Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo (Peltuinum c. 7 – 67 AD) was a Roman general, brother-in-law of the emperor Caligula and father-in-law of Domitian. Loyal and honorable to the end, Corbulo's devotion towards his country was such that, when his emperor ordered him to commit suicide, he fell on his own sword, saying, "Axios!", meaning "I am worthy!"
Corbulo was born somewhere on the Italian peninsula into a senatorial family. His father, who shared the same name, entered the Senate as a formal praetor under Tiberius. His mother Vistilia came from a family which held the praetorship.
The new assignment was a difficult one and Corbulo had to deal with major rebellions by the Germanic Cherusci and Chauci tribes. During his stay in Germania, the general ordered the construction of a canal between the rivers Rhine and Meuse. Parts of this engineering work, known as Fossa Corbulonis or Corbulo's Canal, have been found at archeological digs. Its course is about identical to the modern-day Vliet canal, which connects the modern towns of Leiden (ancient Matilo) and Voorburg (Forum Hadriani). Upon reaching lower Germania, Corbulo employed both the army and naval squadrons of the fleet patrolling the Rhine and North Sea, eventually expelling the Chauci away from the Roman Provinces and instituting a rigorous training program in order to ensure maximum effectiveness of his legions. He supposedly executed two legionaries after they were found to have laid aside their swords when labouring in the construction of fortifications on a marching camp. Corbulo is said to have said, "You defeat the enemy with a pickaxe."
Corbulo returned to Rome, where he stayed until 52 AD, when he was named governor of the province of Asia. Following Claudius' death in 54 AD, the new emperor Nero sent him to the eastern provinces to deal with the Armenian question. After some delay, and reinforced by troops from Germania, in 58 AD he took the offensive, and attacked Tiridates, King of Armenia and brother of Vologases I of Parthia. Artaxata and Tigranocerta were captured by his legions (III Gallica, VI Ferrata, and X Fretensis), and Tigranes, who had been brought up in Rome and was an obedient servant of the government, was installed as king of Armenia.
In 61 AD Tigranes invaded Adiabene, an integral portion of the Parthian Kingdom, and a conflict between Rome and Parthia seemed unavoidable. Instead Vologases thought it better to come to terms. It was agreed that both Roman and Parthian troops should evacuate Armenia, that Tigranes should be dethroned, and the rule of Tiridates recognized. The Roman government declined to accede to these arrangements, and Lucius Caesennius Paetus, governor of Cappadocia, was ordered to settle the question by bringing Armenia under direct Roman administration.
The protection of Syria claimed all of Corbulo's attention in the meantime. Paetus, a weak and incapable commander who "despised the fame acquired by Corbulo", suffered a severe defeat at Rhandeia in 62 AD, where he was surrounded and forced to capitulate to the Parthians and evacuated to Armenia. Command was again entrusted to Corbulo. In 63 AD, with a strong army, he crossed the Euphrates. Tiridates declined to give battle and arranged a peace. At Rhandea he laid down his diadem at the foot of the emperor's statue, promising not to resume it until he received it from the hand of Nero himself in Rome.
After two failed plots by noblemen and senators, including Corbulo's son-in-law, the senator Lucius Annius Vinicianus, to overthrow Nero in 62 AD, Nero became suspicious of Corbulo and his support among the Roman masses. In 67 AD disturbances broke out in Judaea and Nero, ordering Vespasian to take command of the Roman forces, summoned Corbulo, as well as two brothers who were the governors of Upper and Lower Germany, to Greece. On his arrival at Cenchreae, the port of Corinth, messengers from Nero met Corbulo and ordered him to commit suicide. He loyally obeyed, and fell on his own sword, saying, "Axios!"., meaning "I am worthy!"
Corbulo wrote a now-lost account of his Asiatic experiences.
Corbulo married Cassia Longina, the daughter of Gaius Cassius Longinus, consul of 30, and his wife Junia Lepida, a great-great granddaughter of Augustus. Cassia bore Corbulo two daughters. The elder daughter, Domitia, married the senator Lucius Annius Vinicianus, and their second daughter, Domitia Longina, married the future Emperor Domitian.
