ... the tribunes of the people ... from impeding the triumph of Quintus Fabius Labeo: Fabius [thus] enjoyed a triumph; and yet his adversaries alleged ... that he had not seen the enemy at all.  Whereas I, who [manifestly] fought so many pitched battles, ...  am not only [potentially] defrauded of a triumph but am obliged to plead my cause before you ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 38: 47: 5-6).

All we can really take from this is that, for whatever reason, the opposition to Fabius’ triumph came from the tribunes of the people.  Nevertheless, it seems that Manlius (at least, as reported by Livy) was at least equivocal in his support for Fabius:

  1. he did not directly endorse the tribunes’ opinion of the merits of Fabius’ case for a triumph; but

  2. by pointing out that his own degree of enemy engagement had clearly exceeded that of the already triumphant Fabius (who had been been nominally under his command), he cannot have done Fabius’ reputation any good. 

In short, if Livy’s account reasonably represents what Manlius actually said, then  there is no evidence here of the new coalition proposed by Scullard.  However, John Briscoe (referenced below, 1968, at p. 153, note 4) argued that :

  1. “In 189 BC, [Fabius] Labeo commanded the fleet, and received a completely undeserved triumph.   In the same year the pontifex maximus P. Licinius Crassus, an old supporter of Scipio [and thus, in his view, an enemy of the Fulvii], prevented C. Fabius Pictor, the flamen quirinalis, from leaving Rome.  In 189 BC, then, it is reasonable to regard the Fabii as supporting the Fulvian group ...”

In other words, in Briscoe’s view, Fabius could not have received his triumph without the active support of ‘the Fulvian group’ (cf Scullard’s ‘new coalition’) and, taken together with the evidence relating to C. Fabius Pictor, this suggests that the Fabii were part of it.  I doubt that the factional battle lines were as tightly drawn as this, although there is no reason to doubt that the main players in the successful eastern campaign of 189-7 BC were well-disposed to each other.

Fabius was an unsuccessful candidate in the consular elections of 185 and 184 BC.  John Briscoe (referenced below, 1968, at p. 154) suggested that:

  1. “Fabius [Labeo] had been the official ‘Fulvian’ candidate in the consular election of 184 BC.”

However, this too might over-emphasise the factional nature of Roman politics at this time.  He certainly served as a triumvir at what was probably the Fulvian project at Pisaurum and Potentia in that year.  However, he also served in the same capacity at Saturnia in the following year, which was also the year in which he finally reached the consulate.   Amanda Coles (referenced below, at pp, 303-4) suggested that his active participation in these two colonial projects:

  1. “... meant that there were a large number of grateful, soon-to-be colonists in Rome for his successful bid for the consulship of 183.  These were probably the colonists from Saturnia, founded in 183 and thus in planning during the 184 elections, rather than the colonists from Potentia and Pisaurum, which were already founded by 184 BC.  [Fabius] focused his energy on two time-consuming colonial commissions for the new, large citizen colonies just as he made back-to-back bids for the consulship in Rome.  The colonial commissions seem to be one of the tools [that he] employed to maintain public visibility, gain popular support and thus finally win his consulship.”

Having striven so hard for success, it seems that he did little with it: he was assigned to Liguria bit, according to Livy:

  1. “[Nothing] worth recording was done by the consul Quintus Fabius among the Ligurians” (‘Roman History’, 39: 56: 3 ).

His last known public appointment was in 180 BC, when he replaced as pontifex Lucius Valerius Flaccus, who had died in that year’s outbreak of plague.

Quintus Fulvius Flaccus

Quintus Fulvius Flaccus had only just achieved curule office in 184 BC, albeit that he was manifestly ambitious and about to embark on a spectacular career.  As noted above, his birth brother had been adopted into the gens Manlia, becoming Lucius Manlius Acidinus Fulvianus. John Briscoe thus observed that the brothers:

  1. “... belong to the same gentes as the consuls of 189 [Marcus Fulvius Nobilior and Cnaeus Manlius Vulso.  The former] was censor in 179 BC, [the year in which the brothers served together as consuls].”


