Titus Flavius Claudius Sulpicianus

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Titus Flavius Claudius Sulpicianus
Consul suffectus of the Roman Empire
Reign ca. 170 AD

Titus Flavius Claudius Sulpicianus (ca. 137 AD – 197 AD) was a Roman statesman who served as Senator and Consul suffectus. He attempted to become Roman Emperor after the death of Pertinax in 193.

Early life[edit]

Sulpicianus was probably born in the Cretan town of Hierapytna around the year 137. A senator, he was probably the son of Flavius Titianus, who was the equestrian Prefect of Egypt under the Roman Emperor Hadrian.

Career[edit]

Sulpicianus’ early career is unknown, but in around 170 he was appointed suffect consul. Sometime during the 170s he was made a member of the Arval Brethren, and he was appointed the Proconsular governor of Asia in 186.[1] He may have had some involvement in the plot to murder the emperor Commodus at the end of 192,[2] and by early 193 he was appointed Praefectus urbi of Rome as a result of his marital ties to the incoming emperor Pertinax, who was married to his daughter, Flavia Titiana, as part of the emperor’s attempt to shore up his support among the senatorial aristocracy.

Attempted Emperorship[edit]

The murder of Pertinax, 19th Emperor of the Roman Empire and his son-in-law, saw Sulpicianus trying to quell a disturbance among the Praetorian Guard. Hearing of Pertinax’s death, he was offered the imperial title and he turned to the Praetorians in Rome to gain their approval.[3] He proceeded to offer them each soldier 20,000 sesterces, or eight years worth of wages, the same amount offered by Marcus Aurelius in 161. Unfortunately, a fellow senator, Didius Julianus appeared and began to bid for their support as well, and he made them a higher offer, which they accepted.[4] Julianus was saluted as imperator by the Praetorians, and the new emperor proceeded to pardon his rival, retaining Sulpicianus as the urban prefect.[5]

Death[edit]

Sulpicianus survived Julianus’ death and the arrival of the new emperor Septimius Severus. However, possibly due to his having supported the rival imperial claimant Clodius Albinus, Sulpicianus was tried and executed in 197.[6]

Family[edit]

Sulpicianus had at least two children; a son, Titus Flavius Titianus who was suffect consul ca. 200 AD, and a daughter Flavia Titiana, who was married to the emperor Pertinax. He also had a number of estates around Praeneste.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mennen, pg. 122
  2. ^ Birley, pg. 84
  3. ^ Birley, pg. 95
  4. ^ Vagi, David L. (2000). Coinage and history of the Roman Empire, c. 82 B.C.- A.D. 480. (1st ed. ed.). Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn. p. 258. ISBN 1579583164. 
  5. ^ Campbell, Brian The Severan Dynasty in The Cambridge Ancient History: Volume 12, The Crisis of Empire, AD 193-337 (2006), pg. 2
  6. ^ Birley, pg. 127

References[edit]

  • Birley, Anthony, Septimius Severus: The African Emperor (1999)
  • Mennen, Inge, Power and Status in the Roman Empire, AD 193-284 (2011)

Further reading[edit]

  • Brian Campbell (2005), Alan K. Bowman u. a., ed., "The Severan Dynasty" (in German), The Cambridge Ancient History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) Band 12: pp. 1–27, esp. p. 2–3, ISBN 0-521-30199-8
  • David S. Potter (2004) (in German), The Roman Empire at Bay AD 180–395, London: Routledge, pp. 96–97, ISBN 0-415-10058-5
Political offices
Preceded by
Uncertain
Consul suffectus of the Roman Empire
around AD 170
Succeeded by
Uncertain