Quintus Sanquinius Maximus,
and Lucius Apronius Caesianus
as Suffect consuls
| Suffect consul of the Roman Empire
Aulus Didius Gallus,
and Gnaeus Domitius Afer
as Suffect consuls
Arch of Nero (Latin: Arcus Neronis) is a now lost triumphal arch dedicated to the Roman emperor Nero that was located in Rome, Italy.The arch was erected in the years between A.D. 58 and 62 and was designed to commemorate victories won by Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo in Parthia (Tacitus Annales 13.41; 15.18). Located on the slope of the Capitoline Hill in a locality referred to as inter duos lucos, the arch is known from coin representations, in which it appears as an arch with a single bay surmounted by a quadriga.The arch likely was destroyed soon after Nero's death in A.D. 68.Dolabra
The dolabra is a versatile axe used by the people of Italy since ancient times. The dolabra could serve as a pickaxe used by miners and excavators, a priest's implement for ritual religious slaughtering of animals and as an entrenching tool (mattock) used in Roman infantry tactics.
Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo said, "you defeat the enemy with a pickaxe".Domitia
Domitia is the name of women from the gens Domitius of Ancient Rome. Women from the gens include:
Domitia, wife of Quintus Lutatius Catulus (consul 102 BC) and mother of Quintus Lutatius Catulus (Capitolinus) (consul 78 BC)
Domitia Lepida the Elder or Domitia Lepida Major, aunt of Emperor Nero
Domitia Lepida the Younger, sister of the following, mother of the Roman Empress Valeria Messalina
Domitia, eldest daughter of Roman general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo and sister to Roman Empress Domitia Longina
Domitia Longina, wife of Roman Emperor Domitian
Domitia Decidiana, wife of Roman General Gnaeus Julius Agricola and mother-in-law to historian Tacitus
Domitia Lucilla, mother and maternal grandmother of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius
Domitia Paulina, Aelia Domitia Paulina, female relatives of Roman Emperor Hadrian
Domitia Faustina, a short-lived daughter of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Roman Empress Faustina the Younger
Saint Domitia, a saint of Orthodox ChristianityDomitia (daughter of Cn. Domitius Corbulo)
Domitia was a Roman noble woman who lived in the 1st century. She was the eldest daughter to Roman Consul and General Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo and Cassia Longina. Her younger sister was Domitia Longina, a future Roman Empress who would marry the future Roman Emperor Domitian. Her paternal aunt was Roman Empress Milonia Caesonia.
Domitia was born sometime towards the middle of the first century. By 63, she had married the Roman Senator Lucius Annius Vinicianus.
In the year 63 Vinicianus acted as a military commander under his father-in-law in the Euphrates. In 66, there was a conspiracy that involved Vinicianus and his father-in-law to overthrow the Roman Emperor Nero. Vinicianus refused to speak nor prove his innocence to the Emperor and committed suicide in 67.
The Roman Historian Suetonius makes a reference to their son in the account of Domitian which is mentioned in clause 12. The year that Domitia died is unknown.Domitia Longina
Domitia Longina (c. AD 53-55–c. AD 126-130) was a Roman empress and wife to the Roman emperor Domitian. She was the youngest daughter of the general and consul Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. Domitia divorced her first husband, Lucius Aelius Lamia Plautius Aelianus in order to marry Domitian in AD 71. The marriage produced only one son, whose early death is believed to have been the cause of a temporary rift between Domitia and her husband in AD 83. She became the empress upon Domitian's accession in AD 81, and remained so until his assassination in AD 96. She is believed to have died sometime between AD 126 and AD 130.Forum Hadriani
Forum Hadriani, in the modern town of Voorburg, was the northern-most Roman city on the European continent and the second oldest city of the Netherlands. It was located in the Roman province Germania Inferior and is mentioned on the Tabula Peutingeriana, a Roman road map.
