Virius Lupus (consul 278)

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Virius Lupus was a consul of the Roman Empire in 278.


Possibly the son of Lucius Virius Lupus Iulianus, consul in 232, Lupus had a sufficiently distinguished career for him to be consul suffectus sometime before 275. [1] After this, he was appointed Consularis of Caelimontium, one of the 14 regions of ancient Rome. He was also appointed curator of Laurentum.[2]

During the reign of the emperor Gallienus, Lupus was appointed the senatorial Praeses (governor) of Arabia Petraea (a position he held before 259).[3] During his term the rhetorician Callinicus of Petra dedicated a work to Lupus, titled On Rhetorical Mannerism.[4]

Following this, during the 260s, Lupus was appointed to the governorship of Syria Coele, which, although nominally subject to Gallienus, placed him under the authority of Odaenathus.[5] During 271-272, he was serving as governor of Asia, this time his allegiance shifted from Zenobia to the emperor Aurelian.[6] He was heavily involved in Aurelian's restructure of Zenobian Syria following the emperor's subjugation of the east.[7] During this time, he was also iudici sacrarum cognition of Egypt and the east.[8] This was followed by his appointment as pontifex dei solis, one of the earliest appointments made by Aurelian to his new college of priests serving Sol Invictus.[9]

While in the east, he sided with Probus after Probus was proclaimed emperor in 276.[10] As a reward, Lupus was then made consul for the second time in 278 alongside Probus. After his term in office, the emperor appointed him Urban prefect of Rome, a position he held from 278 to 280.[11]


  • Jones, A. H. M., Martindale, J. R., Morris, J., The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Vol. I (1971).
  • Potter, David Stone, The Roman Empire at Bay, AD 180-395 (2004).
  • Watson, Alaric, Aurelian and the Third Century (1999).


  1. ^ Jones & Martindale, pg. 1046
  2. ^ Jones & Martindale, pg. 522
  3. ^ Lukas de Blois, The Policy of the Emperor Gallienus (1976), pg. 77
  4. ^ Jan Radicke, Imperial and Undated Authors: A. Biography, (1999). pg. 323
  5. ^ Potter, pg. 271
  6. ^ Potter, pgs. 270-271
  7. ^ Potter, pg. 275
  8. ^ Jones & Martindale, pg. 522
  9. ^ Watson, pg. 165
  10. ^ Watson, pg. 164
  11. ^ Potter, pg. 275; Watson, pg. 164
Political offices
Preceded by
Marcus Aurelius Probus,
and Paulinus
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Marcus Aurelius Probus II
Succeeded by
Marcus Aurelius Probus III,
and Nonius Paternus II