(p.219) Appendix 1 A Prosopography of M. Scribonius Drusus Libo
(p.219) Appendix 1 A Prosopography of M. Scribonius Drusus Libo
What follows is an attempt to capture the essence of what Drusus Libo had in mind as he considered his place in Roman society:
Firmius Catus senator, ex intima Libonis amicitia, iuvenem inprovidum et facilem inanibus ad Chaldaeorum promissa, magorum sacra, somniorum etiam interpretes impulit, dum proavum Pompeium, amitam Scriboniam, quae quondam Augusti coniunx fuerat, consobrinos Caesares, plenam imaginibus domum ostentat, hortaturque ad luxum et aes alienum, socius libidinum et necessitatum, quo pluribus indiciis inligaret.
Firmius Catus, a senator and close friend of Libo’s, urged the short-sighted young man, given to empty things, to resort to the promises of astrologers, the rites of magicians, and also dream interpreters, reminding him of his great-grandfather Pompeius, his paternal aunt Scribonia, former wife of Augustus, his imperial cousins, his house crowded with ancestral images, and urging him to extravagance and debt: Firmius associated himself in these debaucheries and embarrassments, in order to entangle Libo in more evidence.1
Marcus Scribonius Libo Drusus would seem an appropriate name for a young man who was born (M.?) Livius Drusus and was later adopted by a Scribonius. He was, in fact, a Scribonius adopted by a Livius. The Fasti Amiternini records his name as ‘M.Libo’, Velleius Paterculus has ‘Drusus Libo’, Seneca ‘Drusus Libo’, and Tacitus uses the phrase e familia Scriboniorum Libo Drusus.2 Dio and Suetonius mistake Drusus Libo for his brother, Lucius Scribonius Libo, consul ordinarius in AD 16.3 Hitherto the standard preference is to apply the Tacitean formula, thus Syme, Shotter, and Weinrib.4 Sumner shows that the preference is wrong.5 Tacitus alone uses (p.220) ‘Libo Drusus’, and as Tacitus himself tells us, one of the posthumous penalties was to deprive Scribonian descendants from ever adopting Drusus as a cognomen: ne quis Scribonius cognomentum Drusi adsumeret.6 The preferred formula was M. Scribonius Drusus Libo. This slight emendation makes it somewhat easier to envisage an adoption. That he was born a Scribonius is certain. Seneca and Tacitus mention amita Scribonia, ‘Scribonia, an aunt on the father’s side’, and Tacitus also mentions proavus Pompeius, ‘Pompey, a great-grandfather’. Scribonia can thus be found on his father’s side, and Pompeius was the grandfather of his mother, Pompeia Magna. Drusus Libo was, therefore, a Scribonius adopted by a Livius, but in a manner that allowed for unconventional nomenclature, i.e. he should have been M. Livius Drusus Libo Scribonianus, but was able instead to use M. Scribonius Drusus Libo. Weinrib has argued that Drusus Libo annexed the cognomen Drusus after the death of M.Livius Drusus Libo (cos. 15).7 His hypothesis has not been challenged.
Drusus Libo’s brother was L. Scribonius L.f. Libo (cos. AD 16), and hence their father was a L. Scribonius Libo. The father’s brother was M. Livius L.f. Drusus Libo (cos. 15).8 Lucii filius signifies that their (i.e. the consul of 15 BC and his brother) father was thus also a L. Scribonius L.f. Libo. He is the consul for 34 BC.9 There are two points to consider. An eldest son was provided with the praenomen Lucius, and that one generation before our man, the second son of a Scribonius Libo had joined the ranks of the Livii Drusi. Weinrib’s study of M. Livius L.f. Drusus Libo shows that he was not adopted through either of the formal modes known to us- adrogatio or datio in adoptionem- for we would not expect L.f., when his praenomen is clearly Marcus.10 Instead, M. Livius Drusus Libo joined the Livii Drusi through the process of testamentary ‘adoption’.11 His testator was M. Livius Drusus (p.221) Claudianus, a Claudius Pulcher who was adopted by the tribune of 91 BC, M. Livius Drusus. Although M. Livius Drusus Libo did not come under the patria potestas of his new father, he did have claims to his titles and estates, which he shared with his new sister, Livia Drusilla. Weinrib goes on to suggest that this eminent position was not underestimated by his young nephew M. Scribonius Drusus Libo, who was so impressed by his uncle’s fame that he chose to take on his praenomen and cognomen out of pure regard.12 As evidence for this practice, Weinrib cites the example of L.Seius Strabo, who gave his son the cognomen Tubero in honour of a family friend.13 Yet he goes on to acknowledge that: ‘this idea is now out of favour’.14 Other examples cited do not exclude the possibility that a will had been drawn up, and in the case of M. Aurelius Cotta Maximus Messalinus, the evidence actually implies a testament was being followed:
