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Who was Vedius Pollio?

Abstract

When Cilicia for a season was a province of consular rank, governed in succession by P. Lentulus Spinther, Ap. Claudius Pulcher and M. Tullius Cicero, what held it together was the high-road from Laodicea to the Syrian Gates. Those proconsuls never strayed very far from the road. Cicero, coming up from Tarsus early in February of 50 B.C., encountered an unexpected welcome. P. Vedius had journeyed out some way from Laodicea to meet him, that ‘magnus nebulo’, a friend of Pompeius Magnus. Vedius was escorted by a large and motley retinue. With him paraded a baboon in a chariot—no doubt congenial company, and perhaps a reminder of absent friends or a high dignitary like Ap. Pulcher, the recent proconsul, whom the outspoken Caelius Rufus likened to an ape. Vedius also had some wild asses (the bleak upland plains of Lycaonia and Cappadocia were their peculiar habitat). For what purpose no man can say, though the breeding of high-grade mules had become a lucrative pursuit in this age. The dubious credit of introducing the flesh of young onagri to Roman tables was reserved for the great Maecenas.

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1 Ad Att. VI, 1, 25.

2 Ad fam. VIII, 12, 2: ‘illius simiae vultus.’

3 Varro, Res Rusticae II, 1, 14; 8, 3; III, 2, 7. Stud donkeys at Reate commanded exorbitant prices.

4 Pliny, NH VIII, 170.

5 Not registered in P-W. The cognomen looks Celtic.

6 For the business-man Vennonius, cf. Ad Att. VI, 3, 5, and, later, in reference to his heirs and estate, Ad fam. XIII, 72, 2. The article in P-W has missed the inscription at Apamea, ‘C. Vennonio C. 1. Eroti heredes ex testamento,’ with Greek text (Ramsay, Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia (1897), 475).

7 Thus H. Dessau in PIR 1 v, 213: ‘valde similis huius, sed tamen vix hic P. Vedius, magnus nebulo quem Cicero in Asia vidit’; J. Keil, P-W VIII A, 570: ‘dagegen wüsste man gern ob der magnus nebulo P. Vedius, sed Pompeii tamen familiaris, … irgendwie mit P. verwandt gewesen ist.’

8 Dio LIV, 23, 1.

9 Ad fam. I, 6, 1.

10 Thus Schanz-Hosius, Gesch. der r. Literatur 14 (1927), 308; André J., La vie et l'æuvre d'Asinius Pollion (1949), 11.

11 Catullus 12, 6.

l2 Seneca, Controv. VII, 4, 7; Tacitus, Dial. 34, 7.

13 Cinna fr. 1 (FPL, ed. Morel), cf. Charisius, GL 124 K.

14 J. André, o.c. (n. 10), 11.

15 10, 29 f. cf. ‘Prusiaca vexi munera navicula’ (Cinna, fr. II, l. 4).

16 46, 1 ff.

17 Ad fam. I, 8, 1: ‘de omnibus rebus …optime ex M. Plaetorio cognosces, qui non solum interfuit iis rebus sed praefuit.’ He is identified with M. Plaetorius Cestianus (aed. cur. 68 or 67) in P-W XX, 1952; and, further, conjectured to be a legate of Spinther in MRR II, 219. Doubt is permissible.

18 Ad fam. IX, 25, 3.

19 For this man, and other Fadii, among them an aedile at Arpinum, see P-W VI, 1958 f. They might all belong to one family, with a descendant in L. Fadius Rufinus (suff. A.D. 113), who crops up appropriately in an anecdote about notable persons from municipia (Pliny, Epp. IX, 23, 4).

20 No entry in P-W, but he is mentioned under ‘Matho’ (XIV, 2195).

21 viz. M. Crittius C. f. Mato, son of C. Crittius L. f. Cor. Laevinus Pulcher (CIL I2, 1535). Note also the primipilaris Q. Crittius C. f. Cor. (ILS 2640). The tribe of Atina is not the ‘Cornelia’ but the ‘Teretina’. The neighbour city Arpinum has the ‘Cornelia’.

