Paullus Fabius Maximus

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Paullus Fabius Maximus was the elder son of Quintus Fabius Maximus (suffect consul 45 BCE). He had one younger brother, Africanus Fabius Maximus[1] and a sister, Fabia Paullina. Their father died on the 31st of December, 45 BCE.[1]

Paullus was named in honour of Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus, who was either his natural paternal great-great-grandfather or great-great-great-grandfather.[2]


The first known post of Paullus was quaestor under Augustus during the latter's travels through the eastern provinces in 22-19 BCE.[3] He does not reappear until his consulship in 11 BCE. He then served as proconsul of the province of Asia in either 10/9 BCE,[4] 9/8 BCE[5] or 6/5 BCE,[6] during which, he minted coins with his own image[7] [2]. His last known post was as legate of Tarraconensis in 3BCE.[8][9][10][11][12]

Paullus was also a member of the Arval Brethren.[13]

Marriage and children[edit]

In the 10s BCE,[14] Paullus married Marcia,[15] daughter of Lucius Marcius Philippus (suff. 38BCE) and Atia (a maternal aunt of Augustus[16]). As a result of her maternity, Marcia was a first cousin of Augustus.[17]

Paullus had at least one child by Marcia, a son, named Paullus Fabius Persicus (consul 34), who was probably born in 2 or 1 BCE.[18] A second child may have been Fabia Numantina, although it is possible that she was a daughter of Paullus' brother, Africanus Fabius Maximus.[19]

Patron of Poetry[edit]

Paullus is mentioned by Juvenal as having been a generous patron of poetry.[20] He is also mentioned (along with Iullus Antonius by name in Horace's third poem (from the year 13 BCE) and hinted at in one of Horace's odes.[21] He is also the recipient of a wedding song composed by the poet Ovid.[22] Ovid also wrote to Paullus during the exile of the former.[23]

A New Calendar in the Province of Asia[edit]

Sometime around 9BCE, the provincial council of the province of Asia decided that it needed to try to find a unique way to honour Augustus. As such, it decreed a competition to find such an honour with the winner to receive a crown from the province. It was Paullus himself, while proconsul of Asia, who came up with the winning proposal, specifically a new calendar for the province of Asia, wherein the new year would start on September 23, Augustus' birthday.[24]

Later Life and Death[edit]

Paullus died in the summer of 14CE.[25][26]

It is reported by Tacitus that prior to his death, Paullus accompanied Augustus on a secret visit to Augustus' last surviving grandson, Agrippa Postumus, where grandfather and grandson were reconciled. However, Paullus is said to have mentioned this event to his wife, Marcia, who, in turn, informed Augustus' wife, Livia.[27] It is said that Augustus was angered by this betrayal of his trust, and that Paullus' death was a direct or indirect result of this.[28]

However, there have been doubts expressed as to the accuracy and truth of this report.[28]

Paullus was succeeded in the Arval Brethren by his son, Paullus Fabius Persicus.[29][30]

Preceded by
Marcus Valerius Messalla Appianus and Publius Sulpicius Quirinius
Consul of the Roman Empire together with Quintus Aelius Tubero
11 BCE
Succeeded by
Africanus Fabius Maximus and Iullus Antonius


  1. ^ a b Syme, R. Augustan Aristocracy (1989), p. 403
  2. ^ Syme, R., Augustan Aristocracy (1989), pp. 75 & 419/20
  3. ^ IG II2. 4130; Athens [1]
  4. ^ Syme, R. Augustan Aristocracy (1989), p. 405
  5. ^ K. M. T. Atkinson, "The Governors of the Province Asia in the Reign of Augustus", Historia 7 (1958) 300-330.
  6. ^ B. A. Buxton & R. Hannah, "OGIS 458, the Augustan Calendar, and the Succession", in C. Deroux (ed.), Studies in Latin Literature and Roman History XII (Brussels, 2005) 290-306.
  7. ^ Toynbee, J.M.C, Roman Historical Portraits (1978), pp. 74 f.
  8. ^ ILS 8895; Bracara
  9. ^ AE 1974, 392; Bracara
  10. ^ AE 1993, 01030; Lucus Augusti
  11. ^ CIL 02, 02581; Lucus Augusti
  12. ^ Syme, R., Augustan Aristocracy (1989), pp. 407/8
  13. ^ CIL VI. 2023 = ILS 5026; Rome
  14. ^ Syme, R., Augustan Aristocracy (1989), p. 403
  15. ^ ILS 8821; Paphos
  16. ^ ILS 8811; Paphos
  17. ^ Syme, R., Augustan Aristocracy (1989), p. 153
  18. ^ Syme, R., Augustan Aristocracy (1989), p. 416
  19. ^ Syme, R., Augustan Aristocracy (1989), pp. 417/8
  20. ^ Juvenal, Satire VII.95
  21. ^ Horace, Odes IV.1
  22. ^ Ovid, Ex Ponto 1.2.131
  23. ^ Ovid, Ex Ponto I.2 & III.1
  24. ^ Friesen, S.J., Imperial Cults and the Apolocalypse of John (2001), pp. 32-5
  25. ^ Syme, R., Augustan Aristocracy (1989), p. 414
  26. ^ Ovid, Ex Ponto IV.6
  27. ^ Tacitus, Annals 1.5
  28. ^ a b Syme, R., Augustan Aristocracy (1989), p. 415
  29. ^ AE 1947, 52; Rome
  30. ^ Syme, R., Augustan Aristocracy (1989), p., 416


  • Syme, Ronald; Augustan Aristocracy (Oxford University Press, 1989)
  • Toynbee, Jocelyn M.C; Roman Historical Portraits (Cornell University Press, 1978)
  • Friesen, Steven J.; Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John (Oxford University Press US, 2001)
  • Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum
  • Inscriptiones Graecae (IG)
  • Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae (ILS), (Berlin 1892-1916)
  • L'Année Epigraphique (AE)
  • Tacitus; Annals
  • Ovid; Ex Ponto
  • Juvenal; Satires
  • Horace; Odes

External links[edit]