Qui vir animo etiam quam gente nobilior dignissimusque, qui et patrem Corvinum habuisset et cognomen suum Cottae fratri relinqueret…
This man [M. Valerius Messala Messalinus], was more noble in spirit even than in family, who was very worthy to have had Corvinus as a father, and who left behind his own cognomen to his brother Cotta.15
Weinrib has ignored the active verb relinquo: the brother left behind his cognomen. The cognomen was not annexed. This is much like his reading of Tacitus’ passage concerning the posthumous penalty suggested by Cn. Lentulus: ne quis Scribonius cognomentum Drusi adsumeret.16 Weinrib takes adsumere to mean ‘to take’, and insists that the verb signifies a one-sided transaction: Cn. Lentulus suggests that no Scribonius shall ‘take’ the cognomen Drusus.17 But adsumere is here used in the widest possible sense, in which ‘to take’ can mean taking for oneself or to take when offered by another. Weinrib is closest to the mark when he writes in a footnote ‘Mommsen’s instinctive suggestion of a testamentary adoption by Drusus Libo may be correct (Eph. Ep. I (1872) 146). In this case the nomenclature would be exactly parallel to that of Brutus Albinus.’18 Annexation of nomenclature did, of course, occur. The lex Cornelia de falsis, or an amendment, dealt with the issue in relation to forming wills, as is evidenced by Dig. (p.222) 48.10.13: Falsi nominis vel cognominis adseveratio poena falsi coercetur, ‘To lay claim to a false nomen or cognomen is punished by the penalty for fraud.’ But the evidence suggests the perpetrators were usually freedmen or foreigners passing themselves off as citizens.19 Moreover, it appears that M. Scribonius Drusus Libo was never prosecuted for such a breach, which is perhaps evidence that no breach was ever made. This supports the view that he was adopted in the will of his uncle M. Livius Drusus Libo, on the condition that he take his name.
Evidently, Drusus Libo chose to drop the gentilicium Livius, preferring instead Scribonius. Shackleton-Bailey cites the case of T. Pomponius Atticus, who was heir to the estate of his uncle, Q. Caecilius, by testamentary adoption. Perhaps soon after Atticus had come into his new power as heres, Cicero headed a letter with Q.Caecilio Q.f. Pomponiano Attico.20 The letter shows that a heres could revert to his natal nomenclature despite the condicio nominis ferendi, since he continued to be called T. Pomponius Atticus.21 Thus, M. Scribonius Drusus Libo publicized a cognomen rich in social and political capital, but, for reasons that are not clear, dropped the equally impressive ‘Livius’. Cicero’s anecdote, moreover, draws our attention to another reason for viewing Drusus Libo as an adopted son rather than a starry-eyed nephew. No doubt the congratulations given by Cicero referred to the fortune that Atticus had acquired, important when considering the role of testamentary adoptions. Once an heir had performed the appropriate rites before a praetor, he would be able to take on the estate of the deceased, his name, the masks of his ancestors, and his sacra familiaria.22 As a general rule, this whole process favoured heirless nobles who wished for the continuation of the family name without legal fuss. The reason had sufficed for M. Livius Drusus, and, in turn, his adopted son, M. Livius Drusus Claudianus. He had only one daughter, Livia Drusilla, and so adopted (p.223) M. Livius Drusus Libo. Now, as far as we know, M. Livius Drusus Libo also had one daughter, Livia Scriboniana and, more importantly, no sons.
