Publius Tullius Varro

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Publius Tullius Varro was a Roman general and senator during the reign of Hadrian. The commander of two different legions during his career, one of his most important military roles was as commander of Legio VI Victrix during its transfer from Vetera in Germania Inferior to York in Roman Britain in AD 122.


Anthony Birley notes that while Varro was a native of Tarquinii in Etruria, "he had excellent connections in high places for his elder brother had been adopted, it would seem, by the influential Spaniard Dasumius, taking the names P. Dasumius Rusticus"; his brother was also consul ordinarius in 119 as the colleague of the emperor Hadrian.[1]

Varro's career began in the vigintivirate as Xviri stlitibus judicandis, then held his first military posting, as military tribune of Legio XVI Flavia Firma. He served as quaestor at Rome as quaestor urabnus, and after his praetorship, Varro was assigned his first legion to command, Legio XII Fulminata which was stationed in the border province of Cappadocia. The sortition awarded him proconsular governor of Hispania Baetica which he held for a year, and Birley speculates that it may have been while he held this post that he came to the attention of Hadrian, who assigned him the "delicate" of uprooting Legio VI Victrix from its long-term home and relocating it to Britain.[1]

His command of a second legion was followed by a term as prefect of the aerarium Saturni, or public treasury, after which Varro was appointed suffect consul in 127 with Junius Paetus as his colleague.[2] After his consulship, Varro's subsequent offices were curator alvei Tiber, governor of Moesia Superior from 133 to 136,[3] and Proconsul of Africa from 142 to 143.[4] Birley notes that Varro's "social standing is demonstrated by his having been an augur."[5]


  1. ^ a b Anthony Birley, The Fasti of Roman Britain (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981), p. 239
  2. ^ Werner Eck, "Hadrische Konsuln Neue Zeugnisse aus Militärdiplomen", Chiron, 32 (2002), p. 482
  3. ^ Werner Eck, "Jahres- und Provinzialfasten der senatorischen Statthalter von 69/70 bis 138/139", Chiron, 13 (1983), pp. 174-178
  4. ^ John Stewart (2006). African states and rulers. Jefferson: McFarland & Co. p. 418. ISBN 978-0-7864-2562-4. 
  5. ^ Birley, Fasti of Roman Britain, p. 240
Political offices
Preceded by
Sextus Julius Major
Proconsul of Africa
142 – 143
Succeeded by
Lucius Minicius Natalis Quadronius Verus