Lucius Minucius Esquilinus Augurinus

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Lucius Minucius Esquilinus Augurinus was a Roman politician in the 5th century BC, consul in 458 BC, and decemvir from 450 to 449 BC.

Family[edit]

Brother of Quintus Minucius Esquilinus Augurinus, consul in 457 BC, he was a member of the Minucii Augurini, branch of the gens Minucii. He was the son of a Publius Minucius and grandson of a Marcus Minucius. His complete name is Lucius Minucius P.f. M.n. Esquilinus Augurinus.[1]

Career[edit]

Consulship[edit]

In 458 BC, he was consul with Gaius Nautius Rutilus.[2] Livy, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and Diodorus Siculus called him consul ordinarius, but according to the fasti capitolini, he was the consul suffect, replacing a certain Carvetus who died at the beginning of his term.[2]

This year, Rome had faced an assault by the Aequi whose treaty had expired the year before and Roman territory was pillaged by the Sabines, reaching as far as the city walls. The consuls levied two armies, Augurinus alongside the dictator Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, named by consul Rutilus,[2] who relinquished command of the army once the mission was accomplished, and returned power to the Senate.[3][2] Once back in Rome, Augurinus abdicated and command of his army was given to the praefectus Urbi, Quintus Fabius Vibulanus.[4][5][6]

Decemvirate[edit]

Main article: Decemviri

In 450 BC, he was elected as member of the Second Decemvirate against more qualified candidates thanks to the supportive actions of Appius Claudius Crassus, who had been decemvir the year before. This commission achieved the writing of the Law of the Twelve Tables, but under the influence of Crassus, they despotically maintained power after the end of their mission.[7][8]

In 449 BC, the decemvirs, led by Crassus, illegally kept their power, against the will of the Senate and the people.[9] The invasion of the Sabines and the Aequi had consequently dispersed the decemvirs. Quintus Fabius Vibulanus, Manius Rabuleius, and Quintus Poetelius Libo met the Sabines in battle while Lucius Minucius accompanied Marcus Cornelius Maluginensis, Lucius Sergius Esquilinus, and Titus Antonius Merenda in their fight with the Aequi.[9] However, the army had revolted against the decemvirs, and the plebeians had left the city in mass for Aventine Hill. Augurinus and his colleagues succumbed and gave up their power - some left in exile. Their goods were confiscated.[10]

Prefect of the corn-market[edit]

In 440 BC, a great famine had reached Rome. Given the urgency of the situation, the consuls had quickly elected a praefectus annonae crearetur ("Prefect of the Corn-market"),[11] some sort of prefect of the Republic's corn supply, whose purpose it was to secure the grain supply.[12] It was probably this year that the aedile of the plebs, Manius Marcius, organized a distribution of grain for the plebs, where each individual was given one-third of a Roman bushel (modius).[13]

The example of Manius Marcius was soon followed by Spurius Maelius, a rich member of the Equestrian order, who had acquired great quantities of fresh wheat in Etruria, and then distributed it to the people for free. His popularity became such that the patricans were convinced that he was only trying to gain support in order to become king. He had already taken measures for a coup. In the meantime, Lucius Minucius had informed Titus Quinctius Capitolinus Barbatus, and Agrippa Menenius Lanatus, who were elected consuls for the year 439 BC, and named Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus dictator at the start of their term. Cincinnatus had Spurius Maelius assassinated by his magister equitum, Gaius Servilius Ahala.[14] According to ancient authors, Lucius Minucius was rewarded with the erection of a statue for having alerted the patricians to the danger that Spurius Maelius posed.[15][16][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Broughton 1951, p. 46.
  2. ^ a b c d Broughton 1951, p. 39.
  3. ^ Livy, III. 25-29
  4. ^ Broughton 1951, p. 40.
  5. ^ Livy, III. 39
  6. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, X. 22-24
  7. ^ Livy, III. 35
  8. ^ Broughton 1951, p. 47.
  9. ^ a b Broughton 1951, p. 48.
  10. ^ Livy, III. 40
  11. ^ Livy, Ab urbe condita, IV. 12
  12. ^ Broughton 1951, p. 56.
  13. ^ Broughton 1951, p. 55.
  14. ^ Livy, Ab urbe condita, IV. 13
  15. ^ Broughton 1951, p. 57.
  16. ^ Livy, Ab urbe condita, IV. 13-16
  17. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, XII. 1-2

Bibliography[edit]

  • Broughton, T. Robert S. (1951), "The Magistrates of the Roman Republic", Philological Monographs, number XV, volume I, New York: The American Philological Association, vol. I, 509 B.C. - 100 B.C. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Quintus Fabius Vibulanus
Lucius Cornelius Maluginensis
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Gaius Nautius Rutilus
458 BC
Succeeded by
Marcus Horatius Pulvillus
Quintus Minucius Esquilinus Augurinus