The site Forum Hadriani formed the nucleus of the civitas of the Cananefates, who lived west of the Batavians. It was situated along the Fossa Corbulonis or Corbulo-canal. This waterway was established about 47 AD by the Roman general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, forming an important shortcut between the rivers Rhine and Meuse. After the Batavian Rebellion, in which they participated, the Cananefates became loyal allies of the Romans.
In 121 emperor Hadrian made a long voyage along the northwestern border of the empire, during which he visited the Cananefate town. He gave the town his own name, Forum Hadriani (Hadrian’s Market). An alternate name, maybe the only official name, was Municipium Aelium Cananefatium (Aelius being the family name of Hadrian).
The shortened version of this name, MAC, has been found engraved in a couple of Roman milestones found in the neighbourhood.
About 270 AD, after several plagues and attacks by Saxon pirates, the Romans abandoned Forum Hadriani.
In 1771 a bronze right hand was excavated during garden work on the Arentsburg estate. This hand was used by Étienne Maurice Falconet as model for the equestrian statue of Peter the Great, The Bronze Horseman. The first scientific excavations at the site of Forum Hadriani were carried out by Caspar Reuvens, between 1827-1833. Reuvens held the world's first professorship of archaeology. Reuvens died before he could publish his findings. More excavations were done between 1908 and 1915 by Jan Hendrik Holwerda, who published the results of Reuvens together with his own discoveries in a comprehensive monograph in 1923.Fossa Corbulonis
The Fossa Corbulonis (Dutch: Kanaal van Corbulo) was a Roman canal that was dug around 50 AD under the direction of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. The project was mentioned by the historians Tacitus and Cassius Dio, who reported its length as 23 Roman miles and accounted for its purpose as "in order to keep the soldiers busy and to avoid the dangers of the Ocean".
The canal connected the mouths of the rivers Meuse and Rhine in the currently Dutch delta area. Parts of the canal remained in use up to about 275 AD when the area became depopulated due to Frankish attacks.Gaius Cassius Longinus (consul AD 30)
Gaius Cassius Longinus was an Ancient Roman jurist and politician from the first century AD. A grandnephew of Servius Sulpicius Rufus, he was also a descendant, great grandson or nephew, of Gaius Cassius Longinus, one of Caesar's assassins. Longinus was suffect consul of the second half of the year 30 as the colleague of Lucius Naevius Surdinus.Cassius, a pupil of Sabinus, was head of the legal school called the Sabinians or Cassinians. His principal works are the libri (commentarii) iuris civilis in at least ten volumes, which only survive in quotes by later authors such as Iavolenus. After completing his term as suffect consul, Longinus served as proconsular governor of Asia minor in 40–41, then governor of the imperial province of Syria in 41-49. He was exiled by Nero to Sardinia in 65, but returned to Rome when Vespasian acceded to the purple.Tacitus includes a speech of Cassius on the debate that arose when there had been mass protests in Rome when 400 innocent slaves were to be executed because they belonged to the household of a master who had been murdered by his slave. It is open to question as to what extent the speech we have reflected what Cassius actually said, and to what extent it represents Tacitus's views, though it is at least possible that Tacitus made use of the Senate's records; the hard line expressed is in line with what we know about Cassius. In the speech Cassius conceded that the execution would be unjust. He also conceded it violated the rights of private interests but justified it on the grounds of the public good. The private interests that concerned him did not include any right to life for the slaves but the loss to the heirs. Modern commentators side with those who protested at the time in regarding the law as inherently unjust.He married Junia Lepida, a descendant of Augustus.
