Quintus Pleminy

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A list of inmates held in the Carcer Tullianus and executed in the Tullianum. Quintus Pleminius is listed second

Quintus Pleminius (died probably in 194 BC) was a high military officer of the Roman Republic . He was born in the 3rd century BC. Born in BC and was a legate of Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus during the Second Punic War . After the Roman reconquest of the Calabrian coastal town of Lokroi , he was appointed as a propaetor in 205 BC. Used. Due to serious misconduct, he was removed from his command the following year, taken into custody and transferred to Rome . After several years in custody, Quintus Pleminius died in prison.

Procedure and background

The city commander Pleminius was accused in Rome of severely abusing the population of the small town of Lokroi and exploiting them for their own gain. This also included the looting of the Persephone sanctuary. Another trigger for an official investigation of the irregularities by a Senate commission on site were the violent clashes between the Roman occupation. These culminated in the flogging, imprisonment and the subsequent murder of two military tribunes who had opposed Pleminy. While the city commandant was responsible for the corporal punishment and the killing, the previous arrest of the tribunes and their planned transfer to Rome had been arranged by Scipio. The events were made known to the Senate by an embassy from Lokroi, and Scipio was suspected of having actively covered up the misconduct of his commander-in-chief or at least tolerated them inactive , in particular through the intervention of Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus . The commission of inquiry, which had extensive powers and was charged with investigating Pleminius and Scipio, was led by the praetor Marcus Pomponius Matho . In addition to ten senators, the embassy included two tribunes and a plebeian aedile . The plebeian officials, especially the tribunes of the people, should, because of their inviolability ( sacrosanctus ), prevent any resistance to their official acts, such as the arrest of high-ranking accused. The measure of deprivation of liberty should be carried out by the aedile, since the tribunes of the people were not entitled to this authority ( ius prensionis ) outside Rome.

The preliminary proceedings against Scipio were discontinued, perhaps under the influence of Pomponius, who was inclined to him, without negative results. The investigations conducted against Quintus Pleminius, who had been arrested while on the run, and 32 of his subordinates led to the suspension of the urgent suspects and their transfer to Rome. Here, as prisoners held in chains ( ex vinculis ), a perduellion process ( tribunicial comitial process ) operated by the accusing tribunes awaited them before the people's court.

Imprisonment and execution

The Carcer Tullianus with its two chambers in a cross-sectional model. In the basement of the ancient Roman dungeon, the legate of Scipio,
Quintus Pleminius , according to Livy , was placed in 194 BC. Executed

The prisoners were taken into custody or remand and taken to court on the days of the trial. The final fate of the 32 co-defendants has not been passed on in detail, so that no concrete statements about capital convictions or possible acquittals are possible.

Quintus Pleminius, however, ended his life in a double-functional permanent custody. Modern research assumes that Pleminius did not, as described in one version, died during the ongoing legal proceedings. The negotiations were put on hold because the looming popular sympathy threatened to lead to a possible acquittal. For reasons of state , Pleminius was therefore held for an indefinite period. It has seen the danger that a release of factually convicted main accused the Roman alliance system could weigh severe.

After about 10 years in prison, Pleminy is said to have been in 194 BC. Tried to escape from prison. For this he had hired helpers who were supposed to set fires at various locations in Rome. The plan was to break out of the dungeon taking advantage of the ensuing confusion. The project was betrayed by a confidante before it was carried out. On the following decision by the Senate , Quintus Pleminius was taken to the basement Tullianum and executed.



  • Livius From Urbe Condita 29, 6 ff., 21 f. 34. 44.