Titus Didius

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Titus Didius was a general and politician of the Roman Republic. He is credited with the restoration of the Villa Publica,[1] and is notorious for his proconsulship in Hispania Citerior (modern-day Spain).

Titus Didius first held office in 103 BC as a Tribune of the Plebs.[2] He is noted for attempting to veto Gaius Norbanus’s (a fellow Tribune) prosecution of Q. Servilius Caepio in the aftermath of the Battle of Arausio[2] (which resulted in him being driven off from the proceedings by force). Two years later he was elected a Praetor. During this time he fought in Macedon, defeating the Scordisci[2] and earning his first triumph upon his return in 100 BC.[3] In 98 BC Didius was elected Consul alongside Q. Caecilius Metellus Nepos. Along with restoring the Villa Publica,[1] he enacted a law which disallowed combining two unrelated proposals in one bill.[4]

After his term as consul, Didius was assigned to govern the province of Hispania Citerior, where he served from 97 BC to 93 BC.[2] Nearly his entire proconsular term in Spain was spent at war with the Celtiberi.[2] In the four years Didius governed Spain he achieved multiple victories and is said to have slain 20,000 Arevaci, quelled the rebellious city of Termes (today Tiermes in the province of Soria), and besieged Colenda for nine months, after which time the city fell and the women and children were sold into slavery.[5] Didius earned another triumph after slaughtering of a colony of "robbers,"[6] in actuality poor people who had banded together to subsist through banditry after losing their property. Didius lured them in with promises of land to live on, and when the families assembled within the Roman castra in good faith, he had them slaughtered.[5] The historian Appian indicates that Didius's exceptional cruelty and treachery caused an even greater uprising which his experienced successor, G. Valerius Flaccus, had to put down.[7]

After concluding his service in Spain, Didius served as a legate in the Social War, under Lucius Julius Caesar in 90 BC, then Lucius Porcius Cato and Sulla in 89 BC.[2][8] Shortly following a successful capture of Herculaneum, he died in battle June 11, 89 BC.[2]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Makin, Ena. "The Triumphal Route, with Particular Reference to the Flavian Triumph." The Journal of Roman Studies 11(1921) 27. <http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0075-4358%281921%2911%3C25%3ATTRWPR%3E2.0.CO%3B2-N>
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Broughton, Robert. The Magistrates of the Roman Republic.
  3. ^ Cicero, "In Pisonem." http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0020&layout=&loc=Pis.+60
  4. ^ Cicero, "de Domo Sua." <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0020&layout=&loc=dom.+53>
  5. ^ a b Appian, History of Rome. http://www.livius.org/ap-ark/appian/appian_spain_20.html#%A7100
  6. ^ William Smith, "T. Didius." Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1870. http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/1011.html
  7. ^ Leonard A. Curchin, Roman Spain: Conquest and Assimilation (Routledge, 1991), p. 41 online.
  8. ^ Cicero, "Pro Fonteio." http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0019&layout=&loc=Font.+43
Political offices
Preceded by
Aulus Postumius Albinus and Marcus Antonius Orator
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Quintus Caecilius Metellus Nepos
98 BC
Succeeded by
Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus and Publius Licinius Crassus Dives