The gens Calpurnia was a plebeian family at Rome, which first appears in history during the third century BC. The first of the gens to obtain the consulship was Gaius Calpurnius Piso in 180 BC, but from this time their consulships were very frequent, and the family of the Pisones became one of the most illustrious in the Roman state. Two important pieces of Republican legislation, the lex Calpurnia of 149 BC and lex Acilia Calpurnia of 67 BC were passed by members of the gens.
Branches and cognomina
The family-names of the Calpurnii under the Republic are Bestia, Bibulus, Flamma, and Piso.
Piso was the name of the greatest family of the Calpurnia gens. Like many other cognomina, this name is connected with agriculture, and comes from the verb pisere or pinsere, which refers to the pounding or grinding of corn. The family first rose from obscurity during the Second Punic War, and from that time it became one of the most distinguished in the Roman state. It preserved its celebrity under the empire, and during the first century was second to the imperial family alone. Many of the Pisones bore this cognomen alone, but others bore the agnomina Caesoninus and Frugi.
Of the other surnames of the Republican Calpurnii, Bestia refers to a "beast", "an animal without reason". Bibulus translates as "fond of drinking", or "thirsty", while Flamma refers to a flame.
- Marcus Calpurnius Flamma, one of the military tribunes in 258 BC, during the First Punic War, led a daring mission to relieve the army of the consul Aulus Atilius Calatinus.
- Gaius Calpurnius C. f. Piso, praetor in 211 BC.
- Gaius Calpurnius C. f. C. n. Piso, consul in 180 BC, triumphed over the Lusitani and Celtiberi.
- Lucius Calpurnius (C. f. C. n.) Piso, sent as ambassador to the Achaeans at Sicyon in 198 BC.
- Lucius Calpurnius C. f. C. n. Piso Caesoninus, originally a member of the gens Caesonia, and adopted by one of the Calpurnii; consul in 148 BC.
- Lucius Calpurnius L. f. C. n. Piso Caesoninus, consul in 112 BC.
- Lucius Calpurnius L. f. L. n. Piso Caesoninus, manufactured arms at Rome during the Social War.
- Lucius Calpurnius L. f. L. n. Piso Caesoninus, consul in 58 BC, and father-in-law of Caesar.
- Calpurnia L. f. L. n., the last wife of the dictator Gaius Julius Caesar.
- Lucius Calpurnius L. f. L. n. Piso Caesoninus, consul in 15 BC.
- Lucius Calpurnius L. f. L. n. Piso Caesoninus, elder son of the consul of 15 BC.
- Lucius Calpurnius L. f. C. n. Piso Frugi, consul in 133 BC.
- Lucius Calpurnius L. f. L. n. Piso Frugi, propraetor in Hispania Ulterior circa 112 BC.
- Lucius Calpurnius L. f. L. n. Piso Frugi, praetor in 74 BC, frustrated some of the schemes of his colleague, Verres.
- Gaius Calpurnius L. f. L. n. Piso Frugi, quaestor in 58 BC, married Tullia, the daughter of Cicero.
- Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, consul in 139 BC.
- Quintus Calpurnius Piso, consul in 135 BC, sent against Numantia, but instead of attacking the city, plundered the territory of Pallantia.
- Calpurnius Piso, praetor circa 135, defeated during the slaves.
- Calpurnius Piso, fought successfully against the Thracians circa 104 BC.
- Gaius Calpurnius Piso, consul in 67 BC.
- Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, legate of Gnaeus Pompeius during the war against the pirates and the Mithridatic War.
- Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, one of Catiline's conspirators, propraetor in Hispania Citerior in 65 BC.
- Marcus Pupius Piso, originally one of the Calpurnii, adopted by Marcus Pupius.
- Marcus Piso, praetor in 44 BC, opposed Marcus Antonius, for which he was praised by Cicero.
- Gnaeus Calpurnius Cn. f. Cn. n. Piso, a partisan of Pompeius, and subsequently of Brutus and Cassius; subsequently pardoned, and made consul in 23 BC.
- Gnaeus Calpurnius Cn. f. Cn. n. Piso, consul in 7 BC, accused of murdering Germanicus.
- Lucius Calpurnius Piso the Augur, consul in 1 BC.
- Lucius Calpurnius Piso, accused of plotting against the life of Tiberius in AD 24.