Lepida bore Longinus two children:
Cassia Longina (born c. AD 35), married to the general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, by whom she had two daughters: Domitia and Domitia Longina
Cassius Lepidus (born c. AD 55), married to an unknown woman by whom he had a daughter, Cassia Lepida (born c. AD 80). She married Gaius Julius Alexander Berenicianus (born c. AD 80), Consul in AD 116 and Proconsul Asiae in AD 132, and had a daughter, Julia Cassia AlexandraInsteia (gens)
The gens Insteia was a minor family at Rome. None of its members held any of the curule magistracies under the Republic, but several served as military commanders under Rome's leading generals during the first century BC and in Imperial times, and by the second century the family was important enough to obtain the consulship.Junia Lepida
Junia Lepida (Classical Latin: IVNIA•LEPIDA, PIR2 I 861, ca AD 18 - 65) was a Roman noblewoman who lived during the Roman Empire in the 1st century AD. Lepida was the second born daughter and was among the children born of Aemilia Lepida and Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus, a member of the Junii Silani, a family of Ancient Rome. Her maternal grandparents were Julia the Younger (granddaughter of the emperor Augustus) and Lucius Aemilius Paullus (a consul). Through her maternal grandparents she was a descendant of the Roman emperor Augustus, the noblewoman Scribonia, the statesman Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and the consul Lucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus (brother of the triumvir Marcus Aemilius Lepidus).
She married Gaius Cassius Longinus (c. 13 BC - AD 69). Cassius was a person with remarkable ancestral wealth. They raised their nephew Lucius Junius Silanus Torquatus, whose father was murdered by Empress Agrippina the Younger. In AD 66, Lepida's husband and nephew were expelled from Rome by Emperor Nero for being a part in Gaius Calpurnius Piso's conspiracy. Cassius was deported to Sardinia. Lepida was accused by Nero of black magic and incest with her nephew. Her fate afterwards is not known. Lepida's husband was Praefectus urbi Romae ca AD 27, Consul suffectus in AD 30, Proconsul Asiae in 40 or 41, Legatus Augusti pro praetore provinciae Syriae between ca AD 45 and 49 and was later rehabilitated and recalled from exile by Vespasian.
Lepida bore Longinus two children:
Cassia Longina (born c. AD 35), married to Roman General Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo by whom she had two daughters Domitia and Domitia Longina
Cassius Lepidus (born c. AD 55), married to an unknown woman by whom he had a daughter Cassia Lepida (born c. AD 80). She married Gaius Julius Alexander Berenicianus (born c. AD 80), Consul in AD 116 and Proconsul Asiae in AD 132, and had a daughter - Julia Cassia AlexandraLucius Aelius Lamia Plautius Aelianus
Lucius Aelius Lamia Plautius Aelianus (c. 45 - 81/96) was a Roman senator, described by Brian W. Jones as "the most eminent of the consular victims" of Domitian. Juvenal used his family as representative of Domitian's most noble victims; Lamia was consul suffect in 80 with three different colleagues: Aulus Didius Gallus Fabricius Veiento, Quintus Aurelius Pactumeius Fronto, and Gaius Marius Marcellus Octavius Publius Cluvius Rufus.A number of scholars have concluded that Lamia was most likely a son of Tiberius Plautius Silvanus Aelianus. He married Domitia Longina, the daughter of the general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo and Cassia Longina. Their son is thought to have been Lucius Fundanius Lamia Aelianus, born before Domitian forced them to divorce.Domitia was seduced by Domitian while his father Vespasian was still in Roman Egypt (AD 70); Domitian afterwards forced Lamia to divorce her so he could have her for himself. Despite this, Lamia retained his sense of humor. Jones suspects it was his sense of humor, in the form of harmless jokes directed at the emperor, that led to his execution. Domitian was unable to handle personal criticism of any sort, and there was ample precedent for the laws of treason to be applied to writings of this kind.Lucius Annius Vinicianus (son-in-law of Cn. Domitius Corbulo)
Lucius Annius Vinicianus (36 - 66) was a Roman senator during the later part of the first century. He is best known from a failed plot to overthrow Nero in 62 CE.Peltuinum
Peltuinum was a Roman town of the Vestini, on the ancient Via Claudia Nova, 20 km east of L'Aquila, Italy, between the modern-day settlements of Prata d'Ansidonia and Castelnuovo. It was apparently the chief town of that portion of the Vestini who dwelt west of the main Apennine chain. Remains of the town walls, of an amphitheatre, of a temple and of other buildings still exist. The city was the birthplace of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, a Roman general from the age of Nero.Publius Suillius Rufus
Publius Suillius Rufus was a Roman senator who was active during the Principate. He was notorious for his prosecutions during the reign of Claudius; and he was the husband of the step-daughter of Ovid. Rufus was suffect consul in the nundinium of November-December 41 as the colleague of Quintus Ostorius Scapula.Rufus was the son of Vistilia; the name of his father has not been recorded. His half-brothers include Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, consul of 39, and his half-sister was Milonia Caesonia.Roman–Parthian War of 58–63
The Roman–Parthian War of 58–63 or the War of the Armenian Succession was fought between the Roman Empire and the Parthian Empire over control of Armenia, a vital buffer state between the two realms. Armenia had been a Roman client state since the days of Emperor Augustus, but in 52/53, the Parthians succeeded in installing their own candidate, Tiridates, on the Armenian throne.
