Lucius Antonius Saturninus

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Lucius Antonius Saturninus
Died 89
Mainz
Allegiance Roman Empire
Years of service 76–89
Rank General
Commands held Legio XXI Rapax
Legio XIV Gemina
Other work Roman Consul in 82

Lucius Antonius Saturninus was a Roman Senator and general during the reign of Vespasian and his sons. While governor of the province Germania Superior, motivated by a personal grudge against Emperor Domitian, he led a rebellion known as the Revolt of Saturninus, involving the legions Legio XIV Gemina and Legio XXI Rapax, camped in Moguntiacum (Mainz).

Life[edit]

Due to the fact Saturninus was subjected to a damnatio memoriae following his defeat and death, it is difficult to reconstruct his life before his revolt. Ronald Syme has offered a possible cursus honorum for Saturninus, based on inscriptions with erasures of the relevant dates.[1] Earliest is a proconsular governorship in Macedonia, dated to c. 76, then a possible governorship in Judea from possibly 78 to 81; the governorship of Judea was paired with command of Legio X Fretensis. First proposed by Borghesi, but accepted by both Syme and others was a period as suffect consul in either 82 or 83.[2] From 87 he was governor of Germania Superior.

Revolt of Saturninus[edit]

In January 89, Saturninus led a revolt. He expected his Germanic allies to cross the Rhine to support him, but were prevented by a sudden thaw of the river Rhine, and the revolt was quickly put down by Domitian's general Lucius Appius Maximus Norbanus, who afterwards burned Saturninus' letters in an attempt to avoid implicating others. However, Domitian had numerous others executed with Saturninus, displaying their heads on the rostra at Rome. The Legio XXI was sent to Pannonia, and Domitian passed a law prohibiting two legions from sharing the same camp.[3][4][5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Syme, Ronald (1978). "Antonius Saturninus". The Journal of Roman Studies. 68: 12–21. doi:10.2307/299623. JSTOR 299623.  Subscription required.
  2. ^ Paul Gallivan ("The Fasti for A. D. 70-96", Classical Quarterly, 31 (1981), p. 211) argues that his consulship ought to be dated to 83; however, Werner Eck ("Epigraphische Untersuchungen zu Konsuln und Senatoren des 1.-3. Jh. n. Chr.", Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 37 (1980), pp. 51-60) argues for 82. Further discussion can be found in the articles listed by Edward Dabrowa, Legio X Fretensis: A Prosopographical Study of its Officers (I-III c. A.D.) (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1993), p. 32 n. 88
  3. ^ Suetonius, "Life of Domitian, 6.2". , "7.3". 
  4. ^ Dio Cassius, "Roman History, 11.1-2". 
  5. ^ "Aurelius Victor, Epitome de Caesaribus". Retrieved 3 December 2013.