Sergius Octavius Laenas Pontianus

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Sergius Octavius Laenas Pontianus was a consul of Ancient Rome in the year 131CE, during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. He was probably born in the late 1st century CE to an otherwise unknown Octavius Laenas and a woman named Pontia.

Family and Descent[edit]

Sergius Octavius Laenas Pontianus was a genealogically important figure on two accounts: his connection to the Julio-Claudian Dynasty and his connection to the Roman Emperor Nerva.

Julio-Claudian Connection[edit]

An inscription found at Tusculum, possibly set up by Pontianus himself, recounts a single genealogical connection to a female ancestor, specifically his grandmother, Rubellia Bassa, the daughter of Gaius Rubellius Blandus.[1] The genealogical significance of this connection is that the Gaius Rubellius Blandus had, in the early 30s CE, married Julia, the daughter of Julius Caesar Drusus, who, in turn, was the son of the Roman Emperor, Tiberius. Unfortunately, it is not known whether Rubellia Bassa was a product of this union or a daughter of Blandus by an earlier marriage. Either way, Pontianus was still able to make a connection very few (if any) others were able to make by the reign of Hadrian, specifically, one to the first dynasty of Rome.

A likely relative of Pontianus is one 'Sergius Rubellius Plautus', whose name was found on a lead pipe at Rome.[2][3] It is uncertain whether this Rubellius Plautus is the son of Gaius Rubellius Blandus and Julia or another otherwise unknown relative.

Connection to Nerva[edit]

However, the Julio-Claudian connection was not the only Imperial connection of Sergius Octavius Laenas Pontianus. He also had a blood connection with the Roman Emperor Nerva.

The connection was as follows: Sergius Octavius Laenas Pontianus was a descendant (probably great-grandson) of the Gaius Octavius Laenas (suffect consul 33 CE), who had a sister named Sergia Plautilla, who married a Marcus Cocceius Nerva, and whose union resulted in the Roman Emperor Nerva.[4]

Career[edit]

Apart from his holding the ordinary consulship in 131 CE with Marcus Antonius Rufinus, nothing is known for certain about Pontianus' career.

An inscription from Lucus Angitiae (modern Luco) that refers to a "... g ... Octav ... n ... ontianus" as being a member of the College of Pontiffs,[5] might be about Pontianus.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ CIL 14, 02610 "[Rub]elliae / [Bla]ndi f(iliae) Bassae / Octavi Laenatis / Sergius Octavius / Laenas Pontianus / aviae optimae"
  2. ^ AE 1954, 00070 "Serg(i) Rubelli Plauti"
  3. ^ Syme, R., 'The Marriage of Rubellius Blandus', p. 68
  4. ^ Syme, R., 'The Marriage of Rubellius Blandus', pp. 67-8
  5. ^ CIL 09, 03893 "[Ser]g(ius) Octav/[ius Lae]n[as(?)] / [P]ontianus / pont(ifex) pec(unia) / pub(lica) fac(iendum) / cur(avit)"

References[edit]

  • Syme, R., 'The Marriage of Rubellius Blandus' from The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 103, No. 1 (Spring, 1982), pp. 62–85
  • Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL)
  • L'Année Epigraphique (AE)