Gaius Bruttius Praesens

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Lucius Fulvius Gaius Bruttius Praesens Laberius Maximus Polyonymus (c. 119 – after 180) was a prominent Roman senator and twice consul during the reigns of Roman emperors Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. His career is largely known from inscriptions. The epithet Polyonymus appears on his grave inscription but should not itself be understood as a name, like some aristocratic Romans of the period he had ten or twelve names in all.

Praesens was the son and (as far as is known) the only child to Roman consul and senator Caius Bruttius Praesens Lucius Fulvius Rusticus and from his second marriage to rich Roman heiress Laberia Hostilia Crispina, daughter of the general and twice consul Manius Laberius Maximus. He was born and raised in Volceii, Lucania, Italy. To judge by the presumed dates of his first offices, Praesens must have been born in or around the year 119. He served as a military tribune in Legio III Gallica in Syria, probably about 136 when his father was governing the province. At the beginning of Antoninus Pius’ reign the family evidently stood in high favour: the father took his second consulship in 139 as colleague of the new emperor, and the son was elevated to patrician status about the same time. He went on to fill the coveted position of quaestor augusti to Antoninus.

His first consulship fell in 153: he was consul ordinarius, initiating the year with Publius Septimius Afer for colleague. He continued to prosper under Marcus Aurelius: like his father, he was Proconsul of Africa, in 166-167. In 178, Marcus Aurelius' son future Emperor Commodus was married to Praesens’s daughter Bruttia Crispina and Marcus designated Praesens consul for the year 180. On 3 August 178, Praesens was one of those who accompanied Marcus and the young Commodus on the so-called 'expeditio Germanica secunda' against the Quadi, Iazyges and Marcomanni, and received military decorations for his part in the campaign. Praesens duly initiated the year 180, again as consul ordinarius, with Sextus Quintilius Condianus for colleague. His wife is unknown and Praesens had two children: a son, the future consul Lucius Bruttius Quintius Crispinus and a daughter, future Empress Bruttia Crispina.

Political offices
Preceded by
Manius Acilius Glabrio Gnaeus Cornelius Severus ,
Marcus Valerius Homullus
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Aulus Junius Rufinus
Succeeded by
Lucius Verus,
Titus Sextius Lateranus
Preceded by
Commodus ,
Publius Martius Veru
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Sextus Quintilius Condianus
Succeeded by
Lucius Antistius Burrus