Adapted from the Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire 

Civitalba is the name of a hill some 6 km northeast of Sentinum along the Misa valley (as marked on the map above).  The casual discovery here in 1896 of a group of terracotta sculptures led to excavations that revealed the remains of streets and houses, enclosed by a wall.  This suggested that this had been the site of a small settlement from the Republican period.  According to Peter Holliday (referenced below, at p. 24), these systematic excavations also yielded further terracotta sculptures, which were found in what seem to have been a terracotta workshop.  He suggested that they:

  1. “... belonged to  a store of pieces [that had been] made at this location [and] had never been utilised.”

He further observed (at p. 30) that:

  1. “... since [the surviving fragments] were found in the context of a workshop and had never been painted, they probably had never been put to use.  In fact, more figures may have been intended for the final composition(s).”

These fragments are now exhibited in the Museo Archeologico delle Marche, Ancona.

Deep relief decoration, probably for a temple pediment

This and the photograph below are from the website of “Ancona Today’’

Some of these fragments seem to have been intended for the decoration of the pediment of a temple.  As currently displayed, the scene on the left probably represents Dionysus’ discovery of Ariadne on Naxos ,and the scene of the left probably represents their union,  At the centre, three winged figures hold a veil above a a lost part of the composition.

Other fragments seem to have been intended to form part of a frieze  and to depict a number of Gauls apparently carrying loot and fleeing from an attack by two goddesses, one of which has been identified as Artemis.  Peter Holliday (referenced below, at pp. 31-2) characterised  this composition as:
  1. “... the largest and most complex surviving representation of a battle against the Gauls, and specific iconographic details [of it] are reminiscent of models found in eastern Greek art.  ... The large scale and public nature of the Civitalba sculptures, their subject and style, and the fact that they probably date to the 2nd century BC, invite us to search for some Pergamene connection.”

Holliday made the case for a connection to Pergamum here in artistic terms, but there was also a compelling political case for it: Rome and their long-time allies from Pergamum defeated the Gallic tribes of Galatia in Asia Minor in 189 BC.  Furthermore, the Attalid dynasty of  Pergamum had based its right to rule on a series of defeats it had previously inflicted  on the Galatian tribes, and these were celebrated in monumental art, not only at Pergamum but also at Delphi and Athens.  The associated iconography came to encapsulate the inherent superiority of the Greeks and their gods over the barbarians. represented by the Gauls. Furthermore, Holliday observed (at p. 37) that the subject matter of the pediment had a particular significance in the context to Pergamum, where:

  1. “... Dionysus ... [was] a patron deity of the Attalids.”

Peter Holliday (referenced below, at p. 34) observed that:

  1. “Although we remain ignorant about the exact nature and function of the building(s) for which the Civitalba sculptures were made, their find spot [close to the later municipium of Sentinum] was perhaps the centre of a cult sacred to the [Roman settlers here...] after the famous battle [of 295 BC and the subsequent expulsion of the Senones in 283 BC].  That process concluded ... [soon] after the triumph of Cnaeus Manlius Fulso over the [Gauls] in Asia Minor [in 187 BC], with the [foundation] of the colonies of Pisaurum and Potentia [in 184 BC , as discussed above].  Although fashioned [outside Rome], this sculptural programme may also have been meant to play a key role in [furthering] the political aspirations of contentious Roman aristocrats vying for power at home.”


As noted above, Sentinum was linked to Camerinum  and the Valle Umbra by a route along a syncline valley.  Furthermore, from 283 BC, another route to the northwest along the Misa valley  led to Sena Gallica.  One would expect that such a strategically important site would have been urbanised at an early date.  

However, Marina Lo Blundo (referenced below, at p. 15) pointed out that: 

  1. “In relation to the origins of the [urban centre] of Sentinum, only archaeological data come to our rescue: [the surviving literary sources, which relate to the Battle of Sentinum in 295 BC] speak only of the territory of Sentinum and do not mention the presence of nearby urban centres at the time of the battle.  We might reasonably assume the existence of  ... a [dispersed] rural community centred on the area of the river Sentinum, including the [nearby] site of Civitalba [discussed below].   [However, the archaeological finds found at the excavated site some 1.5 km south of modern Sassoferrrato] do not date back before ca. 100 BC, and seem to associate  the birth of the city to the reorganisation of the territory after the Social War (91-89 BC)  ...” (my translation).