Low fertility within the aristocracy concerned the Augustan government; a social phenomenon that had plagued Rome for decades: ‘A well-known feature of the social history of Rome is the infertility of the governing class, its failure to rear enough children to maintain its numbers’, as Crook put it.23 Condicio nominis ferendi is an artificial reaction to this state of affairs.24 The object of this device was to ensure a testator’s name was carried on after death, and a growing tide of opinion suggests that condicio nominis ferendi and testamentary adoption were one and the same.25 It is here that Weinrib’s thesis requires correction. Though he, in fact, advocates this position for M. Livius Drusus Libo, he seems to have downplayed its significance in the case of M. Scribonius Drusus Libo; a brief Livian prosopography reveals why such a process was necessary. The consul of 112 BC was M. Livius Drusus. He had three children: Livia, M. Livius Drusus (tr.pl. 91), and Mam. Aemilius Lepidus Livianus (cos. 77).26 Livia married both Q. Servilius Caepio (pr. 91), and M. Porcius Cato, neither marriage produced children with the (p.224) cognomen Drusus.27 M. Livius Drusus (tr.pl. 91) had no children, while Mam. Aemilius Lepidus Livianus, who was clearly adopted by an Aemilius Lepidus, did not take the cognomen Drusus with him.28 It was thus left to the tribune of 91 to adopt, and he chose a Claudius Pulcher, who became M. Livius Drusus Claudianus. M. Livius Drusus Claudianus had one daughter, who took both gentilicium and cognomen, but it was not guaranteed that her future children would bear either. This was the situation when M. Livius Drusus Claudianus instituted a Scribonius Libo as heres, who became M. Livius Drusus Libo (cos. 15). Thus, immediately after 42 BC Livia and her new stepbrother were the only bearers of this very distinguished cognomen.29
About this time Livia married Tiberius Claudius Nero (pr. 42); they soon had two children: the future princeps, Tiberius Claudius Nero; and Decimus Claudius Nero (the elder Drusus).30 Though the name ‘Drusus’ was not given to either child, some time during his youth Decimus became Nero Claudius Drusus; the plight of ‘Drusus’ was temporarily reprieved.31 Nero Claudius Drusus had three children: Germanicus, the future princeps Claudius, and Livia Julia. Germanicus was born Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus, whilst Claudius was Tiberius Claudius Drusus.32 In 13 BC Tiberius named his only son Drusus, perhaps fulfilling a mother’s request. Tiberius Claudius Drusus’ birth in 10 BC therefore brought the number of bearers up to six. But fortuna is fickle. While Claudius was still a baby his father, Nero Claudius Drusus, died. It was probably about this time that another Scribonius Libo joined the ranks, though at which point he secured the bequest is beyond us. Either way, having surveyed the recent history of the Livii Drusi, it is not hard to understand why a device like ‘testamentary’ adoption appealed, especially because ‘it merely signifies the instalment of an heir under condition that he take the testator’s name’.33 Since an heir received the deceased’s estates, his name, the masks of his ancestors, and his sacra familiaria, it is not hard to understand why the situation benefited the Scribonii as well. Thus M. Livius Drusus Claudianus adopted M. Livius (p.225) Drusus Libo, who, in turn, adopted M. Scribonius Drusus Libo, the form of both having been defined through condicio nominis ferendi. M. Scribonius Drusus Libo had inherited the masks of not only his natal ancestors but also of the ancestors of the Livii Drusi.34 With the Scribonii and Pompeii already on display, his collection was certainly impressive, both socially and politically: Weinrib’s hypothesis does not produce this image.
Having thus established a place for M. Scribonius Drusus Libo, we should now consider his connections. The nomenclature of M. Scribonius Drusus Libo indicates a desire to display his connection both to the Livii Drusi and the Scribonii Libones. As the adopted son of M. Livius Drusus Claudianus, M. Livius Drusus Libo was a brother of sorts to Livia Drusilla and an uncle to Tiberius Claudius Nero, the future princeps. M. Scribonius Drusus Libo could, therefore, claim to be a cousin to the emperor. Indeed, though the passage drips with irony, Tacitus states that Libo frequently dined with Tiberius, and Suetonius cites instances where the two spent time together, even walking arm-in-arm.35 Both episodes are used to imply Tiberius’ fear, but they also indicate that intimate connections were not unusual. No less impressive were Drusus Libo’s Scribonian ties. His grandfather was L. Scribonius Libo (cos. 34), a man found in some of the most significant acts of late Republican history.36
(p.226) In 56 BC L. Scribonius Libo appears as a lobbyist for Cn. Pompeius to be given the commission for reinstating Ptolemy VII as king of Egypt.37 Libo’s abilities were endorsed when Pompeius chose Libo’s daughter for his son, Sextus Pompeius.38 Though he again goes missing, the threat of war suited Libo’s abilities, and in February of 49 he and L. Cornelius Lentulus Crus (cos. 49) organized troops in Capua. By March Libo had met with Pompeius’ senior advisers in Brundisium and, apart from strategy and policy, it seems evident Libo was involved in bribing soldiers.39 Early in 49, before fighting broke out, Caesar tells us that he sent C. Caninius Rebilus to Libo for the purposes of organizing an interview between himself and Pompey.40 He adds that Caninius was Libo’s familiaris and necessarius (a very close relationship of some kind). As with many others, Libo obviously had close friends on the other side. The anecdote also signals Libo’s high standing, and Caesar adds to the impression when he states elsewhere: quibuscum communicare de maximis rebus Pompeius consueverat, ‘one with whom Pompey was accustomed to consult about the most important matters’.41 Defeat in the civil war, and the death of Pompey, did not end the career of Libo. By 46 Libo had befriended Cicero and at some stage during this period had his second son adopted by M. Livius Drusus Claudianus. But these were additional amici.42 His rock remained the Pompeii, in the shape of his son-in-law, Sextus Pompeius.
