Marcus Licinius Crassus Frugi

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Marcus Licinius Crassus Frugi (flourished 1st century BC & 1st century) was a Roman nobleman of consular rank who lived during the Roman Empire. Frugi’s mother was an unnamed Roman woman, while his father was consul and governor Marcus Licinius Crassus. Frugi’s adoptive paternal grandfather was consul and general Marcus Licinius Crassus. Crassus was the grandson of triumvir Marcus Licinius Crassus and the last known direct descendant of his grandfather. He had a sister called Licinia who married the consul, Lucius Calpurnius Piso whom their son, Gaius Calpurnius Piso who was a conspirator against the Roman emperor Nero.

Frugi served as a praetor and then later as a consul along with Lucius Calpurnius Piso in 27, under the reign of Roman emperor Tiberius. In the older historical sources, they record his consulship as in the year 29. Sometime after 44, he served as Roman Governor of Mauretania. During the reign of Roman emperor Claudius, Frugi had appeared to come into favor with the emperor. Claudius had successfully conquered Britain and had added Britain as a province to the Roman Empire. In 43, Claudius had held a triumph parade in Rome, in celebrating his victory of Britain. Frugi had attended Claudius’ triumph parade. Claudius on this occasion had except Frugi from wearing a purple-bordered toga and earned the same honor on a previous occasion. Frugi came dressed to the parade in a palm-embroidered tunic and rode a caparisoned charger. Little else is known on Frugi.


Frugi had married a noblewoman called Scribonia.[1] She was of the highest birth and had descended from ancient, distinguished and politically influential blood. Scribonia was a direct descendant of Pompeia, the daughter of triumvir Pompey from his third marriage to Mucia Tertia.

Scribonia bore Frugi the following children:

  • Son, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus.[1] He married Roman princess Claudia Antonia in 43, the daughter and only child of Roman emperor Claudius from his second marriage to Aelia Paetina. Antonia married him as her first husband and they had no children. Magnus was murdered in 47.
  • Son, Marcus Licinius Crassus Frugi. He served as consul in 64[1] under Roman emperor Nero. Nero had Frugi executed between 66 and 68, because of information brought against him by Marcus Aquilius Regulus.[2] After his death, his widow Sulpicia Praetextata appeared in 70 at a meeting of the Roman Senate, seeking vengeance for Frugi’s death.[2] This led to the prosecution of Regulus with his associated political circle by the Roman Senate.[3] With Sulpicia Praetextata, Frugi had three sons and a daughter: Lucius Scribonius Libo Rupilius Frugi Bonus (suffect consul in 88), Marcus Licinius Scribonianus Camerinus, and Gaius Calpurnius Piso Crassus Frugi Licinianus (suffect consul in 87);[4] the daughter was Licinia Praetextata, who served as a Chief Vestal Virgin.[5]
  • Possible daughter, Licinia.[1]
  • Son, Marcus Licinius Crassus Scribonianus.[1] Sometime between 68 and 69 the general Marcus Antonius Primus, had offered Scribonianus the Roman Empire and position of Roman emperor; however Scribonianus refused to accept this.
  • Son, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus[1] or Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus (38–69). Licinianus was adopted by the brief Roman emperor Galba, who reigned between 68–69. Licinianus became Galba’s son and heir, who was murdered on the orders of Otho, when trying to obtain the Roman throne. Licinianus married a Roman woman called Verania Germina, who came from a family of consular rank.
  • Daughter, Licinia Magna. She married the Roman Senator Lucius Calpurnius Piso,[1] who served as one of the consuls in 57.[6] Piso was later killed by Roman emperor Vespasian as an enemy of the emperor. Licinia and Piso had a daughter called Calpurnia who married Calpurnius Piso Galerianus son of Gaius Calpurnius Piso (co-consul in 41 with Claudius).[7] Calpurnius Piso Galerianus was executed in 70 for opposing Vespasian.[8] Licinia died at an unknown date from 70 until 80 as her grave altar is dated from this period, which was found on the grounds of Villa Bonaparte near the Porta Salaria. The land may have been part of the family’s suburban estates and her grave altar is on display at the Vatican Museums.[9]

In the spring of 47, Frugi, his wife and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus were executed on the orders of Roman empress Valeria Messalina. After Frugi, his wife and his son had died, the three were placed in the tomb of Licinii Calpurnii located on the Via Salaria. Also placed in the tomb was their son, Marcus Licinius Crassus Frugi minor.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Syme, The Roman Revolution, p. 578
  2. ^ a b Shelton, The Women of Pliny's Letters, p. 153
  3. ^ Rutledge, Imperial Inquisitions: Prosecutors and Informants from Tiberius to Domitian, p.119
  4. ^ Rudich, Political Dissidence Under Nero: The Price of Dissimulation
  5. ^ Romeins Imperium – Marcus Licinius Crassus Frugi translated from Dutch to English
  6. ^ Elsner, Life, Death and Representation: Some New Work on Roman Sarcophagi, p. 57
  7. ^ The Cambridge Ancient History. Vol. 5, VII ed. London: Cambridge University Press, 1970–2007.
  8. ^ Anne Publie. "Les Cneuius". [1] & Anne Publie. "Les Caesoninus" [2]
  9. ^ Elsner, Life, Death and Representation: Some New Work on Roman Sarcophagi, pp. 31, 46

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