- Lucius Calpurnius Piso, praetor in Hispania Citerior in AD 25.
- Lucius Calpurnius Cn. f. Cn. n. Piso, consul in AD 27.
- Marcus Calpurnius Cn. f. Cn. n. Piso, the younger son of the consul of 7 BC, was accused with his father, but pardoned by Tiberius.
- Gaius Calpurnius Piso, consul in AD 41 with the emperor Claudius, and the author of the conspiracy against Nero in AD 65.
- Lucius Calpurnius L. f. Cn. n. Piso, consul in AD 57 with the emperor Nero.
- Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus, named heir by the emperor Galba, and murdered on the orders of Otho in AD 69.
- Calpurnius C. f. Piso Galerianus, son of the consul of AD 41, was murdered by Gaius Licinius Mucianus, the praefectus of Vespasian.
- Gaius Calpurnius Piso Crassus Frugi Licinianus, consul in AD 87. Exiled to Tarentum for conspiring against the emperor Nerva; exiled again for conspiring against Trajan; murdered early in the reign of Hadrian.
- Gaius Calpurnius Piso, consul in AD 111.
- Lucius Calpurnius Piso, consul in AD 175, during the reign of Commodus.
- Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi, a 3rd-century usurper described in the Historia Augusta.
- Lucius Calpurnius Bestia, consul in 111 BC, prosecuted the Jugurthine War, at first with much vigor, but through the payment of a substantial sum of money he was induced to conclude a peace.
- Calpurnia, the wife of Publius Antistius, and mother of Antistia, who married Gnaeus Pompeius.
- Lucius Calpurnius Bestia, tribunus plebis in 62 BC, one of Catiline's conspirators.
- Lucius Calpurnius Bestia, perhaps the same man as the tribune of 62, was an unsuccessful candidate for the consulship in 57 BC.
- Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, consul in 59 BC, an opponent of Caesar, and a partisan of Gnaeus Pompeius during the Civil War.
- Calpurnius Bibulus, the name of two sons of Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, whose praenomina are unknown; they were murdered by the soldiers of Aulus Gabinius in Egypt, in 50 BC.
- Lucius Calpurnius Bibulus, stepson of Brutus, he was subsequently pardoned by Marcus Antonius, and appointed governor of Syria by Augustus.
- Calpurnius, standard-bearer of the first legion in Germania at the accession of Tiberius in AD 14, he prevented the soldiers of Germanicus from murdering Munatius Plancus, the envoy of the senate.
- Gaius Calpurnius Aviola, consul in AD 24, perhaps one of the Pisones.
- Calpurnius Salvianus, accused Sextus Marius in AD 25, but was rebuked by Tiberius and banished by the senate.
- Calpurnia, a favorite concubine of the emperor Claudius, despatched by Narcissus to inform the emperor of the marriage of Messalina and Gaius Silius.
- Calpurnia, a woman of high rank, exiled due to the jealousy of Agrippina, the wife of Claudius, but recalled by Nero in AD 60, after Agrippina's murder.
- Calpurnius Fabatus, an eques accused of various crimes during the reign of Nero; he was grandfather of Calpurnia, the third wife of the younger Plinius.
- Calpurnia, the third wife of the younger Plinius.
- Calpurnius Asprenas, appointed governor of Galatia and Pamphylia by the emperor Galba, induced the partisans of the false Nero to put the usurper to death.
- Marcus Calpurnius [...]icus, consul suffectus in AD 96.
- Calpurnius Flaccus, a rhetorician in the time of Hadrian.
- Sextus Calpurnius Agricola, consul suffectus in AD 154, and subsequently governor of Germania Superior and Britain. In the late 160s, he was imperial legate in Dacia, and governor of Lower Moesia.
- Titus Calpurnius Siculus, a poet, who probably flourished in the latter half of the third century.
- Calpurnius, a fourth century Christian deacon, and the father of St. Patrick.
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, p. 582 ("Calpurnia Gens").
- Plutarch "The Life of Numa", 21.
- Horace, Ars Poetica, 292.
- Festus, s. v. Calpurni.
- Eckhel, v. p. 160.
- Cassell's Latin & English Dictionary, s. v. Bestia, Bibulus, Flamma.
- Livy, xxxii. 19.
- Cicero, In Pisonem, 36, 23, 26, 27.
- Cicero, In Verrem, i. 46.
- Valerius Maximus, i. 3. § 2.