(p.227) In July of 45 Libo was Sextus’ voice at a meeting with Cicero and Brutus.43 In December of 44 Libo attended a secret meeting at Cicero’s house as Sextus’ representative.44 Along with the other attendees, Libo advised Brutus ‘not to wait to be authorized by the senate in preserving the safety of the Roman people.’45 Though Libo was involved with the planning of hostilities that followed the death of Caesar, during the ensuing struggle his diplomacy was again required. At sometime in 40 Libo was part of an embassy to bring M. Antonius over to the side of Sextus.46 Accompanying Libo on the journey was a C. Sentius Saturninus (cos. 19), who we know was related to Libo.47 Octavian’s response was to offer an alliance with Libo himself by marrying Libo’s sister Scribonia, an important event in the history of the family.48 The treaty of Misenum, though in hindsight a failure, was at the time an attempt at real and long-lasting peace.49 Libo did well. His sister was married to Octavian, his granddaughter was betrothed to Marcellus - Octavian’s nephew and the stepson of Antony - and it was agreed that he would be consul ordinarius in 34.50 Welch argues that Octavian was attempting to destabilize the opposition by co-opting Sextus’ most able adviser.51 But Sextus cannot have felt betrayed, since it was his daughter—and Libo’s granddaughter—who was betrothed to Marcellus.52 Libo was instead mediating the truce (p.228) between Octavian and the Pompeii. The marriage between Octavian and Scribonia lasted long enough to produce a child. Late in 39, as the treaty was falling apart, Octavian sent notice of divorce and married Livia. This may have caused problems.
There is no information on Libo between 38 and 35.53 He was probably with Sextus in Sicily.54 Sextus died in 35, but Libo was still able to hold the consulship as planned. If Scribonia’s divorce had soured Libo’s relationship with Octavian, then the fact that Libo held the consulship, even after the death of Sextus, might mark an attempt by Octavian to mend broken fences and a decision by Libo to accept a renewed offer of friendship. Evidently Octavian needed Libo—Libo, on the other hand, had gone to Antony before he went finally to Octavian! Despite his new alliance with Octavian, Libo’s connection with the Pompeii remained unaffected. His eldest son married Pompeia Magna, daughter of Pompeia and L. Cinna (pr. 44).55 These are the parents of our M. Scribonius Drusus Libo.56 The importance of this marriage should not be underestimated when considering the role of Drusus Libo in history. It was his mother’s ancestry that Drusus Libo is thought to have advertised, and it provided him with a possible slogan for an adventure into politics. On the other hand, the mere fact that the Scribonian House chose to solidify further its connections to the Pompeii is significant in itself. Libo had formed important ties with prominent aristocratic families that his grandson would be induced to remember by the treacherous Catus 45 years later.
Nevertheless, it is the direct descendants of Scribonia who should above all be noted when dealing with the connections of M. Scribonius Drusus Libo. Producing a prosopography for Scribonia is one of the most hazardous and vexatious endeavours known to Roman prosopography. Trouble begins with her two marriages prior to Octavian. Suetonius writes:
(p.229) Mox Scriboniam in matrimonium accepit nuptam ante duobus consularibus, ex altero etiam matrem.
Soon he [Octavian] took Scribonia in marriage, [she] had been married before to two ex-consuls, and was a mother by one of them.57
One of the husbands is divined from a Propertian elegy, in which the spirit of Cornelia comforts her still living husband.58 In it Cornelia names Scribonia as her mother and implies that her brother was the consul of 16, P.Cornelius P.f. Scipio. Thus, one of Scribonia’s husbands was a P. Cornelius Scipio. The first problem: there is no P. Cornelius Scipio known as consul for the appropriate years. Attempts to bestow the honour on a suffectus of 38 proved inadequate, as were those which summoned forth the suffectus of 35, appearing in the Fasti magistrorum vici as P. Cornelius, but whom the Fasti Tauromenitani revealed as P. Cornelius Dolabella.59 Nevertheless, the quest continues.60 The second problem comes in the form of an inscription discovered in 1639. It attests a Cornelius Marcellinus as Scribonia’s son, thus Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus (cos. 56) has been deduced as her husband.61 Yet Suetonius is sure that Scribonia had children by only one husband. The above is not central to our efforts, but it shows that producing a prosopography for this family is a perilous task and, hence, truly understanding the connections of M. Scribonius Drusus Libo is as difficult as it is important. The other marriage was, of course, to Octavian in 40, and it lasted long enough to produce a third child, Julia.62 Julia and Cornelia proved the best political and social assets for the Scribonii.
