Aulus Didius Gallus Fabricius Veiento

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Aulus Didius Gallus Fabricius Veiento was a Roman politician and an adept in the art of political survival. In AD 62, early in Nero's reign, he was impeached, while Praetor, as the author of Codicilli, mock wills which libelled priests and senators. During Domitian's reign he was active as a delator (informer), while according to Pliny the Younger (Letters, 4.22.4) his appearance as a guest at the table of the emperor Nerva enraged the more respectable guests mentioned in Juvenal, Satire 4, line 127:

non cedit Veiento, sed ut fanaticus oestro
percussus, Bellona, tuo divinat et "ingens
omen habes" inquit "magni clarique triumphi.
regem aliquem capies, aut de temone Britanno
excidet Arviragus. peregrina est belua, cernis
erectas in terga sudes?" hoc defuit unum
Fabricio, patriam ut rhombi memoraret et annos.

which translates as:

"Veiento is not to be outdone, but, as if he were a priest inspired by the spirit of Bellona [goddess of war], prophesies, and says: 'You have a mighty omen of a great and glorious triumph. You will capture some king, or Arviragus will fall out of his British chariot. It's a foreign monster — see the spines sticking up on its back?' "

The 'monster' to which Juvenal makes Veiento refer was a turbot of unusual size.

A votive inscription of Trajanic date records Veiento's satisfaction of a vow to the goddess, Nemetona, in Moguntiacum (Mainz). The inscription (Dessau 1010) reads as follows:

A. DIDIUS GALLUS
[F]ABRICIUS VEIENTO COS
III XVVIR SACRIS FACIEND
SODALIS AUGUSTAL
SOD FLAVIAL
SOD TITIALIS
ET ATTICA EIUS
NEMETON V S L M

which translates as: "A(ulus) Didius Gallus [F]abricius Veiento, three times a consul, Member of the Board of Fifteen for Conducting the Sacred Rites, Member of the College of Augustales, Member of the College of Flaviales, Member of the College of Titiales, and his Attica willingly satisfied their vow to Nemetona, who deserved it." According to Dessau, Mommsen conjectured that Veiento had gone to Moguntiacum and performed the right to Nemetona when serving as one of the legates who brought the news of his adoption to Trajan in 97.

He was probably the son or grandson of Aulus Didius Gallus, who was consul in 36 and governor of Britain from 52 to 57.

He is used to good effect in stage 37 of the Cambridge Schools Classics Project as a 'factional' character in Domitian's council discussing Agricola's position in Britain, and so is slightly known by the many thousands who have studied this course over the last forty-plus years.