Tiberius Catius Caesius Fronto was a Roman senator who was suffect consul in the nundinium September–December 96 with Marcus Calpurnius [...]icus as his colleague.These two consuls were presiding over the Roman Senate when the Emperor Domitian was assassinated (18 September 96), and Nerva elevated as emperor. Fronto was an acquaintance of Pliny the Younger, and he is mentioned as many as four times in the collected letters.
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. It had a government headed by emperors and large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, and West Asia. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome. The Roman Empire was then divided between a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and later Ravenna, and an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and later Constantinople, and it was ruled by multiple emperors.
A consul held the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic, and ancient Romans considered the consulship the highest level of the cursus honorum.
Nundinium, a Latin word derived from the word nundinum signifying the cycle of days observed by the Romans, which came to be used under the Empire to indicate a period of consulship. When, under the Empire, several pairs of consuls were created in one year, the period of a single consulship was called a nundinium.
From the elements in his name, Olli Salomies believes it likely that Fronto had been adopted by the senator and poet Silius Italicus, and his name at birth was Tiberius Caesius Fronto, or may have been his nephew. If Fronto was not adopted by Italicus, then the common elements in their names were due to his being Italicus' nephew.
Silius Italicus, in full Tiberius Catius Asconius Silius Italicus, was a Roman consul, orator, and Latin epic poet of the 1st century CE. His only surviving work is the 17-book Punica, an epic poem about the Second Punic War and the longest surviving poem in Latin at over 12,000 lines.
Pliny describes Fronto as "a man with the greatest expertise at extracting tears",and mentions him taking part in three different trials: in the penalty phase of the case of Marius Priscus, who had been proconsul of Africa and was indicted by the people he had governed; in the prosecution of Julius Bassus, who had been accused of mismanagement while proconsul of Bithynia and Pontus; and in the matter of Varenus Rufus, also indicted by the people of Bithynia and Pontus for mismanagement. These prove he was active in the Senate during the first years of the second century. Pliny may be referring to him when he writes to his friend Caninus Rufus about the death of the poet Silius Italicus: in that letter, he mentions that the oldest son was doing well and had attained the consulship.
Africa Proconsularis was a Roman province on the northwest African coast that was established in 146 BC following the defeat of Carthage in the Third Punic War. It roughly comprised the territory of present-day Tunisia, the northeast of Algeria, and the coast of western Libya along the Gulf of Sirte. The territory was originally inhabited by Berber people, known in Latin as Mauri indigenous to all of North Africa west of Egypt; in the 9th century BC, Phoenicians built settlements along the Mediterranean Sea to facilitate shipping, of which Carthage rose to dominance in the 8th century until its conquest by the Roman Republic.
Bithynia and Pontus was the name of a province of the Roman Empire on the Black Sea coast of Anatolia (Turkey). It was formed during the late Roman Republic by the amalgamation of the former kingdoms of Bithynia and Pontus. The amalgamation was part of a wider conquest of Anatolia and its reduction to Roman provinces.
Although his wife has not yet been identified, Fronto is known to have had a daughter, Caesia Frontina.
Fronto is not known to have held any offices, either in the emperor's service or proconsulships, in the public sector of the Empire. He is known to have been a member of the Arval Brethren, and is recorded having attended their meetings in 98 and 105.
A proconsul was an official of ancient Rome who acted on behalf of a consul. A proconsul was typically a former consul. The term is also used in recent history for officials with delegated authority.
In ancient Roman religion, the Arval Brethren or Arval Brothers were a body of priests who offered annual sacrifices to the Lares and gods to guarantee good harvests. Inscriptions provide evidence of their oaths, rituals and sacrifices.
However John D. Grainger believes that as Fronto was one of two consuls at the time of the emperor Domitian's murder, he was party to the conspiracy. Grainger argues Fronto's family was firmly in the party that was hostile to Domitian, if not the Flavian dynasty in general. Although Domitian had appointed him to the highly influential and prestigious office of consul, Domitian had practiced a policy of appointing members of different groups or factions in the Senate in order to gain their support. Lastly, Grainger notes that upon learning of Domitian's death, the consuls, who presided over the Senate and had the authority to convene it, summoned the Senators to a session the next day. "If he had not been originally involved in the plot," notes Grainger, "it would take him some time to convince him of the murder, and he would demand proof -- a sight of the body, no doubt -- which would delay matters even more. The cumulative delays would add up to several hours, yet the Senate met next morning."
The Flavian dynasty was a Roman imperial dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 69 AD and 96 AD, encompassing the reigns of Vespasian (69–79), and his two sons Titus (79–81) and Domitian (81–96). The Flavians rose to power during the civil war of 69, known as the Year of the Four Emperors. After Galba and Otho died in quick succession, Vitellius became emperor in mid 69. His claim to the throne was quickly challenged by legions stationed in the Eastern provinces, who declared their commander Vespasian emperor in his place. The Second Battle of Bedriacum tilted the balance decisively in favour of the Flavian forces, who entered Rome on December 20. The following day, the Roman Senate officially declared Vespasian emperor of the Roman Empire, thus commencing the Flavian dynasty. Although the dynasty proved to be short-lived, several significant historic, economic and military events took place during their reign.