(p.230) Through Julia’s marriage to M. Agrippa, M. Scribonius Drusus Libo gained five important cousins: Gaius and Lucius Caesar, the younger Julia, Agrippina, and Agrippa Postumus. Cornelia married Paullus Aemilius L.f. Lepidus (suff. 34) and produced M. Aemilius P.f. Lepidus (cos. AD 6 and capax imperii) and L. Aemilius P.f. Paullus (cos. AD 1). It has been conjectured that the elder son had more than one wife. The first is thought to be a Vipsania Marcella, whilst the second remains ignota.63 This ignota produced M. Aemilius M.f. Lepidus and Aemilia Lepida, both betrothed to Germanicus’ children Julia Drusilla and Drusus Caesar, respectively. L. Aemilius Paullus (cos. AD 1), who somehow beat his older brother to the consulship, married his cousin Julia the younger: both were Scribonia’s grandchildren. They produced Aemilia Lepida, whose engagement to Tiberius Claudius Drusus Germanicus (Claudius) was terminated when her mother was relegated in AD 8.64 Aemilia Lepida was instead engaged to marry M. Junius Silanus (cos. AD 19). The evidence, scarce as it is, suggests strongly that Scribonia had remained close to her children and grandchildren as well as the descendants of her brother and, thus, it is reasonable to believe that among such illustrious company, M. Scribonius Drusus Libo was no stranger.65
There are two more persons to consider: the unattested but necessary Livia Scriboniana; and P. Sulpicius Quirinius (cos. 12). Livia Scriboniana was the daughter of M. Livius Drusus Libo.66 She was both a cousin and by adoption a sister to Libo, and her husband was the consul for AD 8, M. Furius Camillus (cos. AD 8). They produced M. Furius Camillus, L. Arruntius Camillus Scribonianus (cos. AD 32), and Livia Medullina.67 Unfortunately, nothing can be made from her nomenclature, for it is no more than a product of Weinrib’s imagination, but her link to the Scribonii Libones is borne out easily enough from her son’s cognomen, Scribonianus. P. Sulpicius Quirinius is more interesting. Tacitus states that he was a propinquus to Drusus Libo, which is commonly taken to mean ‘kinsman’. He was a close friend to Tiberius, and capable of taking Drusus Libo’s request to the emperor without long delays. The nature of their relationship is not attested. P. Quirinius was married to a Claudia, and then to Aemilia Lepida, so that the link must come from his own family.68 Nevertheless, he should not be (p.231) considered a party to Drusus Libo’s activities. Indeed, his friendship with Tiberius was most likely the reason he was approached. In his darkest hour, when most of his relatives and friends had deserted him, Drusus Libo pinned his hopes of survival on a staunch Tiberian, something like: ‘Please Publius, he trusts you…’.69 The above thus treats Drusus Libo’s natal and testamentary connections. We are left to consider the identity of his wife’s family.
An inscription found in the middle of the twentieth century attests the existence of Q.Caecilius Drusus Libo. I have shown already that he was the son of Drusus Libo. He was evidently adopted by a Q. Caecilius.70 The Scribonii Libones and the Caecilii were somehow connected in the late Republic. CIL VI 7.37380 attests:
Q CAECILIUS CAECILIAE CRASSI L. HILARUS MEDIC CAECILIA DUARUM SCRIBONIARUM L. ELEUTHERIS EX PARTEM [sic] DIMIDIAE [sic] SIBI E SUI [sic]
Q. Caecilius Hilarus, libertus of Caecilia [wife of] Crassus, physician; Caecilia Eleutheris, liberta of two Scribonian women, part [of his tomb] for themselves and for their own [i.e. family].
Caecilia Crassi is the daughter of Q. Caecilius Metellus Creticus (cos. 69). Her husband was M. Crassus, eldest son of the triumvir M. Licinius Crassus (cos. 70). Syme has shown that Caecilia Metella was the great-aunt of Q. Caecilius Metellus Creticus Silanus (cos. AD 7) on account of his adoption by a Metellus.71 But Caecilia Eleutheris is more interesting. She is evidence of a Caecilian and Scribonian connection. Her name should have been Scribonia Eleutheris.72 There are two solutions: (i) her formal manumission was officially sponsored by a Caecilius, but it was thought appropriate to honour her original owners (perhaps they had informally manumitted the woman by manumissio inter amicos and her formal manumission was, therefore, seen as simply a rubber stamp); (ii) Caecilius Hilarus and the soon to be Caecilia Eleutheris wished to marry.73 Caecilius Hilarus convinced his former master to buy his enslaved girlfriend from the duae Scriboniae in order to make her a freedwoman. The duae Scriboniae agreed and were, in turn, sincerely thanked by the now Caecilia Eleutheris, who repaid their kindness by (p.232) continuing to acknowledge a connection with her former owners. Either way, we have a connection dating back to the late Republic. The situation of Q. Caecilius Drusus Libo is therefore suggestive: he was adopted into a family probably long associated with the Scribonii Libones. The most likely possibility is that this Q. Caecilius was Drusus Libo’s father-in-law.
