Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Who was Decidius Saxa?

  • Ronald Syme
Extract

The world of learning owes debts many and varied to Sir Henry Stuart Jones: it is the Camden Professor and historian of Rome that Oxford knows best. In Roman history, wherever knowledge may be deepened and however horizons may be widened, the transformation of the Roman State and the transition from Republic to Principate must ever claim the centre of interest. For this reason a paper concerning one of Caesar's partisans, a military man from Spain, may be offered as a tribute from the School of Literae Humaniores—and from one of the three Colleges with which Sir Henry's life in Oxford has been identified.

Copyright
References
Hide All

1 Sallust, BC 37.

2 Hill, H., ‘Sulla's New Senators in 81 B.C.’, CQ xxvi (1932), 170 ff. L. Fufidius is described by Orosius (5, 21, 3) as a ‘primipilaris’: on him cf. further Sallust, Hist. 1, 55 Maur.; Plutarch, Sulla 31; Sertorius 12.

3 Dio, 42, 51, 5: τοὺς δἐ ἱππέας τοῦ τέλους τούς τε ὲκατοντάρχους καὶ τοὺς ὺπομείονας. If by τὸ τέλος here Dio means only the equites of the eighteen centuries, the equites Romani equo publico, it might be argued that other knights, not of this category, may wrongly be included by Dio under the ‘centurions and lesser folk.’

4 Dio, 43, 47, 3: καὶ προσέτι παμπληθεῖς μὲν ἐν τὴν γερουσίαν, μηδὲν διακρίνων μήτ᾿ εἴ τις στρατιώτης μήτ᾿ εἴ τις ἀπελευθέρου παῖς ἦν, ἐσέγραψεν.

5 Tac., Ann. 11, 24.

6 Cf. Willems, P., Le sénat de la république romaine i, 187 ff., 561. The censors of 50 B.C. expelled such men and earned a reputation for severity; Dio, 40, 63, 4; Horace, Sat. 1, 6, 20 f.

7 Tac., Ann. 13, 27: ‘et plurimis equitum, plerisque senatoribus non aliunde originem trahi.’

8 Cicero, De div. 2, 23.

9 Dio, 48, 22, 3: ἔν τε γὰς τῷ μισθοϕορικῷ ἐστράτευτο. πολλοὶ γὰρ καὶ τῶν τοιούτων εἰς τὸ βουλευτήριον, ὥστερ εἴρηταί μοι, κατελελέχατο. CIL x, 3758, an aedile of that name at Acerrae; Cicero, ad. Att. 14, 10, 2.

10 ad. Att. 14, 10, 2.

11 P-W, s.v. ‘C. Fuficius Fango,’ 200.

12 Caesar, BC 3, 53, etc.

13 For Tebanus, cf. ILS 973 (Amiternum). For the ‘Pelasgian’ word ‘teba’ in the Sabine country (Varro, RR 3, 1, 6), cf. W. Schulze, Zur Gesch. lateinischer Eigennamen, 531; E. Norden, Alt-Germanien (1934), 107.

14 Madvig, J. N., Verfassung u. Verwaltung des r. Staates ii, 505 f., 510 f. Of the three cases adduced by Kübler (P-W, s.v. ‘Equites Romani,’ 292) only one will do, L. Fufidius. Cf. M. Gelzer, Die Nobilität der röm. Republik, 2; Hill, H., CQ xxvi (1932), 170.

15 Valerius Maximus, 7, 8, 6. Perhaps identical with the T. Marius Siculus (CIL xi, 6058), who was tr. mil. leg. xii; cf. A. Stein, Der röm. Ritterstand, 160 f.

16 52, 25, 6.

17 Phil. 1, 20: ‘itaque viri fortissimi atque honestissimi, qui ordines duxerunt, res et iudicant et iudicaverunt.’

18 42, 51, 5.

