Quintus Pompeius Falco

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Quintus Pompeius Falco (c. 70 - after 140) was a Roman politician of the early 2nd century AD. His complete name was Quintus Roscius Coelius Murena Silius Decianus Vibullius Pius Iulius Eurycles Herculanus Pompeius Falco.

Pompeius Falco was governor of several provinces, most notably Britannia, where he hosted a visit to the province by the Emperor Hadrian in the last year.


By his filation, Falco was the son of Sextus Pompeius Falco. His family supplied many politicians of consular rank throughout the 2nd century. He was related to consuls Julius Frontinus, Publius Coelius Balbinus Vibullus Pius, and possibly to the later emperor Balbinus. Falco himself was a suffect consul September-December 108.

A letter from Pliny the Younger (Ep. 1.23) to Falco written in 97 helps fix the date his tribunate, and makes it likely Falco was born c. 70. His career was undistinguished until he was put in command of the Legio V Macedonica during the First Dacian War (101-2). After this he was made governor of Lycia et Pamphylia, and then ("unusually" notes Anthony Birley) Judea. His consulship followed not long after. He may have held the office in absentia.[1]

Upon his return to Rome, Falco became curator of the via Traiana then, after a few years without employment, he served as governor of Moesia Inferior, where he is attested in 116 and 117. His appointment came soon after; Birley opines that it "must have been one of Hadrian's first acts."[2]

It was in 122 that Hadrian decreed numerous reforms in Britannia and also ordered the construction of Hadrian's Wall. Before this, in 118, Falco suppressed an uprising thought to have involved the Brigantes and Selgovae, Brythonic tribes of northern Britannia and southern Caledonia, although it may have resulted from foreign invasion.

An inscription from Jarrow and commemorative coins issued in 119 attest to his supposed success although a reference by the orator Fronto to many soldiers being killed in Britannia under Hadrian's rule has been suggested as indicating that the victory was hard-won. However, Fronto may have been referring to a different conflict.

After his tenure as governor, Falco was successful in his further career by becoming proconsul of Asia in 123/124. He is last heard of in a letter by the young Marcus Aurelius to Fronto, likely written in 143, recalling a visit to Falco's estate three years prior.[3]


  1. ^ Birley, The Fasti of Roman Britain, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981), pp. 98f
  2. ^ Birley, The Fasti, p. 99
  3. ^ Birley, The Fasti, p. 100


Political offices
Preceded by
Marcus Appius Bradua
Roman governors of Britain
Succeeded by
Aulus Platorius Nepos