Simone Sisani (referenced below, 2006, at p. 278) suggested that an inscription (CIL XI 5764) found at this site recorded the construction of its walls in the decades following the Social War.  The outlines of its history from that point are reasonably clear:

  1. municipalised as a quattuorvirate, presumably soon after the Social War, and assigned to the Lemonia tribe;

  2. destroyed by Octavian in 41 BC; and

  3. viritane settlement thereafter. 

However, the history of Sentinum from the time of the creation of the ager Gallicus until the Social War is almost completely undocumented. 

Simome Sisani (referenced below, 2007, at p. 188) noted, the discovery at nearby Civitalba of important remains from the decoration of a Roman temple that probably dated to the early 2nd century BC (as discussed below), noting that:

  1. “This chronology allows us to assume settlement of the district of Sentinum [at this time]: even though it is was probably part of the ager Gallicus, there does not at the present time seem to be evidence for viritane settlement here that is directly related to [the lex Flaminia agraria] of 232 BC [discussed below]” (my translation). 

In other words, while much of the ager Gallicus was settled following the lex Flaminia of 232 BC (discussed below):

  1. the earliest evidence we have for settlement in the vicinity of Sentinum dates to a period some 50 years later; and 

  2. we have no evidence for an urban centre of Sentinum before the Social War.

Sisani’s hypothesis in relation to Sentinum is based on a series of assumptions.  He began by asserting (at p. 221) that:

  1. “The terminus ante quem for the viritane settlement of the agro sentinate is provided by the architectural decoration of the temple of Civitalba, which was erected shortly after 187 BC and thus soon after the [Scipian settlement programme of] 200-199 BC” (my translation). 

He conceded that there is no direct evidence for the dedication of this temple, but suggested that it had probably been dedicated to Jupiter Victor:

  1. “... the deity to whom Fabius Rullianus had [vowed  a temple at the Battle of Sentinum in 295 BC, which he subsequently built] on the Quirinal [in Rome].  An inscription [CIL  VI 438 that was] ... found on the hill attests to the fact that this building had been restored by the consul P. Cornelius L. f .... , without doubt the consul of 236 BC, [Publius Cornelius Lentulus Caudinus] ...” (my translation).

He therefore hypothesised (at p. 222):

  1. “... a direct link between [the Cornelii Lentuli] and the construction of the temple of Civitalba, which was built without doubt in the historical context of the viritane settlement carried out by Scipio, which perhaps led to the settlement in the area of other members of this family...” (my translation).

In his view, all this indicated that the Lemonia, like the Cornelia and the Aemilia, was a tribe to which veterans were assigned during the Scipian settlement programme of ca. 199 BC.

I have to say that, while this is a plausible reconstruction of events, it is hardly watertight:

  1. The subjects of the surviving reliefs from the temple at Civitalba certainly suggest that it celebrated the Roman victory at nearby Sentinum in 295 BC.  However, as Sisani pointed out, there is no hard evidence that this temple was dedicated to Jupiter Victor: this hypothesis is based entirely on the circumstantial evidence that, according to Livy, Fabius had vowed to build a temple to Jupiter Victor in Rome after his victory in this battle.  If the temple at Civitalba was not  dedicated to Jupiter Victor, then there is no reason to associate it with the Cornelii Lentuli.   

  2. There is even uncertainty about their association with Fabius’ temple of Jupiter Victor at Rome: while it is the usually accepted that it was on the Quirinal (as Sisani asserted), some scholars suggest that it was on the site of the “aedes Iovis victoris” that was listed in regio X (Palatium) in the regionary catalogues in the so-called ‘Chronograph of 354 AD’ .  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, at p. 327), for example, did not rule this out, albeit that he referred to:

  3. “... the slightly more probable view that it was on the Quirinal, [which] depends on [CIL VI 438], a dedication to Jupiter Victor found on the hill.” 

  4. If Fabius’ temple was not on the Quirinal, then there is no reason to associate it with CIL VI 438 and hence with the Cornelii Lentuli. 