Immediately following the death of Drusus Libo, Drusus Libo’s wife probably moved into the house of a relative while her affairs were put in order. Since Drusus Libo’s son was young when his father died, he will have stayed with his mother. We would thus expect the child to have been adopted by a member of his mother’s family. This is, of course, speculation, but it is at least a reasonable hypothesis based on circumstantial evidence. M. Scribonius Drusus Libo was married to a Junia (or Caecilia), whose father was probably Q. Caecilius Metellus Creticus Silanus. Since Creticus Silanus was in Syria until AD 17, he evidently did not adopt the child until he had returned to Rome, i.e. a year had passed between Drusus Libo’s death and his son’s adoption. If this assumption is correct, then Drusus Libo was connected through marriage to an important ally of Germanicus.74
This investigation shows Drusus Libo in his social and political station. He stood at the centre of the aristocracy and was connected to its most important and powerful branches. A praetorship in AD 15 suggests a date of birth in or around 15 BC, the year his adoptive father reached the consulship. A date of birth c.15 BC makes Drusus Libo five years younger than Gaius Caesar, two years younger than Lucius Caesar, the same age as Germanicus, one year older than Drusus, and three years older than Agrippa Postumus. Drusus Libo would have spent his youth with these boys: with Gaius, Lucius, and Agrippa he shared the important Scribonia; with Germanicus and Drusus he shared a connection with Livia. He would ultimately view these men as peers, a presumptuous attitude that proved impossible to sustain.
(1) Tac. Ann. 2.27.2.
(5) G. V. Sumner, ‘The Truth About Velleius Paterculus: Prolegomena’, HSCP, 74 (1970), 275, n. 113, who shows other instances where Tacitus has inverted a person’s name.
(6) Tac. Ann. 2.32.2.
(7) E. J. Weinrib (1968), 263–4: ‘The proposal of Cn. Lentulus after the fall of M. Scribonius Libo Drusus, ‘ne quis Scribonius cognomentum Drusi adsumeret,’ implies that the offender had incorporated the item Drusus into his nomenclature through his own volition rather than that he possessed it from birth on the decision of the father.’
(11) In this scenario, a man would perform the appropriate rites before a praetor, and then be able to take on the estate of the deceased, his name, the masks of his ancestors, and his sacra familiaria. Yet, most important of all, it did not require pontifical approval, because the heir would not be under the patria potestas of the testator, instead his familial position did not change. Due to this, such an adoption was only defined within the civil law, not the sacral or public laws, and, hence, it was more or less a private agreement between two families. J. Linderski, ‘Q. Scipio Imperator’, in J. Linderski (ed.), Imperium Sine Fine: T. Robert S. Broughton and the Roman Republic Historia Einzelschriften Heft, 105 (1996), 152–3. For alternative theories, see R. Syme ‘Clues to Testamentary adoption’, in A. R. Birley (ed.), Roman Papers IV (1988), 159–74; and D. R. Shackleton-Bailey, Two Studies in Nomenclature (1976), 81–91.
(15) Vell. 2.112.2. For the case of P. Suillius Rufus, see Tac. Ann. 11.36.5 and 12.25.1. For P. Clodius Thrasea Paetus, see PIR² C 103.
(16) Tac. Ann. 2.32.2.
(19) Suet. Claud. 25.3; Dio 60.17.7.
(20) D. R. Shackleton-Bailey (1976), 85; Cic. Ad Att. 3.20. There are other occurrences. When P. Cornelius P.f. Scipio Nasica became Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio via his testamentary adoption to Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius, Cicero, De Domo Sua, 123, could still call him P. Scipio. Linderski (1996), 153–4, has also pointed out that Metellus Pius Scipio’s daughter continued to be called Cornelia. In 39 Tiberius Claudius Nero became M. Gallius after a testamentary adoption, but Suetonius, Tib. 6.3, tells us that a short while after Tiberius dropped the name. E. J. Weinrib (1967), 257 f., has shown that reverting to his natal nomenclature did not detrimentally affect Tiberius’ claim to the inheritance.
(21) Suetonius styles him ‘Caecilius Atticus’, Tib. 7. Cicero continues to refer to him as Pomponius in their correspondence. D. R. Shackleton-Bailey (1976), 85; Onomasticon to Cicero’s Letters (1995), 26–7 Oxford; P. Tansey, Pulsi maiorum loco? A reconsideration of the Patriciate 218–49 B.C . Unpublished PhD (1997), 148.
