Spurius Postumius Albinus (Consul 110 BC)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spurius Postumius Albinus came from the Roman noble family of the Postumier and was 110 BC. Chr. Consul .


The genealogical connection of Postumius to the older Postumii Albini cannot be determined. Almost nothing of his name has been preserved in the various fasting tables. Not only is his lineage unknown, but also his entire life before the consulate. The historian Sallust can Gaius Marius represent in a speech that Postumius as representatives of an old patrician family was entitled, without problems for the country's highest office; In this context, Postumius and the previous consul Lucius Calpurnius Bestia are criticized as typical patricians. However, only Postumius came from one of the most distinguished Roman noble families, while Calpurnius Bestia belonged to a plebeian family.

Postumius was together with Marcus Minucius Rufus 110 BC. Elected consul. Out of ambition, Postumius wanted to renew the war against Jugurtha and therefore tried to prevent the ratification of the peace made by Calpurnius Bestia with the Numidian king before he took office. He achieved this by inciting the Massiva against its cousin Jugurtha. Jugurtha arranged, through his general Bomilkar , that the unwelcome relative, who laid claim to the Numidian throne and who was staying in Rome for this reason, was murdered by hired criminals. He gave Postumius, who had meanwhile become consul and received Numidia as a province, a welcome opportunity to continue the war.

At first Postumius procured large amounts of supplies and funds before he set off for the campaign in Africa. At the same time, he already had in mind the relatively early date for the next consular elections, which he - since his official colleague in Macedonia was unable to do so - absolutely wanted to lead. Jugurtha succeeded in prolonging the war by relying not only on fighting but also on negotiation, and Postumius, to a certain extent, despite his ambition to make a quick decision. When he returned to Rome to hold the consular elections , his brother Aulus Postumius Albinus took over as legate the supreme command of the further battles against the Numidian king.

The elections did not go smoothly, however, because of disputes, they lasted until the beginning of 109 BC. Chr. Therefore, Postumius found out as consul that his brother had to surrender unconditionally. The Senate rejected the shameful peace treaty negotiated in the process, and tribunes prevented Postumius from quickly taking troops drawn into the battlefield. When he returned to the province of Africa , as proconsul he could no longer turn the course of the war. Instead, he stayed in his province, largely avoided attacks on his enemies and was allegedly also guilty of a massive increase in the indecency of his troops. The new consul and commander-in-chief, Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus , found them in this desolate state when he was in the summer of 109 BC. Chr. Postumius replaced.

Now Postumius and his brother had to answer for their wrongdoing in Rome. What weighed heavily against the former consul was that he had not been able to achieve any successes against Jugurtha in his year in office, that he was responsible for his brother's mistakes and that, after his return to Africa, he had also let the morale of his troops suffer. The tribune of the people Gaius Mamilius Limetanus demanded in a rogation a trial against all those men who were responsible for the warfare against Jugurtha, which had so far been so unfavorable for Rome. This request was granted and a rigorous investigation was initiated. Postumius and his brother were found guilty and convicted. From this point on, her name is no longer mentioned in the sources; They are also likely to have contributed significantly to the decline of their entire family.



  1. ^ Sallust, Jugurthinischer Krieg 85, 16; u. ö .; then Plutarch , Marius 9, 3.
  2. Sallust, Jugurthinischer Krieg 35, 2-5.
  3. ^ Sallust, Jugurthinischer Krieg 36, 1–4.
  4. ^ Sallust, Jugurthinischer Krieg 39, 1–4.
  5. ^ Sallust, Jugurthinischer Krieg 44, 1–5.
  6. ^ Sallust, Jugurthinischer Krieg 40, 1. 5; Cicero , Brutus 128.
  7. However, some researchers believe it is possible that Aulus Postumus Albinus is identical to the consul of the same name from 99 BC. Chr.