19 Cicero, de off. 2, 29.

20 Cf. Gelzer, Die Nobilität der röm. Republik, 10.

21 So Carcopino, (Histoire romaine ii, 2, 933), citing the case of Fuficius Fango.

22 CIL x, 3758; cf. Münzer in P-W, s.v. ‘C. Fuficius Fango,’ 200. As the name is so uncommon, the aedile at Acerrae, if not this man, is surely at the least a close relation.

23 Cicero, Phil. 1, 20; cf. 13, 3.

24 L. Friedländer, Sittengeschichte i10, 107; E. Meyer, Caesars Monarchie u. das Principat des Pompejus 2, 463 f., ‘zahlreiche Ausländer, namentlich Spanier und Gallier, die eben erst, nach der Unterwerfung durch Caesar, das Bürgerrecht erhalten hatten und daher kaum Lateinisch konnten’; A. Stein, Der röm. Ritterstand, 208, ‘halbbarbarische Gallier und Keltiberer,’ cf. 209, n. 1. See by contrast the crisp comments of Adcock, CAH ix, 729 f.

25 In Pisonem, fr. 9=Asconius 2 (Clark, p. 2f.).

26 In Pisonem, fr. 11=Asconius 4 (Clark, p. 5). Cf. In Pisonem, 26, 62, ‘Mediolanensi praecone, avo tuo.’

27 In Pisonem, fr. 10=Asconius 3 (Clark, p.4).

28 Cum senatui gratias egit, 15; in Pisonem, 53, ‘bracatae cognationis dedecus.’

29 Tac., Ann. 11, 23.

30 Cicero, Phil. 3, 13.

31 Caesar, BG 1, 19, 47 and 53; 7, 65.

32 Justin, 43, 5, 11f.

33 Mela, 2, 74; cf. Pliny, NH 3, 31.

34 Bell. Afr. 28: ‘duo Titii Hispani adulescentes, tribuni legionis v, quorum patrem Caesar in senatum legerat.’ His Spanish origin is accepted by Willems (Le sénat i, 596), Gelzer (Die Nobilität, 11) and Carcopino, (Histoire romaine ii, 2, 933).

35 On him cf. especially Velleius 2, 51, 3, ‘ex privato consularis’—though some have thought that this phrase really applies to the uncle.

36 Phil. 8, 9 and 26; 10, 22; 11, 12 and 37; 12, 20; 13, 2 and 27; 14, 10.

37 Dio, 47, 35, 2; 48, 24, 3; 48, 25, 2: Appian, BC 4, 87: Velleius, 2, 78, 1: Livy, Per. 127, etc.

38 E. Meyer, Caesars Monarchie 2, 463 f. (quoted above), and 483; A. Stein, Der röm. Ritterstand, 209, ‘ein eben erst mit dem Bürgerrecht beschenkter Keltiberer war z. B. L. Decidius Saxa, den Caesar gleich zum Volkstribunen für das J. 44 designierte.’ Also Ribbeck, P., Senatores Romani qui fuerint Idibus Martiis A.U.C. 710 (Diss. Berlin 1899), 33; G. Niccolini, I fasti dei tribuni della plebe (934). 354.

39 F. Münzer, P-W, s.v. ‘L. Decidius Saxa,’ 2271, ‘darauf von Caesar mit nach Rom genommen, mit dem römischen Bürgerrecht beschenkt und für das nächste Jahr zum Volkstribun ernannt.’

40 Caesar, BC 1, 66.

41 Cf. the duty entrusted to Considius, P. (BG 1, 21), probably a centurion of long experience.

42 Compare the distribution of names in ‘-idius,’ ‘-iedius’ and ‘-edius,’ demonstrated by Schulten (‘Italische Namen u. Stämme,’ Klio ii and iii). The name Decidius is well-attested in Campania— ILS 6038, 6363d, 6393; CIL x, 360, 4090, 8124.

