Titus Vestricius Spurinna

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For other people with the family name, see Spurinna.

Titus Vestricius Spurinna (ca. 24–after 105 AD[1]) was a Roman senator, consul, and a friend and role model[2] of Pliny the Younger.[3] He was consul at least twice, the first time possibly in 73, and the second in 98. He is said to have "held no office under Domitian after it became dishonorable to do so,"[4] but under Nerva, he was governor of Germania Inferior in 97,[5] at the age of 73. He was awarded a triumphal statue for his military service.[6]

Vestricius Spurinna is one of the correspondents in Pliny's Letters, and had literary interests of his own, including writing lyric poetry.[7] Pliny says dinner parties at his home were often enlivened by scenes from Roman comedy.[8]

The wife of Vestricius Spurinna was Cottia, who was probably considerably younger. They had at least one son, who died around 97 or 98 AD before he had begun a political career, typically at the age of thirty. Pliny refers to the son as Cottius, from his mother's nomen, an example of how in the Imperial era sons might preserve their mother's name as well as their father's.[9]

Pliny admired Vestricius Spurinna for his active but orderly life as a septuagenarian. He enjoyed conversation, reading and writing, exercise, and bathing. His diet was simple but good, and he enjoyed the full use of his faculties, remaining both physically and mentally vigorous.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Based on Pliny the Younger, Letters 3.1, dated to 101, where he is said to be 78 years old, and 5.17, where he is alive and over 80.
  2. ^ Tim G. Parkin, Old Age in the Roman World: A Cultural and Social History (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), p. 73.
  3. ^ Jo-Ann Shelton, The Women of Pliny's Letters (Routledge, 2013), p. 131.
  4. ^ Miriam Griffin, "Nerva to Hadrian," in Cambridge Ancient History: The High Empire A.D. 70–192 (Cambridge University Press, 2000), vol. 11, p. 89.
  5. ^ Parkin, Old Age in the Roman World, p. 122.
  6. ^ Shelton, The Women of Pliny's Letters, p. 132; Griffin, "Nerva to Hadrian," p. 89.
  7. ^ Katharina Schickert, Der Schutz literarischer Urheberschaft im Rom der klassischen Antike (Mohr Siebeck, 2005), p. 16.
  8. ^ Shelton, The Women of Pliny's Letters, p. 131.
  9. ^ Shelton, The Women of Pliny's Letters, p. 132.
  10. ^ Parkin, Old Age in the Roman World, pp. 73–74.