Gaius Carrinas (general)

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Gaius Carrinas (died 82 BC) was a Roman politician and general. Carrinas, as a leading member of the Marian party, fought in the civil war against Lucius Cornelius Sulla. He is perhaps best known for commanding Populares forces at the Battle of the Asio River and the Battle of the Colline Gate where he was captured and executed by Optimate forces.

In 83 BC, Carrinas commanded with little success troops against the then young Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus. The following year he served as a legate to Gnaeus Papirius Carbo. Again given an independent command, Carrinas was defeated by Metellus Pius in Umbria and again by Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus near Spoletium. After this defeat Carrinas found himself besieged in the city yet succeeded in escaping with his troops by taking advantage of a dark and stormy night.

After Carbo had left Italy, Carrinas joined his troops with those of Brutus Damasippus and the Samnites under Pontius Telesinus, after which they marched towards Praeneste, where Gaius Marius the Younger was besieged by a detachment of Sulla's troops. Unsuccessful in relieving Praeneste, the army marched upon Rome where it was met in battle by Sulla at the Colline Gate. After being defeated in the battle, Carrinas and the other Marian leaders took to flight, but they were captured and put to death by order of Sulla. Their heads were cut off and sent to Praeneste, where they were carried round the walls to inform Marius of the destruction of his friends and the hopelessness of his cause.

Carrinas was the father of Gaius Carrinas, consul suffectus in 43 B.C. Although no ancient source mentions the gens to which the family belonged, Havercamp supposes Carrinas to be a cognomen of the Albia gens.

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References[edit]

  • Appian, B. C. i. 87, 90, 92, 93;
  • Plut. Pomp. 7 ;
  • Oros. v. 21 ;
  • Eutrop. v. 8.
  • Sigebert Havercamp, Thes. Morell. p. 497.