Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi

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Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi was a name used by Roman men of the gens Calpurnia during the Roman Republic and early Empire. They were descendants of the Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi who was consul in 133 BC and who established the addition of Frugi as an agnomen that was passed down through the family.[1] The Calpurnii Pisones who distinguished themselves by the name Frugi were one of three main branches of Pisones active from the mid-2nd century BC into the 1st century AD.[2]

There were four unbroken generations who kept the name Frugi, but the nomenclature of the family line is complicated by adoption in adulthood, a practice of elite Roman families to preserve their heritage, religious traditions (sacra gentilicia), influence and property. One member of this family line (who became the praetor of 112 BC) had been adopted by a Marcus Pupius, and also used the name Marcus Pupius combined with Piso Frugi. His name was rendered Marcus Pupius Piso Frugi Calpurnianus. The name Frugi was used for three more generations, in one case again kept by an adoptee. A fifth-generation descendant of the praetor adopted by M. Pupius went back to using the original form Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi, along with Licinianus in reference to a grandfather's adopted name.[3]

Republican era[edit]

  • Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi, a praetor in Hispania Ulterior, a region of Roman Spain, who had assumed Marius's command in 113 or 112 BC. He was killed in battle and succeeded in 111 by Galba, the consul of 108.[4]
  • Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi, a monetalis around 90 BC.[5] As praetor in 74, he vetoed many of the edicts issued by his colleague Verres, who was famously attacked by Cicero in the speeches known as the Verrines.[6]
  • Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi was tribune of the plebs in 90 BC, or less likely 89, and may be identical with the praetor of 74.[7] According to the historian Sisenna,[8] his legislation as tribune proposed adding two new voting tribes and granting Roman citizenship to soldiers who demonstrated exceptional valor.[9] Ronald Syme thought him more likely to be a Caesoninus than a Frugi, and a son of the consul of 112.[10] The question depends in part on the identity of the Lucius Piso who was a general (strategos in the Greek source) in Asia, whose activity has been dated variously from shortly before 90 to as late as 83.[11]

Imperial era[edit]


  1. ^ Anna A. Novokhatko, The Invectives of Sallust and Cicero (de Gruyter, 2009), p. 183.
  2. ^ The other two were the Pisones Caesonini descended from the Lucius Calpurnius Piso who was consul in 148 BC, and the branch descended from Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, the consul of 139 BC; Edward Champlin, "The Life and Times of Calpurnius Piso," Museum Helveticum 46 (1989), pp. 119–120.
  3. ^ Stephen Wilson, The Meaning of Naming: A Social and Cultural History of Personal Naming in Western Europe (UCL Press, 1998), p. 13.
  4. ^ Cicero, In Verrem 2.4.56; Appian, Iberian Wars 99; T.R.S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic (American Philological Association, 1951, 1986), vol. 1, pp. 538 and 539 (note 4).
  5. ^ Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic (American Philological Association, 1952), vol. 2, p. 434.
  6. ^ Cicero, In Verrem 2.1.119 and 4.56; Pseudo-Asconius 250 in the edition of Stangl; Broughton, MRR2, p. 102.
  7. ^ Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic (American Philological Association, 1986), vol. 3, p. 48.
  8. ^ Sisenna, frgs. 17 and 120 in the edition of Peter, as cited by Broughton, MRR2, pp. 33–34.
  9. ^ Broughton, MRR2, pp. 33–34.
  10. ^ Syme as cited by Broughton, MRR3, p. 48.
  11. ^ Broughton, MRR3, p. 48.
  12. ^ David Sider, The Library of the Villa Dei Papiri at Herculaneum (Getty Publications, 2007), p. 7.
  13. ^ David L. Vagi, Coinage and History of the Roman Empire (Fitzroy Dearborn, 1990, 2000), vol. 1, p. 179; Colin Wells, The Roman Empire (Harvard University Press, 1984, 1992), pp. 68, 156; Donna W. Hurley, Suetonius: The Caesars (Hackett, 2011), p. 277.