(23) J. A. Crook (1967), 111. A low fertility rate and the consequences this imposed on the perpetuation of the nomenclature of the pater can be implied from Ulpian Dig. 184.108.40.206–3: in adrogationibus cognitio vertitur, num forte minor sexaginta annis sit qui adrogat, quia magis liberorum creationi studere debeat: nisi forte morbus aut valetudo in causa sit aut alia iusta causa adrogatio, veluti si coniunctam sibi personam velit adoptare, ‘In cases of adrgatio the scrutiny of the court is directed to the question whether perhaps the adrogator is less than sixty years old, because then he should rather be attending to begetting his own children—unless it should so happen that sickness or health is an issue in the case or there is some other just ground for adrogatio, such as his being related to the person he wishes to adopt.’ The lex Iulia de maritandis ordinibus and lex Papia Poppaea were seen as important attempts to arrest the problem of fertility through legislation. See introduction to these texts in, Roman Statutes, II (1996), 801.
(24) So Sen. Cont. 220.127.116.11: Fabriciorum imagines Metellis patuerunt; Aemiliorum et Scipionum familias adoptio miscuit; etiam abolita saeculis nomina per successores novos fulgent. Sic illa patriciorum nobilitas 〈a〉 fundamentis urbis [habet] usque in haec tempora constitit: adoptio fortunae remedium est, ‘The portraits of the Fabricii found room for the Metelli; adoption merged the families of the Aemilii and Scipiones; even names that age has destroyed shine through new heirs. That is how the nobility of the patricians has survived to this day from the founding of the city. Adoption is the remedy for luck.’
(25) C. F. Konrad, ‘Notes on Roman Also-Rans’, in Imperium Sine Fine: T. Robert S. Broughton and the Roman Republic, J. Linderski (ed.), Historia Einzelschriften Heft, 105 (1996), 126, has shown that during the early Principate evidence that the concept of ‘testamentary adoption’ is nothing more than condicio nominis ferendi becomes ‘conclusive and abundant’. Also J. Linderski (1996), 152–13; P. Tansey (1997), Appendix I, 143–50; the latter gives a full list of those scholars who adopt this approach at 143 n. 6.
(27) F. Munzer (1920, trans. 1999), 270.
(29) M. Livius Drusus Claudianus died in 42 at the battle of Philippi.
(30) Later to become Nero Claudius Drusus (Suet. Claud. 1.1).
(31) It must be noted that the change in nomenclature was not solely based on the precarious future of Drusus as a cognomen. We cannot dismiss the political ramifications that followed accusations against Octavian that he was Decimus’ father, for to change the child’s name to Nero could show an attempt to highlight the boy’s natural paternity. For a review of all the arguments, see C. J. Simpson, ‘The Change in ‘Praenomen’ of Drusus Germanicus’, Phoenix, 42.2 (1988), 173–15.
(32) Suet. Claud. 2.
(34) After his appearance in the fasti, M. Livius Drusus Libo (cos. 15) does not appear again. Syme has speculated that he may have died a few years after his consulship in 15, perhaps a victim of the plague which probably left three consuls dead in 12 BC, (1986), 153–4 n. 85, though he admits that his approach is speculative.
(35) Tac. Ann. 2.28; Suet. Tib. 25.
(36) A brief and simplistic biography can be found in W. S. Anderson, Pompey, his Friends, and the Literature of the First Century BC . (1961), 41–4. The earliest evidence is possibly c. 62 in the form of coins: one a solo effort, the other a joint venture with L. Aemilius M.f. Paullus (cos. 50) to advertise Concordia, a show of support for Cicero and his associates. M. H. Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage, II (1974), plate 51, 416/1a 417/1a, dates it to 62. D. Weigel, ‘The joint issue of L. Libo and Paullus Lepidus’, Society for Ancient Numismatics (1974), 3–4. Weigel associates L. Aemilius Paullus (cos. 50) with his son Paullus Aemilius Lepidus (suff. 34). He dates the coin to 56–5, not 62. Crawford believes Bonus Eventus refers to success against the Catilinarians. The other coin celebrates the Puteal Scribonianum and thanks Bonus Eventus. Festus reveals the Puteal to be the Atrium of Scipio, which had been struck by lightning and destroyed. The task of rebuilding and administering the structure had been given to one of Libo’s ancestors, and the note in Festus explains Bonus Eventus, thanked for the successful completion of the entire business; Festus 494.34–38 L.; Hor. Epist. I.19.1–11. Dating the coin with Lepidus has proved highly contentious, not least because it is central to understanding Libo’s age. Part of the problem is pinpointing the identity of Libo’s partner, which the legend states was a ‘Paulus Lepidus’. Some argue for the suffectus of 34 (Groag PIR² A 373; Weigel (1974), 3–4), others for his father (Crawford (1974), I.441–2; P. Willems (1883–5), I.486, 495). Since it is not central to the purposes of this chapter, the arguments will not be examined. Suffice to say that no date hitherto suggested has found universal favour.
