Aulus Postumius Tubertus

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Postumius kills his son for betraying his orders by Beccafumi for Palazzo Pubblico in Siena

Aulus Postumius Tubertus was a Roman military leader in the wars with the Aequi and Volsci during the fifth century BC. He served as Magister Equitum under the dictator Mamercus Aemilius Mamercinus in 434 BC, and was dictator himself in 431.[1][2]

Postumius' son-in-law was Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus Pennus, consul in 431 and 428 BC. When it was decided to appoint a dictator to undertake the war with the Aequi and Volsci in 431, the consuls could not agree, and by lot the choice fell to Cincinnatus, who nominated his father-in-law. The two men proceeded against the enemy, and on the 18th of June, won a great victory over the Aequi and Volsci at Mount Algidus. This was the site of a previous victory over the Aequi by the dictator Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus in 458 BC. That of 431 was the last major battle between Rome and the Aequi, and on his return, Postumius received a triumph.[3][2]

A well-known story tells that during this campaign, Postumius' son was so eager to engage the enemy that he quitted the post assigned him by his father, and that in consequence Postumius had him put to death. Livy doubted the truth of this account, noting that a similar and more infamous tradition was associated with Titus Manlius Torquatus, consul in 347, 344, and 340 BC. However, Niebuhr felt that Livy's reasoning was insufficient to dismiss the story.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Livy, iv. 23.
  2. ^ a b c Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. III, p. 1180 ("Tubertus", No. 2).
  3. ^ Livy, iv. 26–29.
  4. ^ Livy, iv. 29.
  5. ^ Diodorus Siculus, xii. 64.
  6. ^ Ovid, Fasti, vi. 721, ff.
  7. ^ Plutarch, "The Life of Camillus", 2.
  8. ^ Valerius Maximus, ii. 7. § 6.
  9. ^ Aulus Gellius, xvii. 21.
  10. ^ Niebuhr, History of Rome, vol. ii., p. 452 ff.