Lucius Tarius Rufus

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Lucius Tarius Rufus (died 1st century AD) was a Roman senator and military officer who was elected suffect consul in 16 BC to replace Publius Cornelius Scipio.


A Novus homo of obscure birth, and possibly hailing from Dalmatia,[1] Tarius Rufus was by profession a sailor.[2] He first came to notice as one of the admirals who fought under Augustus at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. He engaged a squadron of ships led by Gaius Sosius prior to the actual battle, but was driven back by Sosius until Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa arrived with reinforcements.[3]

Tarius Rufus was later appointed Propraetoreal governor of Macedonia from around 18 BC to 16 BC. During this time he fought off a raid by the Sarmatians,[4] and he may have also conquered the Scordisci during his time as governor.[5] As a reward for his military service, Augustus appointed Tarius Rufus suffect consul when Augustus was forced to leave Rome to travel to Gaul.[6] During his term as consul, he altered the imagery and text of the Roman coins to greatly amplify the prestige and paramount importance of the Princeps in the form of Augustus.[7]

As an elderly senator, Tarius Rufus was appointed curator aquarum (or officer in charge of the aqueducts) from AD 23–24.[8]

An amicus of both Augustus and Tiberius, the emperor Augustus bestowed on him a great deal of wealth, which he used to purchase large parcels of land in Picenum.[9] Although noted for his stinginess, he spent 100 million Sesterces to buy up the land in an attempt to enhance his social standing, only to have his heir refuse to accept the estate after Tarius Rufus’ death.[10] Tarius Rufus also brought charges of attempted parricide against one of his sons who was after his father’s money. He held a consilium, and invited the emperor Augustus to attend. He found his son guilty and exiled him to Massilia, and Augustus declared that he would not accept any inheritance or bequest from Tarius Rufus.[11]


  • Broughton, T. Robert S., The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, Vol II (1951)
  • Syme, Ronald; Birley, Anthony, Provincial At Rome: and Rome and the Balkans 80BC-AD14 (1999)


  1. ^ Syme, pg. 35
  2. ^ Alföldy, Géza, The Social History of Rome (1985), pg. 114
  3. ^ Broughton, pgs. 421-422; Syme, pg. 17
  4. ^ Syme, pg. 203
  5. ^ Syme, pg. 205
  6. ^ Stern, Gaius, Women, Children, and Senators on the Ara Pacis Augustae: A Study of Augustus' Vision of a New World Order in 13 BC. (2006), pg. 78
  7. ^ Sutherland, C. H. V., Coinage in Roman Imperial Policy 31 BC-AD 68 (1971), pg. 51
  8. ^ Parkin, Tim. G., Old Age in the Roman World: A Cultural and Social History (2003), pg. 119
  9. ^ Syme, pg. 17
  10. ^ Thibodeau, Philip, Playing the Farmer: Representations of Rural Life in Vergil’s Georgics (2003), pg. 196
  11. ^ Frier, Bruce W.; McGinn, Thomas A. J., A Casebook on Roman Family Law (2004), pgs. 196-199
Political offices
Preceded by
Publius Cornelius Scipio, and
Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus

as Ordinary consuls
Suffect consul of the Roman Empire
16 BC
Succeeded by
Marcus Livius Drusus Libo,
and Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus

as Ordinary consuls