Marcus Rutilius Lupus

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Marcus Rutilius Lupus was Prefect of Egypt during the Jewish uprising of 115-117 (the Kitos War). Although Lupus successfully contained the initial revolt in Alexandria, he had to call on the main Imperial forces to quell it, which object was eventually achieved with enormous loss of life and property. He also extends his protection to non-rebellious Jewish residents of Alexandria.[1]

During his tenure of office he oversaw several architectural projects in the province, including a new portico in the Oasis of Thebes that was dedicated to Isis and Serapis. The portico was constructed in the same style as the temple at Panopolis in the Thebaid, built under his predecessor Servius Sulpicius Similis.[2] The portico displayed the following inscription:

For the fortune of the Lord Emperor Caesar Nerva Trajanus, the best, Augustus, Germanicus, Dacicus, under Marcus Rutilius Lupus, praefect of Egypt. To Sarapis and Isis, the most great gods, the inhabitants of Cysis, having decreed the building of the pylon, did it in token of their piety. In the year 19 of the Emperor Caesar Nerva Trajanus, the best, Augustus, Germanicus, Dacicus, the first of Pachon.[3]

Early career[edit]

He is also known to have been the Praefectus annonae of Rome at some time between 103 and 111. This post was the second highest position for Roman knights, immediately following in importance the post of Prefect of Egypt.

Role in the brick industry[edit]

According to research by Bloch, Stienby and Setälä, Marcus Rutilius Lupus was one of the most important persons in the history of the Roman brick industry (Bodel: 61), and is credited with the introduction of consular dating to the urban stamps in year 110 C.E. During the first decade of 100 C.E. he, being a landower and already a brick producer in Rome, started exploring clay deposits near present-day Vatican known as figlinae Brutianae and stamped his product with a wolf rebus, perhaps because of his cognomen Lupus. Production continued there until his death, perhaps around 123 AD. He also acquired other clay-lands, respectively figlinae Naevianae and figlinae Narnienses (Bodel: 23).


  • P.A.Brunt, The Administrators of Roman Egypt, The Journal of Roman Studies, vol. 65 (1975), pp. 124–147.
  • John Bodel, Speaking signa and the Brickstamps of M. Rutilius Lupus, "Acta Instituti Romani Finlandiae Vol. 32", 2005, page 61
  • John P. Bodel, Roman brick stamps in the Kelsey Museum, University of Michigan Press, 1983, page 23.
  • Salo Wittmayer Baron, A social and religious history of the Jews, pp. 94–95
  • Samuel Sharpe, History of Egypt, Moxon 1859, volume 2, page 157

Further reading and external links[edit]


  1. ^ cf. Baron, p. 95
  2. ^ Samuel Sharpe : 157
  3. ^ from Sir John Gardener Wilkinson book on Egypt, p. 370