Quintus Pomponius Secundus

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Quintus Pomponius Secundus was a Roman aristocrat of the 1st century AD, and brother of the poet and statesman Publius Pomponius Secundus.

During the reign of Tiberius, the Pomponii Secundi were caught up in the political intrigues surrounding the downfall of Sejanus, a close advisor of the emperor, who was suspected of plotting to make himself the master of Rome in the emperor's absence. His downfall occurred in October of AD 31, when he held the honor of the consulship, giving him effective control of the government. One of his associates, a man named Aelius Gallus, fled to the house of Publius Pomponius, in the hope that his friend could protect him. On the basis of this friendship, Pomponius was one of those accused by Considius Proculus, a former praetor, of plotting revolution. Publius was imprisoned, and his brother, Quintus, gave surety on his behalf.[1]

In AD 33, Considius was indicted for treason, carried off and executed while he had been celebrating his birthday. Quintus Pomponius brought an accusation against Considius' sister, Sancia, who was herself interdicted from fire and water. Pomponius asserted that his accusation was motivated by a desire to obtain the emperor's favor and ensure the safety of his brother, Publius, who nonetheless seems to have languished in prison until the death of Tiberius. Under Caligula Publius was released, and even raised to the consulship in 41;[2] in the reign of Claudius, he was made the emperor's legate in Germania, celebrating a triumph over the Chatti in AD 50.[3]

In AD 41, Quintus Pomponius was appointed consul suffectus ex. vii. id. Jan. A scant two weeks into his consulship, Caligula was assassinated, along with various members of his household, including his wife, Milonia Caesonia, who was a sister of Quintus and Publius. Quintus, whom Cassius Dio describes unflatteringly as a sycophant of the emperor, managed to evade death at the hands of the Praetorian Guard.[4]

The following year, Publius Suillius Rufus, also a half-brother of the Pomponii, accused Marcus Furius Camillus Scribonianus,[5] the consul of AD 32, and his mother, Junia, of consulting astrologers to determine the time of the emperor's death. They were exiled, and in Dalmatia Camillus took up arms against the emperor. Quintus Pomponius was also accused by Suillius, and joined the revolt, which was crushed after only five days. Camillus was permitted to live in exile for some years; Pomponius' fate is unknown, although his brother remained in the emperor's favor.[6]

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Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Annales, v. 8.
  2. ^ This may be a mistake; Quintus is recorded as consul suffectus in A.D. 41, and as the emperor was assassinated less than three weeks later it seems unlikely that Publius also held the consulship, unless they were raised to it jointly. However, Cassius Dio says that Publius had held the consulship seven years before the accession of Caligula; although his name does not occur in the fasti, this would place his consulship about A.D. 30, the year before the downfall of Sejanus. See Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, lix. 6.
  3. ^ Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Annales, vi. 18.
  4. ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, 26, 29.
  5. ^ Born Lucius Arruntius, son of the consul of A.D. 6, he was adopted by Marcus Furius Camillus, consul in A.D. 8, for which reason he is also called Lucius Arruntius Camillus Scribonianus. His sister, Livia Medullina, was betrothed to Claudius circa A.D. 9, but is said to have fallen ill and died on the day of their wedding. See Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, De Vita Caesarum, "Claudius".
  6. ^ Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Annales, xii. 52, xiii. 43.