Lucius Postumius Albinus (Consul 173 BC)

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Lucius Postumius Albinus came from the Roman noble family of the Postumier and was 173 BC. Chr. Consul .


Postumius was probably the grandson of the consul from 242 BC. BC, Aulus Postumius Albinus , because according to the Fasti Capitolini his grandfather and his (not known) father used the prenomen Aulus . His older brothers were the consuls from 180 and 174 BC. BC, Aulus Postumius Albinus Luscus and Spurius Postumius Albinus Paullulus .

Praetor in Spain

180 BC Postumius administered the province of Hispania ulterior (beyond Spain ) as praetor , while his older brother Aulus held the consulate in the same year. At the same time, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, the hero preferred by annals, became praetor of Hispania citerior (this side of Spain). Titus Livius reports on his deeds in the 40th book of his historical account in much more detail than on those of Postumius, and because the rest of the account by the Roman historian is lost with the beginning of his 41st book, we know about the undoubted military successes of Postumius hardly anything. Apparently, before they left Rome, the two new Spanish praetors decided to pursue a unified strategy against the Celtiberians , and so Postumius, who was the first to arrive in Spain, sent the Gracchus' predecessor, Quintus Fulvius, orders accordingly. But apparently not until 179 BC. After the confirmation of the two Spanish praetors in their position and the receipt of further troops, they should have seriously approached the execution of their plans, which apparently soon faltered again. After a detailed report on the successes of Gracchus in 179 BC. BC Livy only makes a brief comment about that of Postumius from a secondary source. Postumius then defeated the Vaccaean tribe, allegedly killing 35,000 people. But Livius distrusts this representation and considers it more plausible that Postumius arrived too late for summer warlike successes in his province. The annalist obviously overlooked the fact that, according to his own report, Postumius had been praetor in Spain since the previous year, so that his argumentation is invalid.

Silver denarius of the mint master Aulus Postumius Albinus , 81 BC Obverse: Veiled head of Hispania

Perhaps in his account of the year 178 BC Livius BC, which represented the now lost beginning of his 41st book, reports in more detail on the Spanish campaign of Postumius. What is certain is that Postumius returned to Rome on February 4, 178 BC. BC, one day after Gracchus, held a triumph over the Lusitans and their neighboring tribes. Just like after other Spanish governors of those years, a place in Spain was named after Postumius: Castra Postumiana .

The successes achieved by Postumius during his mission on the Iberian Peninsula were celebrated by a mint master named Aulus Postumius Albinus , who lived during Sulla's era, by issuing denarii , on the front of which the veiled head of Hispania and the writing HISPAN (ia) is depicted. The representation on the reverse of these denarii cannot be interpreted; this is not surprising, especially if it refers to the events of Postumius' struggles during his praetorian times, because little is known about them due to a lack of sources.


The further career of Postumius was slower than that of Gracchus. Not until 174 BC BC, when his two older brothers Aulus and Spurius officiated as consul and censor , respectively , their influence could help him to become consulate for the next year. So he entered 173 BC. The highest state office together with Marcus Popillius Laenas . Apparently the consuls and their families had made far-reaching agreements. This can be concluded from the fact that despite the dispute between the Senate and Popillius, his brother 172 BC. Was the new consul. The elections that led to this result were directed by Postumius. It is also noteworthy that for the first time both consular posts were occupied by plebeians .

As consul, Postumius was supposed to be in 173 BC. Together with his colleague against the Ligurians . However, Postumius could not fulfill this mandate because he had to devote himself to the fight against private occupations of public farmland in Campania . Postumius opened the census carried out by his brother Aulus by dealing harshly with the Latins living in Rome ; This approach continued a policy of closing off citizenship that had been in place for several years. Postumius also demanded compulsory payments from Praeneste ; Livius assumes that his motive is revenge and accuses him of abuse of office against his Italian allies, but is wrong in saying that something similar has never happened before.

Later career

For the battle of the Romans against the Macedonian king Perseus , Postumius was 171 BC. Sent to North Africa at the head of an embassy to recruit elephants and horsemen from the Carthaginians and Massinissa ; similar foreign special troops were also supposed to find the embassies led at the same time by Postumius' brothers.

When the censors for 169 BC Were elected, in addition to Postumius, the consuls of 177 and 176 BC applied as further patricians. BC, Gaius Claudius Pulcher and Gaius Valerius Laevinus . With the support of the most promising candidate, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, Claudius Pulcher was able to prevail against the other patrician applicants. He had already 177 BC BC held the consulate together with Gracchus and now also exercised the censorship office with him.

After his failed candidacy for censorship, Postumius became the military tribune of General Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus, who was moving to Macedonia to fight Perseus . On June 22nd, 168 BC During the decisive victory of the world power in the battle of Pydna , he commanded a wing of the Roman center. At last we hear from him that he was 167 BC. BC in Greece participated in some of the last battles of this war. Because the completely preserved books of Livy only last until this year and only sparse sources are available for the later period, Postumius disappears into the darkness of history after this last note.



  1. Livy 40:35 , 2; 40, 35, 9; 40, 39, 3.
  2. Livy 40, 39, 3.
  3. Livius 40, 44, 4 f.
  4. Livy 40, 50, 6 f.
  5. Michael Crawford : Roman Republican Coinage . Cambridge 1974, No. 372/2.
  6. Livius 41: 6, 4; 41, 7, 1-3; coincidentally the acts of triumph
  7. Spanish War 8, 6
  8. ^ Rainer Albert : The coins of the Roman Republic. From the beginnings to the Battle of Actium (4th century BC to 31 BC) Battenberg - Gietl Verlag, Regenstauf 2011, ISBN 978-3-86646-072-0 No. 1264.
  9. Fasti Capitolini ; Livy 41:28, 4; 42, 1, 1; among others
  10. Livy 42, 9, 7f.
  11. Livy 42, 1, 1f; 42, 1, 6; 42, 8, 4, 42, 9, 7; 42, 19, 1f.
  12. Livy 42:10, 3.
  13. Livy 42, 1, 6-12.
  14. Livy 42, 35, 6f.
  15. Livy 43:14, 1.
  16. Livy 44, 41, 2f. and 6.
  17. Livy 45, 27, 4.