Marcus Arrecinus Clemens (prefect 70)

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Marcus Arrecinus Clemens
Born second quarter of the 1st century
Died Rome
Allegiance Roman Empire
Years of service 70 – 71
Rank Praetorian Prefect
Commands held Praetorian Guard
Other work Suffect consul in 73
Governor of Hispania Tarraconensis
Suffect consul in 85
Urban Prefect of Rome in 86–87

Marcus Arrecinus Clemens (fl 1st century), was a prefect of the Praetorian Guard during the reign of Vespasian. In return for his faithful service, Clemens was promoted to other important positions, including being twice consul and urban prefect of Rome.

Arrecinus Clemens was born into an equestrian family from Pisaurum,[1] being the homonymous son of Emperor Gaius' Praetorian Prefect. Clemens' sister was Arrecina Tertulla, the first wife of the future Emperor Titus. Despite being a member of the Senate, he was placed at the head of the Praetorian Guard in 70 by Vespasian's political ally, Gaius Licinius Mucianus, amidst concerns that the current commander, Arrius Varus, was growing too politically influential. Clemens held the position until June of 71, when Vespasian's son Titus replaced him. According to Tacitus, Clemens was chosen because his father, Marcus Arrecinus Clemens, had honourably commanded the Guard during the reign of Emperor Gaius.

In the sequel Clemens held a suffect consulship in 73,[2] governed the province of Hispania Tarraconensis,[3] held a second consulship in 85,[4] and was made city prefect of Rome in 86.

Suetonius relates a harrowing story concerning Clemens' end. The emperor Domitian invited Clemens to accompany him on a drive; as they passed a person both recognized, Domitian turned to Clemens and asked, "Shall we listen to that rascally fellow tomorrow?" The next day the "rascally fellow" was revealed to be a delator or informer who had brought charges on Clemens; the former Urban Prefect was found guilty and executed.[5]


  1. ^ AE 1947, 90. The inscription reveals his enrollment in the tribe Camilia, which encompasses Pisaurum. He or his father also held property in nearby Ariminum (CIL XI, 428)
  2. ^ Paul Gallivan, "The Fasti for A. D. 70-96", Classical Quarterly, 31 (1981), pp. 188, 214
  3. ^ Werner Eck, "Jahres- und Provinzialfasten der senatorischen Statthalter von 69/70 bis 138/139", Chiron, 13 (1983), pp. 196f
  4. ^ Gallivan, "Fasti for A. D. 70-96", pp. 190, 216
  5. ^ Suetonius, Domitian, 11.2

Further reading[edit]

  • Prosopographia Imperii Romani (2nd ed.). A 1072. p. 209. 
  • George W. Houston, "Vespasian's Adlection of Men in Senatum", American Journal of Philology, 98 (1977), pp. 35-63
  • Brian W. Jones and R. Develin, "M. Arrecinus Clemens", Antichthon, 10 (1976), pp. 79-83.
Political offices
Preceded by
Arrius Varus
Praetorian prefect
Succeeded by
Titus Aurelius Fulvus
Preceded by
Lucius Aelius Oculatus,
and Quintus Gavius Atticus

as Suffect consuls
Suffect Consul of the Roman Empire
with [...]m[ ...]
Succeeded by
Sextus Julius Frontinus,
and ignotus

as Suffect consuls
Preceded by
Quintus Julius Cordinus Gaius Rutilius Gallicus,
and Lucius Valerius Catullus Messalinus II

as Suffect consuls
Suffect consul of the Roman Empire
with Lucius Baebius Honoratus
Succeeded by
Publius Herennius Pollio,
and Marcus Annius Herennius Pollio

as Suffect consuls