These events coincided with the accession of Nero to the imperial throne in Rome, and the young emperor decided to react vigorously. The war, which was the only major foreign campaign of his reign, began with rapid success for the Roman forces, led by the able general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. They overcame the forces loyal to Tiridates, installed their own candidate, Tigranes VI, on the Armenian throne, and left the country. The Romans were aided by the fact that the Parthian king Vologases was embroiled in the suppression of a series of revolts in his own country. As soon as these had been dealt with, however, the Parthians turned their attention to Armenia, and after a couple of years of inconclusive campaigning, inflicted a heavy defeat on the Romans in the Battle of Rhandeia.
The conflict ended soon after, in an effective stalemate and a formal compromise: a Parthian prince of the Arsacid line would henceforth sit on the Armenian throne, but his nomination had to be approved by the Roman emperor. This conflict was the first direct confrontation between Parthia and the Romans since Crassus' disastrous expedition and Mark Antony's campaigns a century earlier, and would be the first of a long series of wars between Rome and Iranian powers over Armenia (see Roman–Persian Wars).Tigranes VI of Armenia
Tigranes VI, also known as Tigran VI or by his Roman name Gaius Julius Tigranes (Greek: Γαίος Ιούλιος Τιγράνης, Armenian:Տիգրան Զ, before 25 – after 68) was a Herodian Prince and served as a Roman Client King of Armenia in the 1st century.
He was the child born to Alexander by an unnamed wife. His mother was a noblewoman that flourished in the reigns of the first two Roman emperors Augustus and Tiberius. He was the namesake of his paternal uncle Tigranes V, who served as a previous King of Armenia during the reign of Augustus. His father's parents were Alexander and Glaphyra. Tigranes appears to be the only grandchild born to his paternal grandparents.
His paternal grandfather Alexander was a Judean Prince of Jewish, Nabataean and Edomite descent and was a son of King of Judea, Herod the Great and his wife Mariamne. His paternal grandmother Glaphyra was a Cappadocian Princess of Greek, Armenian and Persian descent. She was the daughter of the King Archelaus of Cappadocia and her mother was an unnamed Princess from Armenia, possibly a relation of the Artaxiad Dynasty.
Tigranes’ name is a reflection of his Armenian and Hellenic lineage. The name Tigranes was the most common royal name in the Artaxiad Dynasty and was among the most ancient names of the Armenian Kings. Josephus states that his ancestral line had been kings of Armenia. Like his father and paternal uncle, Tigranes was an apostate to Judaism. It is unlikely that Tigranes attempted to exert influence on Judean Politics.
Little is known on Tigranes’ life prior to becoming King of Armenia. Tigranes was raised in Rome. His long residency in Rome became to slave-like docility. Tigranes married a noblewoman from central Anatolia called Opgalli. Opgalli was a Phrygian woman, who may have been a Hellenic Jew. His wife is only known through surviving numismatic evidence from his kingship. Her royal title is in Greek ΒΑΣ ΟΠΓΑΛΛΥ which means of Queen Opgalli. ΒΑΣ is the royal abbreviation or shortening for the Greek word ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΑ which means Queen. Opgalli bore Tigranes at least two known children: a son Gaius Julius Alexander and a daughter Julia. Tigranes and his children were the last royal descendants of the Kings of Cappadocia.
