Gaius Ummidius Durmius Quadratus

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Gaius Ummidius Durmius Quadratus (c. 12 BCE-c. 60 CE) was the Roman governor of Syria from c. 50 until his death.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Gaius Ummidius Durmius Quadratus was born c. 12 BCE.[1] His family, the Ummidii, were nobles from the Italian town of Casinum, Latium.[2] His second family name, "Durmius", may indicate that he was adopted into the Ummidii; if so, his natural father could have been one Marcus Durmius, known to have been a mint official c. 19 BCE.[1]

Neither family had previously produced any members of the Roman Senate, and Quadratus began his career by holding a minor judicial post in Rome.[3] However, in 14 CE he achieved the quaestorship, a junior magistracy bringing membership of the Senate, and was one of two quaestors assigned as assistants to Augustus, the first Emperor. Augustus died on August 19, and Quadratus was able to witness at close hand Rome's first imperial succession, as the power passed to Augustus' adoptive son Tiberius.[1]

Career under Tiberius[edit]

Thereafter Quadratus advanced rapidly through the cursus honorum – the sequence of positions held by Roman senators – becoming curule aedile in 16 or 17 and praetor in 18. He could have expected to hold the consulship in due course, but his only known office until 37, the year of Tiberius' death, was that of proconsul of Cyprus. Ronald Syme speculates that he had somehow fallen from the Emperor's favour.[1]

Governorship of Syria[edit]

The procurator of Iudaea, Ventidius Cumanus, was accused of partiality to the Samaritans, who were at variance with the Galileans, and both parties appealed to Quadratus. The governor went to Samaria in 52 and suppressed the disturbance. The Samaritan and Galilean insurgents were crucified; five (eighteen according to Josephus, BJ 2.12.6) Galileans whom the Samaritans pointed out as instigators of the movement were executed in Lydda; the high priest Ananias and Anan, the governor of the Temple, were sent in chains to Rome; and the leaders of the Samaritans, the procurator Cumanus, and the military tribune Celer were also sent to plead their cause before the emperor. In fear of further disturbances, Quadratus hurried to Jerusalem; finding the city peacefully celebrating the Feast of Passover, he returned to Antioch (Josephus, Ant. 20.6.1-2; BJ 2.12.3-6; Zonaras, 6.15). Cumanus was deposed and was succeeded by Felix, appointed at the request of the high priest, Jonathan, whom also Quadratus had sent to Rome.

The version of Tacitus (Annals 12.45, 54) can not be reconciled with that of Josephus, since, according to the former, Felix and Cumanus were procurators at the same time, the one in Samaria and the other in Galilee. According to Tacitus, also, Quadratus himself sat in judgment upon Cumanus, and he expressly states that Quadratus was superior to the procurator in authority. Quadratus died during his tenure of office (Tacitus, Annals, 14.26). Several coins struck by him have been found.[4]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Syme, Ronald (1968). "The Ummidii". Historia 17: 72–105.  Reprinted in Ronald Syme (1979). Roman Papers II. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 659–693, p. 660. ISBN 0-19-814367-2. 
  2. ^ Syme, p. 659.
  3. ^ ILS 972 (an inscription from Casinum). Latin text in Edward Dąbrowa (1998). The Governors of Roman Syria from Augustus to Septimius Severus. Antiquitas. Reihe 1, Abhandlungen zur alten Geschichte; Bd. 45. Bonn: R. Habelt. pp. 49–50. ISBN 3-7749-2828-2.  Translated in David C. Braund (1985). Augustus to Nero: A Sourcebook on Roman History: 31 BC–AD 68. Totowa, New Jersey: Barnes and Noble. p. no. 402. ISBN 0-389-20536-2. 
  4. ^ Sources for this section: Heinrich Grätz, Geschichte 4th ed., iii.725-728; Emil Schürer, Geschichte 3d ed., i.335, 570; Prosopographia Imperii Romani, iii.468, No. 600.

References[edit]

  • Braund, David C. (1985). Augustus to Nero: A Sourcebook on Roman History: 31 BC–AD 68. Totowa, New Jersey: Barnes and Noble. p. no. 402. ISBN 0-389-20536-2. 
  • Dąbrowa, Edward (1998). The Governors of Roman Syria from Augustus to Septimius Severus. Antiquitas. Reihe 1, Abhandlungen zur alten Geschichte; Bd. 45. Bonn: R. Habelt. pp. 49–53. ISBN 3-7749-2828-2. 
  • Syme, Ronald (1968). "The Ummidii". Historia 17: 72–105.  Reprinted in Ronald Syme (1979). Roman Papers II. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 659–693. ISBN 0-19-814367-2. 
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Quadratus, Ummidius Caius". Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906. 

Further reading[edit]