Gaius Manlius Valens

Gaius Manlius Valens (AD 6 - 96)[1] was a Roman senator of the late first century AD. He was selected as consul ordinarius in his ninetieth year, serving with Gaius Antistius Vetus in AD 96.[2]

The primary sources differ over Manlius Valens' praenomen. A number of inscriptions state it is "Titus", such as CIL VI, 17707; however both Cassius Dio and the Fasti Ostienses state it is "Gaius".

Aged 45 or 46, Valens was already older than the average legatus commanding a legion in Roman Britain when the governor Publius Ostorius Scapula died. The identity of the legion is not definitely known: although Legio II Augusta has been proposed, Anthony Birley believes Legio XX Valeria Victrix is more likely.[2] Although emperor Claudius quickly selected a replacement for Scapula, Aulus Didius Gallus, between Scapula's death and the arrival of a new governor the Silurians had defeated the legion under Valens' command.[3]

The defeat in Britain likely set back his career, for Manlius Valens does not appear in the historical record until towards the end of the reign of Nero, when he became legate of the newly formed Legio I Italica at Lugdunum; this fact caused Birley to comment that "at sixty-two or sixty-three he is by far the oldest known legionary legate."[2] During the Year of the Four Emperors, Valens and the legion sided with Lucius Vitellius;[4] however, this did not gain him any favor from Vitellius due to Fabius Valens defaming him behind his back.[5] Since Legio I Italica was present at the two battles of Bedriacum, it is likely Valens was also a participant in one or both battles. However, with the success of Vespasian, Valens retired from public life.

Why Domitian selected him, a general of an enemy of his father, as eponymous consul almost 30 years later, Birley confesses is a mystery.[2] Manlius Valens died the same year he was consul.

References

  1. ^ Cassius Dio, LXVII.14
  2. ^ a b c d Anthony Birley, The Fasti of Roman Britain (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981), p. 230
  3. ^ Tacitus, Annales, XII.40
  4. ^ Tacitus, Histories I.59
  5. ^ Tacitus, Histories, I.64
Political offices
Preceded by
Quintus Pomponius Rufus,
and Lucius Baebius Tullus

as Suffect consuls
Consul of the Roman Empire
96
with Gaius Antistius Vetus
Succeeded by
Quintus Fabius Postuminus,
and Titus Prifernius

as Suffect consuls
Domitian

Domitian (; Latin: Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus Augustus; 24 October 51 – 18 September 96 AD) was Roman emperor from 81 to 96. He was the younger brother of Titus and the son of Vespasian, his two predecessors on the throne, and the last member of the Flavian dynasty. During his reign, the authoritarian nature of his rule put him at sharp odds with the senate, whose powers he drastically curtailed.

Domitian had a minor and largely ceremonial role during the reigns of his father and brother. After the death of his brother, Domitian was declared emperor by the Praetorian Guard. His 15-year reign was the longest since that of Tiberius. As emperor, Domitian strengthened the economy by revaluing the Roman coinage, expanded the border defenses of the empire, and initiated a massive building program to restore the damaged city of Rome. Significant wars were fought in Britain, where his general Agricola attempted to conquer Caledonia (Scotland), and in Dacia, where Domitian was unable to procure a decisive victory against king Decebalus. Domitian's government exhibited strong authoritarian characteristics; he saw himself as the new Augustus, an enlightened despot destined to guide the Roman Empire into a new era of brilliance. Religious, military, and cultural propaganda fostered a cult of personality, and by nominating himself perpetual censor, he sought to control public and private morals. As a consequence, Domitian was popular with the people and army, but considered a tyrant by members of the Roman Senate.

Domitian's reign came to an end in 96 when he was assassinated by court officials. He was succeeded the same day by his advisor Nerva. After his death, Domitian's memory was condemned to oblivion by the Roman Senate, while senatorial authors such as Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, and Suetonius propagated the view of Domitian as a cruel and paranoid tyrant. Modern revisionists instead have characterized Domitian as a ruthless but efficient autocrat whose cultural, economic, and political programs provided the foundation of the peaceful second century.

Publius Ostorius Scapula

Publius Ostorius Scapula (died 52) was a Roman statesman and general who governed Britain from 47 until his death, and was responsible for the defeat and capture of Caratacus.

Quintus Fabius Postuminus

Quintus Fabius Postuminus was a Roman senator who was suffect consul in the nundinum May-August 96 with Titus Prifernius (possibly surnamed Paetus) as his colleague.Because the last known member of the republican and Patrician family of the Fabii was Paullus Fabius Persicus who died in the reign of Claudius, it is likely that Postuminus is descended from one of the clientes or freedmen of that house. Ronald Syme notes that there are about 300 Fabii known in the Spanish provinces, as well as 50 in Gallia Narbonensis; so it is likely Postuminus' origins were in one of the Western provinces.

Following the assassination of Domitian, Postuminus was present in the Senate House when Pliny the Younger initiated his prosecution of Publicius Certus; Postuminus joined Lucius Domitius Apollinaris, Aulus Didius Gallus Fabricius Veiento, and Quintus Fulvius Gillo Bittius Proculus in defending Certius.Postuminus was proconsular governor for two different provinces. He was governor of Moesia Inferior in 102/103, then almost a decade later held the proconsular post of governor of Asia in 111/112, a position modern historians considered the acme of a senatorial career.

Quintus Pomponius Rufus

Quintus Pomponius Rufus was a Roman senator active in the imperial service; he was governor during the reigns of the emperors Domitian and Trajan. Rufus was also suffect consul for the nundinium September-December AD 95 as the colleague of Lucius Baebius Tullus. Pomponius Rufus is known primarily from inscriptions.

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