Lucius Neratius Marcellus was an imperial Roman military officer and senator who held a number of posts in the Emperor's service. Marcellus was elected consul twice, first under Domitian in 95 AD and again under Hadrian in 129. His life provides several examples of how patronage operated in early Imperial Rome.
Quintus Pompeius Falco was a Roman senator and general of the early 2nd century AD. He was governor of several provinces, most notably Roman Britain, where he hosted a visit to the province by the Emperor Hadrian in the last year. Falco achieved the rank of suffect consul for the nundinium of September-December 108 with Marcus Titius Lustricus Bruttianus as his colleague.
Lucius Licinius Sura was an influential Roman Senator from Tarraco, Hispania, a close friend of the Emperor Trajan and three times consul, in a period when three consulates were very rare for non-members of the Imperial family, in 102 and 107 as a consul ordinarius. Fausto Zevi postulated that he was also suffect consul in 97, based in a plausible restoration of part of the Fasti Ostienses, which reads "..]us". However, two more recently recovered fragments of military diplomas show that the name of this consul is L. Pomponius Maternus, who is otherwise unknown. Most authorities have returned to endorsing C.P. Jones' surmise that Sura was consul for the first time as a suffect consul in the year 93.
Quintus Sosius Senecio was a Roman senator who was favored by the emperors Domitian and Trajan. As a result of this relationship, he was twice ordinary consul, an unusual and prestigious honor: first in 99, with Aulus Cornelius Palma Frontonianus as his colleague; and again in 107 as the colleague of Lucius Licinius Sura, who was himself consul for the third time.
Gaius Julius Cornutus Tertullus was a Roman senator who was active during the late 1st and early 2nd centuries. He is best known as the older friend of Pliny the Younger, with whom Cornutus was suffect consul for the nundinium of September-October 100.
Gaius Salvius Liberalis Nonius Bassus was a Roman senator and general, who held civil office in Britain and was a member of the Arval Brethren.
The gens Vibia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Although individuals named Vibius appear in history during the time of the Second Punic War, no members of this gens are found at Rome until the final century of the Republic. The first of the Vibii to obtain the consulship was Gaius Vibius Pansa in 43 BC, and from then until imperial times the Vibii regularly filled the highest offices of the Roman state. The emperors Trebonianus Gallus and Volusianus each claimed descent from the family.
Nerva was Roman emperor from 96 to 98. Nerva became emperor aged almost 66, after a lifetime of imperial service under Nero and the rulers of the Flavian dynasty. Under Nero, he was a member of the imperial entourage and played a vital part in exposing the Pisonian conspiracy of 65. Later, as a loyalist to the Flavians, he attained consulships in 71 and 90 during the reigns of Vespasian and Domitian, respectively.
Gaius Avidius Nigrinus was a Roman senator who lived between the 1st and 2nd centuries. In 110, Nigrinus served as suffect consul for the nundinium April–June 110 with Tiberius Julius Aquila Polemaeanus as his colleague.
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Marcus Cornelius Nigrinus Curiatius Maternus was a Roman senator and general during the reign of Domitian. He was suffect consul during the nundinium of September–October AD 83 with Lucius Calventius Sextius Carminius Vetus. Although some experts consider him a rival with Trajan as heir apparent to the emperor Nerva, he is primarily known from inscriptions.
Lucius Venuleius Montanus Apronianus was a Roman senator of the first century. He was suffect consul for the nundinium of January-April AD 92 with Qunintus Volusius Saturninus, replacing the emperor Domitian.
Lucius Valerius Catullus Messalinus was a Roman senator during the Flavian dynasty, and is best known as the most hated and ruthless delator or informer of his age. He was feared all the more due to his blindness.
Lucius Julius Marinus Caecilius Simplex was a Roman senator who held several posts in the emperor's service. Simplex was then appointed suffect consul in late 101, with Lucius Arruntius Stella as his colleague. His career is primarily known through inscriptions.
Senecio Memmius Afer was a Roman senator active in the last quarter of the first century AD. He was suffect consul for the nundinium June–July AD 99 as the colleague of Publius Sulpicius Lucretius Barba. Afer is known primarily from inscriptions.
Marcus Junius Homullus was a Roman senator active in the late 1st and early 2nd centuries AD, who occupied a number of offices in the imperial service. He also served as suffect consul for the nundinium September-December 102 as the colleague of Lucius Antonius Albus. Bernard Rémy notes that his cognomen, "Homullus", appears primarily in Italy, so this may be where his origins lie.
Lucius Maecius Postumus was a Roman senator, who held several offices in service to the emepror. He was suffect consul in the nundinium of July-August 98 as the colleague of Aulus Vicirius Martialis. Postumus is known entirely from inscriptions.
The gens Sallustia, occasionally written Salustia, was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned in the time of Cicero, and from that time they attained particular distinction as statesmen and writers. The most illustrious of the family was the historian Gaius Sallustius Crispus, who wrote valuable works on the Jugurthine War and the Conspiracy of Catiline, which still exist.
Quintus Fabius Postuminus,
and Titus Prifernius
as Suffect consuls
| Suffect consul of the Roman Empire |
with Marcus Calpurnius [...]icus
| Succeeded by|
Marcus Cocceius Nerva III,
and Lucius Verginius Rufus III
as Ordinary consuls