Marcus Plautius Silvanus

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Marcus Plautius Silvanus was a Roman politician and general who was consul in 2 BC.


Silvanus was the son of Urgulania, a close friend of the empress Livia, and it was Livia's intercession that allowed Silvanus to climb the cursus honorum, leading to the consulate in 2 BC alongside Augustus.[1][2] He was then made proconsul of Asia in 4-5 AD,[3] followed by a posting as imperial legate in Galatia in 6 AD, where he was involved in suppressing the Isaurians.[4]

Whilst there, news broke of the Great Illyrian Revolt. In 7 AD Silvanus was summoned by Tiberius who was in charge of the military situation in Illyricum, ordering him to bring his troops to help suppress the revolt.[5] He joined up with Caecina Severus, the imperial legate of Moesia and fought a major battle against the rebels at Sirmium. The Roman forces were victorious, but suffered very heavy losses.[6] Silvanus remained at the head of his forces until 9 AD, during which time he served in Pannonia.[7] Dalmatia,[8] as well as Illyricum.[9]

Although serving under Tiberius for the duration of the revolt, Tiberius had some doubts concerning Silvanus, especially his close connection with Tiberius' mother Livia.[10]


  • Syme, Ronald, The Roman Revolution, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1939.


  1. ^ Syme, pg. 422
  2. ^ Dio Cassius, Epitome of Roman History LV.0
  3. ^ Syme, pg. 435; Ronald Syme, The Augustan Aristocracy, Oxford University Press 1989, p. 340
  4. ^ Syme, pgs. 399 & 435
  5. ^ Syme, pgs. 399 & 436
  6. ^ Syme, pg. 399
  7. ^ Dio LV.34
  8. ^ Dio LVI.12
  9. ^ Velleius Paterculus II.112
  10. ^ Syme, pgs 422-423
Political offices
Preceded by
Lucius Cornelius Lentulus
Marcus Valerius Messalla Messallinus
Consul of the Roman Empire
2 BC
With: Augustus
Succeeded by
Lucius Caninius Gallus (suffect)