22 For, Tyrrell and Purser and OCT (Index); against, L. A. Constans (Budé, 1950). No entry or notice in P-W.

23 Phil. XIII, 3.

24 Ad Att. XIII, 52, 1: ‘ac mihi Barba Cassius subvenit, custodes dedit.’

25 He has been discovered as one of the three centurions in Phil. v, 18 (P-W, Supp. 1, 277). But the best reading is ‘Crassicius’, not ‘Cassius’, cf. OCT. The three, ‘Crassicius, Mustela, Tiro,’ recur together in XIII, 3, where Cassius Barba has a separate entry with Barbatius Pollio. For L. Crassicius (at first ‘Pasicles’, then ‘Pansa’), who ended in teaching and erudition, cf. Suetonius, De gramm. 18.

26 Thus OCT (ed. Clark, 1916) and Teubner (Schoell, 1918).

27 P-W III, 2f.; MRR II, 372, cf. Index. For the arguments in rectification see Historia IV (1955), 57: accepted in the Supplement (1960).

28 Dig. I, 14, 3, cf. the Βάρβιος Φιλιππικός of Suidas.

29 Appian, Bella civilia v, 31, 120 f.

30 Grueber, BMC, R. Rep. II, 489 ff.; Sydenham, Coinage of the R. Rep. 191.

31 ILS 9261.

32 Grant M., FITA (1946), 249. For Barbatii in the eastern lands add M. Barbatius Celer, magistrate in another colonia (Corinth VIII, 2, 62).

33 viz. Cn. Agrius Cn. f. Pollio (CIL I2, 1542: Casinum); L. Papius L. f. Ter. Pollio (1578: Sinuessa).

34 Ad fam. IX, 10, 1, cited in Suetonius, De gramm. 14. For the correction of ‘Vidius’ to ‘Vedius’ or ‘Veidius’, cf. Historia VIII (1959), 211. No annotation of the person in Tyrrell and Purser, no entry in P-W.

35 P-W III, 1868.

36 De gramm. 14.

37 As demonstrated by Dessau H., Hermes XLVI (1911), 613 ff. cf. Von der Mühll, P-W 1 A, 25 ff.

38 Ad Att. XIII, 9, 2; cf. 22, 4.

39 Ad Att. XIII, 28, 4: ‘Cornificiam, Q. filiam, vetulam sane et multarum nuptiarum.’

40 As shown by CIL I2, 793, which registers ‘Cornificia Q. f. Cameri’ and her brother. Her husband Camerius is patently the Camerius of Catullus 55, 10, and 58, b. 7. Not entered in P-W.

41 Ad Att. XII, 51, 1; 53. cf. XIII, 15, 2.

42 cf. P-W VII A, 2297, 2309. Münzer holds him different from the P. Valerius of Ad Att. XVI, 7, 1; Phil. I, 8.

43 Suetonius, De gramm. II.

44 ib. 2. Observe Horace, Sat. I, 10, 1, relevant even though authenticity be strongly impugned (Fraenkel E., Hermes LXVIII (1933), 392 ff.).

45 ib. 14.

46 Ad fam. VII, 24, 1. The problem of Tigellius the Sardinian and Tigellius Hermogenes (both ‘cantores’) is here irrelevant. For identity, F. Münzer, P-W VI A, 943 ff.; against, Fraenkel E., Horace (1956), 86.

47 Ad Att. XV, 8, 1.

48 Ad fam. VII, 32 f. (February, 50, and July, 46). In the second letter Cicero looks forward to ‘honestissimum otium’ with Eutrapelus and other lovers of literature.

49 Ad fam. XI, 26.

50 Ad fam. IX, 20, 2 (to Papirius Paetus). For Verrius, cf. P-W VIII A, 1636.

51 For her relations with M. Antonius, Ad Att. X, 10, 5; XV, 22; Phill. II, 58.

52 Ad fam. XV, 14, 1; VII, 23, 4; 33, 2.

53 Ad fam. VII, 32, 3; 33, 2.

54 Carcopino J., Les secrets de la correspondance de Cicéron II (1947), 218 ff.

55 Atticus 9, 4; 10, 2.

56 Rom. Rev. (1939), 201.

57 Phil. XIII, 3.

58 Nepos, Atticus 12, 4.

59 cf. Rom. Rev. (1939), 71, 355. MRR unfortunately missed Balbus and Mamurra. Also Cicero's praefectus fabrum in 63, Vibius, described by Plutarch (Cicero 32) as Σικελὸς ἀνήρ. Possibly identical with the mysterious Sicca, cf. Münzer, P-W 11 A, 2186 f. But observe in Sicily the knight L. Vibius, ‘vir primarius’ (In Verrem II, 2, 182).

