Lucius Arruntius (Consul 6)

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Lucius Arruntius (* before 27 BC; † 37 AD) was a politician of the Roman Empire and consul of the year 6 AD. He was praised by the Roman historian Tacitus . Emperor Tiberius distrusted him, which is why he had to administer the province of Hispania citerior , which was transferred to him around 25 AD, from Rome for about ten years . He also faced the enmity of Praetorian Prefects Seian and Macro later in life , and eventually committed suicide in 37 when Macro brought charges against him.


Lucius Arruntius came from the Roman gens Arruntia. According to the Fasti Capitolini , his grandfather and father also used the prenomen Lucius . He was probably a son of the consul of the same name from 22 BC. The annals of Tacitus are the most important source for his life.

Arruntius was a very respected, rich, and honest member of the Senate . He possessed outstanding skills and enjoyed great popularity. Nothing is known about his early cursus honorum . When he held the consulate in 6 AD, he had Marcus Aemilius Lepidus as his colleague.

In one of the last conversations that Augustus had with his friends, when asked who was willing and able to take over the highest state authority, the emperor is said to have declared that Arruntius was not unworthy of the throne and that he had enough courage to seize power if he has an opportunity to do so. Because of this statement by Augustus - which, according to other sources of Tacitus, would not have been aimed at Arruntius, but rather on Gnaeus Piso - and because of his wealth and prestige, Arruntius is said to have incurred the constant distrust of Augustus' successor, Emperor Tiberius . On the first day the Senate was convened after Augustus' death (August 19, 14), a discussion took place about the funeral modalities of the deceased Princeps. At the request of Arruntius it was decided that a list of names of the laws passed by Augustus and the peoples he defeated should be carried forward during the funeral procession. Arruntius also spoke in the Senate about the principle of Tiberius.

After a flood of the Tiber had caused severe flooding damage in Rome , Arruntius was appointed chairman of the commission for the regulation of the Tiber flow together with the lawyer Gaius Ateius Capito in 15 AD . Arruntius and Ateius then asked the Senate whether some tributaries of the Tiber should be diverted in order to prevent similarly violent floods in the future. Embassies from various neighboring colonies such as Florentia , Reate and Interamna spoke out against such a measure , fearing that their areas would then be exposed to greater risk of flooding. In addition, the religion must be taken into account, according to which sacred rites, groves and altars are consecrated to the rivers in question. Ultimately, either because of these requests from the colonies, the difficulties in implementing a river regulation or superstitious motives, no changes were made to the watercourses.

In the year 20, Arruntius refused to give legal assistance to Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso , who had been accused of murdering Germanicus . In the following year he took sides in the dispute between Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo (father of the suffect consul of the same name of 39) and Lucius Sulla for the latter party. Around the year 25 he was assigned the province of Hispania citerior , but until 34 he had to have it administered by legates from Rome because Emperor Tiberius mistrusted him.

The followers of Tiberius, Seian and Macro , were hostile to Arruntius. Already before the year 32 he was brought to court by Aruseius and Sanquinius for an unknown reason, probably at the instigation of Sian, but acquitted; his accusers received punishments for this. At Macro's instigation, in 37, shortly before the death of Tiberius, he was charged again as an alleged lover of the albucilla and of disrespect for Tiberius. His friends advised him to await the soon to be expected death of the seriously ill emperor. Although he was so likely to have saved himself, he took his own life by opening his veins because he expected worse from Tiberius' successor, Caligula .

He was probably the adoptive father of the future consul Lucius Arruntius Camillus Scribonianus and the grandfather of the city prefect Lucius Arruntius L. f. Scribon [ianus] .

His family owned a tomb in Rome, of which numerous inscriptions have been preserved: CIL VI, 5931 - CIL VI, 5960 .


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Paul von Rohden: Arruntius 8 . In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume II, 1, Stuttgart 1895, Sp. 1262.
  2. Tacitus, Annalen I 13; see. also Tacitus, Annals VI 5 and 7.
  3. Fasti Capitolini , CIL I, 29 . Cassius Dio , Roman History , Index to Book LV. CIL I, 752 CIL II, 3695 CIL III, 792 = Monumentum Ancyranum 3, 36. CIL VI, 14844 . Cassius Dio, Roman History LV 25, 1
  4. a b c Tacitus, Annalen I 13.
  5. Tacitus, Annalen I 8, 3.
  6. ^ Tacitus, Annalen I 76.
  7. Tacitus, Annalen I 79.
  8. Tacitus, Annals III 11.
  9. Tacitus, Annals III 31.
  10. Tacitus, Historiae II 65, 2; Tacitus, Annals VI 27, 3.
  11. ^ Tacitus, Annals VI 48.
  12. ^ Tacitus, Annals VI 7.
  13. ^ Tacitus, Annalen VI 47 f .; Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII 27, 4.
  14. ^ Paul von Rohden: Arruntius 8 . In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume II, 1, Stuttgart 1895, Col. 1263.