Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus

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Decimus Junius Brutus crossing the "Lethes" (Limia River today). Reenactment performance in Galicia.
Map of the Roman conquest of the northern territories of the Iberian Peninsula inhabited by the Cantabri and the Astures. The 137BC campaign is colored purple.
Iberian Peninsula circa 100 BC

Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus (180 BC – 113 BC) was a Roman politician and general of the 2nd century BC. He was the son of the consul Marcus Junius Brutus (consul in 178 BC) and brother of the praetor Marcus Junius Brutus; he himself was appointed consul in 138 BC (jointly with Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio).[1] He had a son also named Decimus Junius Brutus, consul in 77 BC, and his grandson was Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus.

Conquest of the western Iberian peninsula[edit]

Brutus led the Roman legions in the conquest of western Iberia[2] after the death of Viriathus, chieftain of the Lusitanians and the defeat of his successor, Tantalus by Q. Servilius Caepio.

In his conquest, he scored major victories in the south of modern Portugal, before going on to the north. He had the city of Olissipo (modern Lisbon) fortified and advanced to the north, destroying settlements as he went. Cividade de Terroso, in the outskirts of modern Póvoa de Varzim, was one of the major native cities in the hearthland of Castro Culture (Coastal Northern Portugal), with notable Carthaginian influence in trade and culture, shows clear archeological signs of complete destruction and burning dating to the time of Decimus Junius Brutus. After the conquest, the city was rebuilt using some Roman principles.[3]

The city of Talabriga (current day Marnel, near Águeda) was taken,[4] a fortified position was established at Vissaium (Viseu), the Douro river was crossed and the Lima river was reached by 137 BC.[5] Ultimately, according to Strabo, Brutus reached the Minho River.

At the end of Brutus' campaigns, Rome controlled the territory between the Douro and Minho rivers plus probable extensions along the coast and in the interior. It was only under Augustus, however, at the end of the 1st century BC, that present north Portugal and Galicia were fully pacified and under Roman control.

Other facts[edit]

He dedicated (with verses from Lucius Accius[6]) the Circus Flaminius (Temple of Mars) in Rome in 133 BC to commemorate his victories.

In 136 BC the Roman Senate granted him the title Callaicus for his campaigns in Gallaecia.

In 129 BC he served with Gaius Sempronius Tuditanus.

In 113 BC he was nominated proconsul of Lusitania with Gaius Marius.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Consoli Romani - Cronologia". Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  2. ^ An introduction to Roman tragedy - Anthony James Boyle. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  3. ^ Flores Gomes, José Manuel & Carneiro, Deolinda: Subtus Montis Terroso CMPV (2005), "Origens do Povoamento" pp.74-76
  4. ^ Evelyn Shirley Shuckburgh. A history of Rome to the battle of ... Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  5. ^ Strabo iii. p. 153; Mela, iii, 1; Pliny the Elder H.N. iv. 22 s. 35
  6. ^ Jocelyn, H.D. (1996), "Accius, Lucius", in Hornblower, Simon, Oxford Classical Dictionary 1, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 3 
Preceded by
Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso and Marcus Popillius Laenas
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio
138 BCE
Succeeded by
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus Porcina and Gaius Hostilius Mancinus