60 Brutus 48 (cf. 51). Plutarch calls him an ἀνὴρ φιλόσοφος. It is therefore unwise to press for an identification with P. Volumnius Eutrapelus.

61 De viris illustribus 72.

62 Rom. Rev. (1939), 184, 203.

63 Ad fam. X, 32, 5; cf. 31, 6.

64 Ad Att. XII, 26, 2.

65 Strabo XIV, p. 658.

66 Strabo XIV, p. 648; cf. Plutarch, Antonius 24; SIG 3 766 (Magnesia ad Maeandrum).

67 As first shown by Herzog R., Hist. Zeitschr. CXXV (1922), 189 ff. cf. A. Stein, P-W XVII, 334; Magie D., Roman Rule in Asia Minor (1950), 1278.

68 BMC, Caria and the Islands 213. Showing on the reverses eight names of annual magistrates, the coins indicate the duration of his rule.

69 e.g. Paton and Hicks, Inscr. of Cos (1891), 76–80. For the detail of the rest (four still unpublished), P-W XVII, 334. Nicias is designated as τοῦ δάμου υἱός φιλόπατρις, ἦρως, εὐεργέτας τᾶς πόλιος.

70 Anth. Pal. IX, 81.

71 CIL III, 7124 (Ephesus), cf. Dörner F. K., Der Erlass des Statthalters von Asia Paullus Fabius Persicus (Diss. Greifswald, 1935).

72 For conjectures, assumptions and problems see Grant M., FITA (1946), 383 ff. Magie D., Roman Rule in Asia Minor (1950), 1580; Atkinson K. M. T., Historia VII (1958), 319, 324. Grant, o.c. 383, puts Vedius Pollio in 30/29.

73 BMC, Lydia 338; M. Grant, o.c. 382.

74 IGR IV, 215; AE 1903, 212 = Didyma II (1958), 146; IG II2, 4125. Registered by J. Keil in P-W VIII A, 568.

75 Keil inclines to this view, P-W VIII A, 563.

76 Not in Magie's vast work, and all that CAH X provides is an erroneous statement about his original status (189).

77 Suetonius, Divus Aug. 66, 3.

78 PIR 2, A 368.

79 Ad Att. I, 18, 6; II, 8, 1.

80 Dio LIV, 23, 1–6. cf. Seneca, De ira III, 40, 2; De clem. I, 18, 2; Pliny, NH IX, 77.

81 Dio LIV, 21, 3–8.

82 PLM IV, p. 64 (ed. Baehrens).

83 Dio LIV, 23, 5.

84 Fasti VI, 643 f. The Portico was completed eight years later (Dio LV, 8, 2), and was admired by Strabo (v, p. 236).

85 LIV, 23, 1.

86 Ann. I, 10, 5.

87 Ann. XII, 60, 4. For C. Matius, Caesar's friend, and his son (the latter is probably the man who wrote on kitchen and cellar), see F. Münzer, P-W XIV 2206 ff.

88 Ann. III, 30.

89 Cicero, Ad fam. IX, 13, 4.

90 Plutarch, Pompeius 24.

91 cf. F. Münzer, P-W XV, 897.

92 Suetonius, De gramm. II.

93 Cicero, De domo sua 116; cf. Ad Att. IV, 5, 2; VI, 1, 15.

94 cf. Latomus XVII (1958), 77 f. Humble origin is alleged by Gellius XV, 4, 2.

95 Dio states his parentage—ἐξ ἀπελευθέρων ἐγεγόνει (LIV, 23, 1). Misunderstood in CAH x, 189, where he is described as a freedman who acquired equestrian rank.

96 Plutarch, Pompeius 6. Not in P-W or MRR.

97 Epodes 4.

98 CIL IX, 5295, 5333 (Cupra); 5141 (Interamna).

99 I2, 1816.

100 IX, 4429 (‘litteris antiquioribus’).

101 I2, 1671.

102 IX, 1556 = ILS 109; ‘P. Veidius P. f. Pollio/Caesareum imp. Caesari Augusto/et coloniae Beneventanae.’

103 IX, 1703.

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