- Appian, Hispanica, 83.
- Orosius, v. 6.
- Obsequens, 85.
- Florus, iii. 19.
- Florus, iii. 4. § 6, iv. 12. § 17.
- Cicero, Philippicae, iii. 10.
- Cassius Dio, index lib. lv.
- Tacitus, Annales, iv. 45.
- Tacitus, Historiae, iv. 11.
- Aurelius Victor, Epitome de Caesaribus (attributed), 12.
- Cassius Dio, lxviii. 3, 16.
- Grainger, Nerva and the Roman Succession Crisis of AD 96-99, pp. 69 ff.
- Aelius Lampridius, "The Life of Commodus", 12.
- Velleius Paterculus, ii. 26.
- Caesar, De Bello Civili, iii. 110.
- Valerius Maximus, iv. 1. § 15.
- Tacitus, Annales, i. 39.
- Syme, "Piso Frugi and Crassus Frugi", p. 19.
- Tacitus, Annales, iv. 36.
- Tacitus, Annales, xi. 30.
- Tacitus, Annales, xii. 22, xiv. 72.
- Tacitus, Annales, xvi. 8.
- Pliny the Younger, Epistulae, viii. 10.
- Tacitus, Historiae, ii. 9.
- Fasti Ostienses, CIL XIV, 244.
- CIL XVI, 40.
- Gallivan, "The Fasti for A. D. 70-96", pp. 192, 218.
- Pithou, Declamations of Calpurnius Flaccus.
- Pliny the Younger, Epistulae, v. 2.
- AE 1980, 760.
- Southern, Roman Britain, pp. 27, 28.
- Birley, Marcus Aurelius, p. 145.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, In Pisonem, In Verrem, Philippicae.
- Gaius Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Civili (Commentaries on the Civil War).
- Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace), Ars Poëtica (The Art of Poetry).
- Titus Livius (Livy), History of Rome.
- Marcus Velleius Paterculus, Compendium of Roman History.
- Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac Dictorum Memorabilium (Memorable Facts and Sayings).
- Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (Pliny the Younger), Epistulae (Letters).
- Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Annales, Historiae.
- Plutarchus, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans.
- Lucius Annaeus Florus, Epitome de T. Livio Bellorum Omnium Annorum DCC (Epitome of Livy: All the Wars of Seven Hundred Years).
- Appianus Alexandrinus (Appian), Hispanica (The Spanish Wars).
- Sextus Pompeius Festus, Epitome de M. Verrio Flacco de Verborum Significatu (Epitome of Marcus Verrius Flaccus' On the Meaning of Words).
- Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus (Cassius Dio), Roman History.
- Aelius Lampridius, Aelius Spartianus, Flavius Vopiscus, Julius Capitolinus, Trebellius Pollio, and Vulcatius Gallicanus, Historia Augusta (Augustan History).
- Julius Obsequens, Liber de Prodigiis (The Book of Prodigies).
- Paulus Orosius, Historiarum Adversum Paganos (History Against the Pagans).
- Sextus Aurelius Victor (attributed), Epitome de Caesaribus.
- Pierre Pithou (Petrus Pithoeus) Declamations of Calpurnius Flaccus, Paris, 1580.
- Joseph Hilarius Eckhel, Doctrina Numorum Veterum (The Study of Ancient Coins, 1792–1798).
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, ed., Little, Brown and Company, Boston (1849).
- Theodor Mommsen et alii, Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (The Body of Latin Inscriptions, abbreviated CIL), Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (1853–present).
- René Cagnat et alii, L'Année épigraphique (The Year in Epigraphy, abbreviated AE), Presses Universitaires de France (1888–present).
- Ronald Syme, "Piso Frugi and Crassus Frugi", in Journal of Roman Studies, vol. 50 (1960).
- D.P. Simpson, Cassell's Latin and English Dictionary, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York (1963).
- Anthony R. Birley, Marcus Aurelius, B. T. Batsford, London (1966).
- Paul A. Gallivan, "The Fasti for A.D. 70–96", in Classical Quarterly, vol. 31, pp. 186–220 (1981).
- John D. Grainger, Nerva and the Roman Succession Crisis of AD 96–99, Routledge, London (2004).
- Patricia Southern, Roman Britain: A New History 55 BC–AD 450, Amberley (2011).
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William (1870). "Calpurnia Gens". In Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. p. 580.