Marcus Ummidius Quadratus Annianus

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Marcus Ummidius Quadratus Annianus (138 CE - 182 CE) was a wealthy Roman Politician and the nephew of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Quadratus was the son of Marcus Aurelius’ sister, Annia Cornificia Faustina and the Roman Senator who served as a suffect consul in 146, Gaius Ummidius Quadratus Annianus Verus. Quadratus had descended from one of the leading families in Rome. He was born and raised in Rome. Through his mother, he was a member and a relative to the ruling Nerva–Antonine dynasty of the Roman Empire. His sister was Ummidia Cornificia Faustina.

The mother of Quadratus had died in 152-158. When his mother had died, Quadratus and Cornificia Faustina divided their mother’s property that they inherited. Through the inheritances of their parents, Quadratus and Cornificia Faustina had become very wealthy heirs.

After his mother’s death, Quadratus assumed a mistress and lover, a Greek Freedwoman called Marcia. Marcia later became a mistress to the Roman emperor Commodus (180-192). Marcia was the wife of Quadratus’ servant Eclectus.

In 167, during the reign of the co-Roman emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, Quadratus served as an ordinary consul. After his consulship, Quadratus adopted the first son of the Ponian Greek Roman Senator and Philosopher Gnaeus Claudius Severus, as his son and heir. His adopted son assumed the name Marcus Claudius Ummidius Quadratus. The reason why Quadratus adopted Gnaeus Claudius Severus’ first son is unknown.

When Marcus Aurelius had died in 180, his maternal cousin Commodus succeeded his father. Commodus’ sister Lucilla was not happy living as a quiet, private citizen in Rome and became jealous of her brother and her sister-in-law because of all the attention that they received. Also she became very concerned due to the unstable behavior of her brother.

In 182, Lucilla, her daughter Plautia, her nephew-in-marriage and with the help of Quadratus, his adopted son and Cornificia Faustina had planned to assassinate Commodus and replace him with Lucilla and her second husband, the consul Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus Quintianus, as the new rulers of Rome. Quadratus, his adopted son and his sister were involved in Lucilla’s plot because they may have had a dynastic dispute with Commodus. Another reason that Quadratus was involved in this plot is because Quadratus and Lucilla may have been lovers.

Lucilla’s nephew-in-marriage, Quintianus, burst from his place of hiding with a dagger, trying to stab Commodus. He said to him "Here is the dagger the senate sends to you", giving away his intentions before he had the chance to act. The guards were faster than he was. He was overpowered and disarmed without doing the emperor any harm.

The plot to kill Commodus failed. When the conspiracy was revealed, the emperor ordered the deaths of Quadratus, his adopted son and Quintianus. Commodus may have confiscated Quadratus’ property and fortune. Lucilla, her daughter and Cornificia Faustina were banished to the Italian island of Capri. The Emperor then sent a centurion to Capri to execute the three women later that year.

Political offices
Preceded by
Quintus Servilius Pudens ,
Lucius Fufidius Pollio
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Lucius Verus
Succeeded by
Lucius Venuleius Apronianus Octavius Priscus,
Lucius Sergius Paullus

See also[edit]


  • Krawczuk, Aleksander. Poczet cesarzowych Rzymu. Warszawa: Iskry. ISBN 83-244-0021-4.
  • Septimius Severus: the African emperor, by Anthony Richard Birley Edition: 2 – 1999
  • Marcus Aurelius, by Anthony Richard Birley, Routledge, 2000
  • From Tiberius to the Antonines: a history of the Roman Empire AD 14-192, by Albino Garzetti, 1974
  • The Cities and Bishoprics of Phyrgia: Being an Essay of the Local History of Phrygia from the Earliest Times to the Turkish Conquest Volume One, Part One - By William M. Ramsay 2004
  • Marcus Ummidius Quadratus Article from German Wikipedia
  • Roman Emperors
  • "Lucius Aurelius Commodus (AD 161 - AD 192)". Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  • "The People's Princeps, Enemy of the Senate". Retrieved 7 April 2011.