Lucius Caesonius Lucillus Macer Rufinianus
Caesonius Lucillus was the son of Gaius Caesonius Macer Rufinianus and a member of the third century gens Caesonia which was elevated to Patrician status during his time in politics. He began his career probably at the beginning of the reign of Caracalla as a member of the Vigintiviri, operating as a Decemvir stlitibus judicandis. Standing and appointed as an imperial candidate for the office of Quaestor probably towards the end of Caracalla’s reign (c. AD 215/217), this was immediately followed by his appointment as praetor candidatus probably under Elagabalus, in around AD 220/222. This career path from Quaestor to Praetor as an imperial candidate was standard for a patrician’s ascent up the Cursus Honorem during the third century.
Following in his father’s steps, Caesonius Lucillus was appointed curator of a number of Italian cities. Immediately after his praetorship, he served as Curator rei publicae Suessanorum in Campania; this was followed by a curatorship at either Puteoli (also in Campania), or at Tusculum in Latium. Then probably sometime between AD 225 and 228, he was appointed Legatus Africae eodem tempore vice proconsulis (or the deputy governor of Africa Proconsularis). Around this same time (AD 226 – 229), the emperor Alexander Severus appointed him consul suffectus.
Close to this (c. AD 227 – 230), after his suffect consulship, Caesonius Lucillus was made the proconsular Curator alvei Tiberis et cloacarum urbis (or the official responsible for maintaining the channels of the Tiber River, as well as the sewers of Rome). Then, probably around AD 230 – 235, he was appointed Curator aquarum et Miniciae, where he was responsible for the city’s aqueducts and grain supply. The year AD 238 saw him chosen as one of the vigintiviri ex senatus consulto rei publicae curandae, the group of twenty senators who temporarily took over the government of the empire after the rebellion against Maximinus Thrax and the unexpected death of Gordian I. His selection in this prestigious group was a reflection of the esteem he was held within the Senate.
Sometime after AD 240, Caesonius Lucillus was appointed proconsular governor of Africa, where he had previously served as legatus. He may possibly have been sent there in response to the revolt of Sabinianus, with instructions to settle the senatorial province in the aftermath of Sabinianus’ death, a reflection of the faith and trust in which the emperor Gordian III placed in him. This was followed by his appointment as Electus ad cognoscendas vice Caesaris cognitionis (or the official deputising for the emperor in overseeing judicial cases), possibly between AD 242 – 244 when Gordian III was conducting his Persian campaign, but it is possible that he may have held this post any time until AD 254. If he did hold it until 244, he may have relinquished this role once the new emperor Philip the Arab made his way to Rome. Caesonius Lucillus’ final posting was as Praefectus urbi of Rome. He possibly held this in AD 246, but again it could have been filled any time until AD 254.
Caesonius Lucillus was a member of the Arval Brethren. He probably married a woman from the gens Ovinia, and together they had at least one child, Lucius Caesonius Ovinius Manlius Rufinianus Bassus, who was suffect consul twice.
- Mennen, pg. 58
- Mennen, pg. 59
- Southern, Pat, The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine (2004), pg. 67; Mennen, pg. 59
- Mennen, pgs. 59-60
- Mennen, pg. 92
- Mennen, Inge, Power and Status in the Roman Empire, AD 193-284 (2011)
|Consul suffectus of the Roman Empire
around AD 226-229