Decimus Valerius Asiaticus (Legatus)

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Decimus Valerius Asiaticus (35-after 69 AD) was a Roman Senator who served as a Legatus of Gallia Belgica.[1]

Family Background & Early Life[edit]

Asiaticus was of Praetorian rank.[2] He was the son born to the Roman Senator, consul Decimus Valerius Asiaticus[3] and the Roman noblewoman Lollia Saturnina. There is a possibility he may have had other siblings. He and along with his family were originated from Vienna,[4] Gallia Narbonensis.

The father of Asiaticus was of Allobrogian origin[5] and his political career was a contemporary of the rule of the Roman emperors Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius. His father was a respected,[6] wealthy, and prominent Roman Senator.[7] The elder Asiaticus in 35 served as a suffect consul and again in 46, served as an ordinary consul.[8] He was the first citizen from Vienna to become consul,[9] the first man from Gaul to attain the consulship[10] and became the first man from Gaul to be admitted into the Roman Senate.[11] The elder Asiaticus had a brother who served as a Roman Senator until 47.[12]

The mother of Asiaticus was the social, beautiful woman Lollia Saturnina,[13] whose younger sister Lollia Paulina was a Roman empress and the third wife of the Roman emperor Caligula.[14] Saturnina was the first daughter of the suffect consul Marcus Lollius and the noble woman Volusia Saturnina,[15] as she was a first cousin to Roman emperor Tiberius and his brother, the General Nero Claudius Drusus.[16]

Although Asiaticus was the namesake of his father and through Roman citizenship he was a member of the gens Valeria, through his mother he also had relations to that gens. His maternal grandfather Marcus Lollius, was the son born to the Roman Politician and Military Officer Marcus Lollius[17] from his wife Valeria.[18] Valeria was one of the daughters of the literary patron, consul Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus and a sister to the Roman Senators Marcus Valerius Messalla Messallinus and Marcus Aurelius Cotta Maximus Messalinus.[19] His father was murdered on the orders of the Roman empress Valeria Messalina in 47[20] and was later raised by his mother. Little is known on his early life.

Political career[edit]

After serving as a Legatus of Gallia Belgica,[21] he later became the Roman governor of that province[22] in the reign of the Roman emperor Nero.[23] In early 69 when Aulus Vitellius became Roman emperor, he was finding governors and commanders in the provinces as supporters for his emperorship who were genuinely enthusiastic.[24] Among those supporters was Asiaticus.[25] When Vitellius was in the city of Lugdunum Gaul,[26] proclaiming his son and daughter as heirs from his wife Galeria Fundana,[27] Vitellius betrothed his daughter Vitellia to Asiaticus.[28] Asiaticus and Vitellia had married in the reign of Vitellius.[29]

He had become powerful through wealth and the skilful exploitation of imperial patronage.[30] The alliance with Asiaticus and Vitellius was perhaps an attempt to reconcile the communities in Gaul with the Roman state.[31] Asiaticus was unable to give Vitellius much support when the Roman army commanders appointed, Vespasian as an alternative successor to Vitellius.[32]

When Vespasian became Roman emperor in second half of 69, Asiaticus was appointment for a consulship in 70.[33] Before he could serve his consulship in early 70, Asiaticus died.[34]

Asiaticus was survived by Vitellia and their son Marcus Lollius Paulinus Decimus Valerius Asiaticus Saturninus.[35] Later in 70, Vespasian arranged Vitellia to remarry another unnamed groom.[36] Her second marriage was a splendid match for her and Vespasian provided for her, the dowry and clothing.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bowman, The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 10, p.273
  2. ^ Bowman, The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 10, p.273
  3. ^ The Roman World: Gallia Narbonensis's Urbs of Vienna
  4. ^ Morgan, 69 AD: The Year of Four Emperors, p.149
  5. ^ Decimus Valerius Asiaticus: A notable Gallo-Roman from Vienna in the 1st century, translated from French to English
  6. ^ Alston, Aspects of Roman History AD 14-117, p.92
  7. ^ Wiseman, Talking to Virgil: A Miscellany, p.75
  8. ^ Decimus Valerius Asiaticus: page 194, by P.J. Sijpesteijn of University of Amsterdam, 1989
  9. ^ Decimus Valerius Asiaticus: page 194, by P.J. Sijpesteijn of University of Amsterdam, 1989
  10. ^ Freisenbruch, The First Ladies of Rome: The Women Behind the Caesars, p.131
  11. ^ Decimus Valerius Asiaticus: A notable Gallo-Roman from Vienna in the 1st century, translated from French to English
  12. ^ Decimus Valerius Asiaticus: A notable Gallo-Roman from Vienna in the 1st century, translated from French to English
  13. ^ Wiseman, Talking to Virgil: A Miscellany, p.75
  14. ^ Freisenbruch, The First Ladies of Rome: The Women Behind the Caesars, p.131
  15. ^ Lollius by D.C. O’Driscoll
  16. ^ After Actium: Two Caesars Are Not Enough: Chapter LXXXVII: The Trials of Livia Valeria
  17. ^ Marcus Lollius’ article at Livius.org
  18. ^ Genealogy of M. Lollius by D.C. O’Driscoll
  19. ^ Genealogy of M. Lollius by D.C. O’Driscoll
  20. ^ Alston, Aspects of Roman History AD 14-117, p.92
  21. ^ Bowman, The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 10, p.273
  22. ^ Morgan, 69 AD: The Year of Four Emperors, p.149
  23. ^ Wightman, Gallia Belgica, p.61
  24. ^ Morgan, 69 AD: The Year of Four Emperors, p.81
  25. ^ Morgan, 69 AD: The Year of Four Emperors, p.81
  26. ^ Morgan, 69 AD: The Year of Four Emperors, p.149
  27. ^ Morgan, 69 AD: The Year of Four Emperors, p.149
  28. ^ Morgan, 69 AD: The Year of Four Emperors, p.149
  29. ^ Morgan, 69 AD: The Year of Four Emperors, p.149
  30. ^ Wightman, Gallia Belgica, p.61
  31. ^ Bowman, The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 10, p.273
  32. ^ Bowman, The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 10, p.273
  33. ^ Morgan, 69 AD: The Year of Four Emperors, p.149
  34. ^ Epilogue: The Fall of the Vitellii - Vitellia?, daughter
  35. ^ Bowman, The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 10, p.217
  36. ^ Epilogue: The Fall of the Vitellii - Vitellia?, daughter
  37. ^ Epilogue: The Fall of the Vitellii - Vitellia?, daughter

Sources[edit]