  5. The reliefs from the temple at Civitalba are clearly Roman and generally dated to the early 2nd century BC.  However, there is (as far as I am aware) no hard evidence for the assertion that the temple itself was built following a programme of veteran settlement in the agro sentinate.

  6. There is ample evidence (as put forward by Sisani) that members of the Cornelii Lentuli participated in various capacities in the engagements of the Second Punic War.  However, there is (as far as I am aware) no hard evidence that any of them subsequently benefitted from the Scipian programme of veteran settlement, whether in the agro sentinate or anywhere else.







  1. Read more:

S. Sisani,  “Fenomenologia della Conquista: La Romanizzazione dell' Umbria tra il IV sec. a. C. e la Guerra Sociale”, (2007) Rome

D. Gargola, “Lands, Laws, and Gods: Magistrates and Ceremony in the Regulation of Public Lands in Republican Rome”, (1999)

E. Salmon, “Roman Colonisation Under the Republic”, (1970) New York

A. Coles, “Founding Colonies and Fostering Careers in the Middle Republic” Classical Journal, 112:3 (2017) 280-317

A. Llamazares Martín , Reconstruyendo la Carrera de Tiberio Graco Maior: Algunas Reconsideraciones en Torno a las Magistraturas Menores”, Studia Historica: Historia Antigua, 34 (2016) 3-40

F. Belfiori and S. Sisani, “Bambini in Fasce dal Lucus Pisaurensis: Contributo alla Rilettura Storica e Culturale del Materiale Votivo”, Picus, 35 (2015) 9-29

M. Lo Blundo, “Da Sentinum a Sassoferrato: Vita e Morte di un’ Area Sacra”, (2014), doctoral thesis from the Università degli Studi di Roma Tre

J. Briscoe, “A Commentary on Livy, Books 41-45”, (2012) Oxford

P. Holliday, “Civitalba and roman programs of Commemoration and Unification”, in:

  1. S. Bell and H. Nagy (Eds), “New Perspectives on Etruria and Early Rome: In Honour of Richard Daniel De Puma”, (2009) Madison, Wisconsin, at pp. 22-44

M. Pelikan Pittenger, “Contested Triumphs, Politics, Pageantry, and Performance in Livy’s Republican Rome”, (2009) Berkeley, Los Angeles and London

J. Briscoe, “A Commentary on Livy, Books 38-40”, (2008) Oxford

S. P. Oakley, “A Commentary on Livy, Books VI-X: Volume IV, Book X”, (2005 ) Oxford

G. Mason , “The Agrarian Role of Coloniae Maritimae: 338-241 BC”, Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, 41:1 (1992)  75-87

M. Guarducci, “Ancors sull’Antica Sors della Fortuna e di Servio Tullio”, in

  1. M. Guarducci (Ed.), “Scritti Scelti Sulla Religione Greca E Romana E Sul Cristianesimo”, (1983) Leiden, at pp. 131-7

G. V. Sumner, “The Orators in Cicero's Brutus: Prosopography and Chronology” (1973) Toronto

E. Badian, “Ennius and His Friends”, Entretiens sur l'Antiquité Classique, 17 (1972) 151-208

J. Briscoe, “Fulvii and Postumii”, Latomus, 27:1 (1968) 149-56

H. H. Scullard, “Roman Republican Politics: 220-150 BC”, (1951) Oxford

E. Salmon, “The Last Latin Colony”, Classical Quarterly, 27:1 (1933) 30-35

F. Calisti, “Re Stranieri e Divine Profetesse”, in:

  1. G. Casadio et al. (Eds), “Apex: Studi Storico-Religiosi in Onore di Enrico Montanari”, (2016) Rome, at pp. 15-28

V. Casella and M. Petraccia, “Evoluzione di una Realtà Urbana nell'Italia Centrale: Sentinum”, in:

  1. F. Mainardis (Ed.), “Voce Concordi: Scritti per Claudio Zaccaria”, (2016) Trieste, at pp. 127-42

A. Nijboer, “Funerary Symbols on the Temple Decorations from the Talamonaccio”, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology, 2 (1991) 17–28

  1. Roman Republic: Roman Prefectures

  2. Victory Temples and the Third Samnite War      Victory Temples in Rome (146 BC)

  3. End of theRepublic

Return to the History Index