Lucius Vipstanus Gallus

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Lucius Vipstanus Gallus (died AD 17) was a Roman senator who is the first documented member of the gens Vipstana. His descendants and relatives include several consuls.


A member of a family which originated from the Aequi who were enrolled in the tribe Claudia, and who first came to prominence during the reign of Tiberius, Vipstanus Gallus reached the office of Praetor in AD 17, the year of his death.[1] He is known to have at least one relative, Marcus Vipstanus Gallus (suffect consul in AD 18), but it is unknown whether Marcus was a brother or cousin of Lucius.[2]

In the next generation two Vipstani are known, with the cognomina "Messalla" and "Poplicola". This led Ronald Syme to observe that either Lucius or Marcus married a daughter of Marcus Valerius Messalla Messallinus and Claudia Marcella Minor, who is named (for convenience) Valeria Messalla.[3] This alliance with the gens Valeria led to the prominence of the family during the first centuries of the Roman Empire.[1]

From this marriage, the next generation of Vipstani came, two of whom achieved consular rank: Lucius Vipstanus Poplicola and Gaius Vipstanus Messalla Gallus.[2]


  1. ^ a b Ronald Syme, "Missing Persons III", Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, 11 (1962), pp. 149f
  2. ^ a b Syme, Ronald, The Augustan Aristocracy (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986), pg. 241.
  3. ^ In Table IX of The Augustan Aristocracy, Syme indicates Lucius Vipstanus Gallus as the husband of Valeria Messalla, but notes the relationship is "conjectural".