Outside the Castra Praetoria, Rome
|Allegiance||Roman Empire, Gaius Calpurnius Piso|
Role in the Pisonian Conspiracy
As Tribune and a man of military experience, Flavus enjoyed great significance in the plot - along with a few others including Centurion Sulpicius Asper as being "leading lights" as well as being close to Gaius Calpurnius Piso, the figurehead of the conspiracy.
Tacitus observes that the hatred for Nero arrose suddenly when he was watching him perform on stage  but failed to attack him in front of the audience because he would not have had a chance to escape.
Tacitus also observes that it was rumoured that, after the success of the conspiracy, Flavus was meant to murder Piso and the empire handed over to Seneca the Younger who was also a co-conspirator because "it mattered not as to the disgrace if a harp-player were removed and a tragic actor succeeded him." For as Nero used to sing to the harp, so did Piso in the dress of a tragedian".
Depiction in Tacitus
|“||Questioned by Nero as to the motives which had led him on to forget his oath of allegiance, "I hated you," he replied; "yet not a soldier was more loyal to you while you deserved to be loved. I began to hate you when you became the murderer of your mother and your wife, a charioteer, an actor, and an incendiary."||”|
Flavus, like Seneca the Younger, is presented as a bastion of traditional morality by Tacitus, as in the above quote, because of his stand against Nero's excesses. The Classicist Edward Champlin argues that Flavus is one of the few figures in the Annals whom Tacitus eulogises without reserve.
Because of his involvement in the conspiracy, Flavus was condemned to death and beheaded in two strokes in front of a pre-dug pit in 65. The execution was entrusted to a tribune, Veianius Niger.