In the spring of 58 the Roman General Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo with his army, entered Armenia from Cappadocia and advanced towards Artaxata, while Pharasmanes I of Iberia attacked from the north and Antiochus IV of Commagene attacked from the southwest. Tiridates I ran away from his capital which Corbulo set fire to. In the summer of that year, Corbulo advanced towards Tigranakert and arrived in the city that opened the gates, only one citadel resisted. The majority of the Armenians had abandoned resistance and accepted a prince given by Rome.
In 58, the Roman emperor Nero crowned Tigranes as King of Armenia in Rome. Nero had given to Tigranes a guard of 1000 legionary soldiers, three auxiliary cohorts and two wings of horses were allotted to him in order to defend and protect Armenia. At the same time, his son Alexander married Julia Iotapa a Commagenean Princess and the daughter of King Antiochus IV of Commagene in Rome. Nero crowned Alexander and Iotapa as Roman Client Monarchs of Cetis, a small region in Cilicia, which was previously ruled by Antiochus IV.
Tigranes invaded a neighbouring small vassal state of the Parthians called Adiabene and deposed their King Monobazes. Vologases I of Parthia considered this as an act of aggression from Rome. He attacked Armenia and besieged Tigranakert. Eventually, the Parthians signed a treaty with Corbulo to install Tiridates I as King of Armenia as long as he goes to Rome to be crowned by Nero. In 63 Tigranes had to renounce his crown.
Historical and numismatic evidence shows that Nero planned to restore Tigranes to the Armenian throne, however Nero's plan for Tigranes and Armenia disintegrated with the outbreak of the First Jewish–Roman War in 66. His fate afterwards is not known. Coinage has survived from his reign. His royal title is in Greek ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΤΙΓΡΑΝΟΥ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ which means of great King Tigranes. The surviving coinage is a reflection of his Hellenic and Armenian descent and is evidence that he relinquished his Jewish connections.Vistilia
Vistilia was a Roman woman who lived in the 1st century and came from a family that held the praetorship. She was known by her contemporaries for having seven children by six different husbands; Pliny the Elder added the fact most of the pregnancies were remarkably brief.Her brother was probably Sextus Vistilius, a former praetor, who was a close friend to the Roman General Nero Claudius Drusus, the younger brother to Roman Emperor Tiberius. In the opinion of Frederik Juliaan Vervaet, this made Vistilia "an extremely valuable bride, whose connections offered her husbands and their joint children fantastic prospects. Four marriages, three clarissimi mariti before 10 BC." But then Drusus died of a fall from his horse in 9 BC, and as the daughter of a praetorian family "marriage to Vistilia, from a praetorian family, suddenly became a lot less interesting for ambitious and high-ranking senators descending from noble families."But then Sextus was admitted to the cohors amicorum, and her value as a bride was restored; she married twice more. When Tiberius charged Sextus for criticizing the morals of his great-nephew, Caligula, he excluded Sextus from his company. By the time Sextus committed suicide in 32, Vervaet notes "he had long outlived his utility."Vistilia was married six times and had seven children. Ronald Syme identifies the children as follows, with his dates of birth:
Glitius, born c. 15 BC, the father of Publius Glitius Gallus, consul;
Publius Pomponius Secundus, born c. 14 BC, tragedian and consul suffectus in 44;
Quintus Pomponius Secundus, born c. 12 BC, consul suffectus in 41;
Orfitus, born c. 11 BC, father of Servius Cornelius Scipio Salvidienus Orfitus, consul in 51; and
Publius Suillius Rufus, born between 10 BC and 7 BC, consul in 41, and father of Marcus Suillius Nerullinus consul in 50;
Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, born between 4 BC and AD 1, Roman general and consul in 39, who was the father to Roman Empress Domitia Longina; and
Milonia Caesonia, born AD 5, the most famous, who became a Roman Empress and fourth wife to Roman Emperor Caligula.