43 Tac., Ann. 3, 28.

44 Velleius, 2, 51, 3, ‘non † Hispaniae Asiae † natus sed Hispanus.’ Hispaniensis, Lipsius. The distinction between native-born and Spanish Roman appears clearly in Martial's words (12, praef.), ‘ne Roman si ita decreveris, non His paniensem librum mittamus, sed Hispanum.’

45 Cf. esp. Bell. Al. 56, for the census of Roman knights held by Q. Cassius Longinus.

46 39, 17. The man is perhaps the Egnatius who wrote a poem De rerum natura (Macrobius, 6, 52, 12) and so the earliest Spanish Roman poet known by name; cf. Skutsch P-W, s.v. ‘Egnatius’ 1993 f. For poets at Corduba, cf. Cic., pro Archia 26.

47 A. Schulten, P-W, s.v. ‘Gromatici,’ 1889, 1891.

48 Polybius, 6, 4.1, 1.

49 Caesar, BG 2, 17.

50 So Willems, , Le sénat i, 594; Carcopino, , Histoire romaine ii, 2, 933.

51 The career of C. Volusenus Quadratus (Caesar, BG 3, 5; 4, 4, 21 and 23; 6, 41; 8, 23 and 48; BC 3, 60) is suggestive. He cannot have been unique.

52 A. v. Domaszewski, Die Rangordnung des röm. Heeres, 119 ff., is not completely satisfactory on this point.

53 Vegetius, 2, 10.

54 Velleius, 2, 112, 6.

55 Dio, 55, 32, 3.

56 Tac., Ann. 12, 38.

57 Phil. 8, 9 and 26; 10, 22; 11, 12 and 37; 12, 20. See further, below.

58 On the vexed questions concerning this legislation see Drumann - Groebe, Gesch. Roms. i2, 424 f.; Holmes, Rice, The Architect of the Roman Empire i, 16; Denniston, J. D., edn. of Cicero, Phil. i-ii (Oxford, 1926), 94, 161 f.; Levi, M. A., Ottaviano Capoparte i, 95 f.

59 The principal evidence is—Dio, 45, 9, 1; Cicero, ad. Fam. II, 2, 3; ad. Att. 15, 2, 2; 16, 3, I; Phil. 5, 7 and 20 f.; 6, 14; 8, 26; 11, 13.

60 At least, according to Drumann-Groebe, Gesch. Roms i2, 83; J. D. Denniston, edn. of Cicero, Phil, i-ii, 94. Groebe suggests that C. Antonius, brother of the consul, was a member, citing ad Att. 15, 9, 2 (which rather tells against it). Groebe, o.c. 83 n., does not admit Saxa, but remarks ‘Decidius Saxa wird Phil. XI, 12, XIV, 10 in einer anderen Beziehung <metator und> decempeda genannt’ (decempeda, sic).

61 Phil. 2, 101.

62 Phil. 11, 13.

63 Phil. 11, 12.

64 Phil. 10, 22.

65 Phil. 8, 26: ‘Cafoni etiam et Saxae cavet, quos centuriones pugnacis et lacertosos inter mimorum et mimarum greges conlocavit.’

66 Phil. 11, 12; 14, 10, quoted above, p. 132.

67 Phil. 10, 22: ‘et sollicitant homines imperitos Saxae et Cafones, ipsi rustici atque agrestes’ etc.; 11, 22 and 37.

68 Phil. 11, 12.

69 Cf. esp. Phil. 13, 26ff. Ribbeck, P., Senatores Romani qui fuerint Idibus Martiis anni A.U.C. 710 (Diss. Berlin, 1899), 46, reckons Cafo among Caesar's new senators. The name is absent from P-W: it is almost certainly Etruscan, cf. Schulze, W., Zur. Gesch. lateinischer Eigennamen, 137, 351.

70 Velleius, 2, 51, 3.

71 Cicero, pro Balbo 51.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Roman Studies
  • ISSN: 0075-4358
  • EISSN: 1753-528X
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-roman-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed