Gaius Bruttius Praesens

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Lucius Fulvius Gaius Bruttius Praesens Laberius Maximus Polyonymus (c. 119 – after 180) was a prominent Roman senator and twice consul during the reigns of Roman emperors Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. His career is largely known from inscriptions. The epithet Polyonymus appears on his grave inscription but should not itself be understood as a name, like some aristocratic Romans of the period he had ten or twelve names in all.

Praesens was the son and (as far as is known) the only child of Roman consul and senator Gaius Bruttius Praesens Lucius Fulvius Rusticus, by his second marriage to the wealthy Roman heiress Laberia Hostilia Crispina. His mother was the daughter of Manius Laberius Maximus, a Roman general who was also twice consul. Praesens was born and raised in Volceii, Lucania, Italy. To judge by the presumed dates of his first offices, he must have been born in or around the year 119. He served as a military tribune in Legio III Gallica in Syria, probably about 136 when his father was governing the province. At the beginning of Antoninus Pius’ reign the family evidently stood in high favour: the father took his second consulship in 139 as colleague of the new emperor, and the son was elevated to patrician status about the same time. He went on to fill the coveted position of quaestor augusti to Antoninus.

His first consulship fell in 153: he was consul ordinarius, initiating the year with Aulus Junius Rufinus for colleague. He continued to prosper under Marcus Aurelius: like his father, he was Proconsul of Africa, in 166-167. In 178, Marcus Aurelius' son future Emperor Commodus was married to Praesens’s daughter Bruttia Crispina and Marcus designated Praesens consul for the year 180. On 3 August 178, Praesens was one of those who accompanied Marcus and the young Commodus on the so-called 'expeditio Germanica secunda' against the Quadi, Iazyges and Marcomanni, and received military decorations for his part in the campaign. Praesens held the fasces again in 180, again as consul ordinarius, with Sextus Quintilius Condianus for colleague.

Praesens had two children by an unknown woman: a son, the future consul Lucius Bruttius Quintius Crispinus and a daughter, future Empress Bruttia Crispina.


Political offices
Preceded by
Manius Acilius Glabrio Gnaeus Cornelius Severus,
Marcus Valerius Homullus
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Aulus Junius Rufinus
Succeeded by
Lucius Verus,
Titus Sextius Lateranus
Preceded by
Publius Martius Veru
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Sextus Quintilius Condianus
Succeeded by
Lucius Antistius Burrus