Quintus Pedius (died late 43 BC) was a Roman who lived during the late Roman Republic. He was the son of a Marcus or Quintus Pedius and nephew or great nephew of the Roman dictator Julius Caesar through one of his sisters.
During the Roman Civil War between Caesar and Pompey in 49 BC, Pedius allied himself with Caesar. In 48 BC, Pedius was promoted to the praetorship in Rome. In that same year, he commanded a legion and successfully quelled an anti-Caesarean uprising at Compsa, resulting in the deaths of both Marcus Caelius Rufus and Titus Annius Milo, who had been leading the ill-fated revolt. In early 45 BC, Pedius served as a legatus against Sextus Pompeius in Spain. Pedius claimed victory against Sextus Pompeius and returned to Rome with Caesar. Caesar honored him with a triumph and the title of proconsul.
Caesar was assassinated in Rome in March of 44 BC. In Caesar’s will, Pedius was named as one of his heirs. Like his cousin Lucius Pinarius, he was to receive one eighth of Caesar’s legacy, but he renounced the inheritance in favor of Caesar’s main heir, Pedius’ cousin Octavian (future Roman emperor Augustus). In August 43 BC, Octavian with Pedius were elected as consuls after marching on Rome with an army.
During the consulship, Pedius created a law called the Lex Pedia or ‘Pedian Law’, which punished all the murderers of Caesar or those who called for Caesar’s death. Pedius was left in charge of Rome, while his colleague and cousin left for Northern Italy to join Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in forming the Second Triumvirate.
The Senate approved of his law. Not long afterwards, the Second Triumvirate was formed at Bononia. When news reached Rome of the new political pact between Octavian, Antony and Lepidus and of the lists of people whom they would put to death, Pedius became very concerned. Pedius was unable to stop the events from occurring and recommended only seventeen people to be put to death. Out of concern, he pledged to protect the citizens of Rome. Soon afterwards, Pedius had suffered so much political fatigue he died.
Pedius married a Roman noblewoman called Valeria, one of the sisters of the Roman Senator Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus and thus a daughter of Marcus Valerius Messalla Niger and his wife, Polla. Pedius and Valeria had at least one child, a son named Quintus Pedius Publicola. Publicola became a Roman Senator, who distinguished himself with his oratory. Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia mentions that Quintus Pedius had a grandson, also named Quintus Pedius, who was deaf and is notable as being the earliest example of a deaf individual named in written history.
- Syme, R., Augustan Aristocracy, pages 20 and 206.
- Suetonius, The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Caesar
- Ronald Syme, The Augustan Aristocracy
- William Smith, text of Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, v. 3 p. 163
- Addison Hart, Dreams of Empire: The Fall of the Roman Republic, Military History Online
Aulus Hirtius and Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus
|Consul (Suffect.) of the Roman Republic
Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Lucius Munatius Plancus