(38) App. BC 5.52.; Dio 48.16.3; where Libo is described as Sextus’ father-in-law. R. Syme (1986), 255, believed that the marriage occurred: ‘perhaps not before the beginning of the Civil War’. It is impossible with current evidence to determine, with real conviction, a date for the marriage. The years 56–49 and 43–2 have both found favour with different scholars: F. Munzer RE.II.3.8884; R. Syme (1939), 228, n. 2, who reconsiders his approach in (1986), 255; E. S. Gruen, The Last Generation of the Roman Republic (1974), 108; E. J. Weinrib (1967), 249.
(39) The troops in Capua had been raised by T. Ampius Balbus, Cic. Ad Att. 8.11B. The advisers at Brundisium included L. Lucceius, Theophanes, Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio, and Faustus Cornelius Sulla, to which Cicero complains to Atticus: ‘do you suppose there are any criminal lengths to which Scipio, Faustus and Libo will not go?’ adding: ‘their creditors are said to be meeting’, Ad Att. 9.11.4.
(40) Caes. BC 1.26.
(41) BC 3.18; Throughout De bello civili Caesar portrays Libo as one of Pompey’s chief negotiators. When Libo and M. Calpurnius Bibulus (cos. 59) found themselves in trouble while commanding two fleets, they held a parley with two of Caesar’s legates, M. Acilius and Statius Murcus, asking that they be allowed to speak to Caesar to arrange peace. Significant is the absence of Pompey’s approval, as the decision to negotiate was obviously within Libo’s responsibilities, as was the ability to command a truce (3.16. See also 3.15, 3.17, 3.23, 3.90).
(42) Ad fam. 7.4; Ad Att. 12.18; 12.19.
(43) Ad Att. 16.4.
(44) Ad Fam. 11.7: Cum adhibuisset domi meae Lupus me et Libonem et Servium, consobrinum tuum.
(45) Ibid. If we cast our minds back to the meeting with Cicero and Brutus in July of 45, questions with exciting implications emerge: how frequent were these meetings? how often did Libo see Brutus? Definite answers are beyond us, but the implications are obvious. If Libo was Sextus’ link to Brutus from 45 to the end of 44, was he involved in the plan to assassinate Julius Caesar. His place among those at Cicero’s house in December of 44 implies some form of collusion, with Sextus and his forces. That Libo was not arraigned under the lex Pedia and was never called an assassin is not a problem—since Sextus was.
(46) App. BC 5.52. The group comprised Antonius’ mother, Libo, and C. Sentius Saturninus, who was a cousin to Libo on the mother’s side, ILS 8892; R. Syme, ‘The Stemma of the Sentii Saturnini’, Historia, 13 (1964), 160. About their objective Appian wrote: ‘who, being attracted to Antony’s capacity for great deeds, sought to bring him into friendly relations with Pompeius and to form an alliance between them against Octavian.’
(47) AE 1892 no. 73: SENTIA LIBONIS…MATER SCRIBONIAE CAESARIS. Scribonia Caesaris was Libo’s sister.
(48) App. BC 5.53; Dio 48.16.3; Suet. Aug. 62.2.
(49) Though, as Kathryn Welch has pointed out to me, Libo would have preferred to make a settlement with Antony.
(50) App. BC 5.73.
(51) K. Welch, ‘Sextus Pompeius and the Res Publica in 42–39’, in A. Powell and K. Welch (eds.), Sextus Pompeius (2002) 31–64.
(52) Concerning this episode, R. Syme (1939), 219, wrote: ‘But there was a more important pact than the despairing and impermanent alliance with Pompeius, a more glorious marriage than the reluctant nuptials with the morose sister of Pompeius’ father-in-law.’ How obvious is hindsight. During the feast held by Sextus and Octavian, it is reasonable to believe sanguine faces filled the room, none more so than Libo’s.
(53) For the divorce, see Dio 48.34.3; Suet. Aug. 62.2.
(54) App BC 5.139.
(55) The identity of Pompeia’s husband is disputed. It is commonly thought to have been the suffectus of 32, so R. Syme (1986), 30, 46–7, 257. I have been persuaded by Patrick Tansey that it must be the praetor of 44. He bases his argument on Seneca, De. Clem. 1.9, who states that the father of Cn. Cornelius Cinna Magnus died during the civil wars: the suffectus of 32 must, therefore, be excluded.
(56) It was this Pompeia, Sextus’ sister, who had given Tiberius presents while fleeing from Octavian in Sicily, presents reportedly exhibited at Baiae as late as the beginning of the second century AD, Suet. Tib. 6.3. There was, therefore, possibly a close friendship between Drusus Libo’s grandmother and Livia, who were, of course, both refugees.
(57) Suet. Aug. 62.
(58) Prop. Eleg. 4.11.
(59) On the suffectus of 38, see L. Biondi, ‘Intorno un frammento marmoreo di fasti consulari’, in Atti della Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia, VI (1835), 273–380; CIL 1² p. 65; Groag, PIR² C 1306, 1395, 1437; RE. IIA.1.891 Scribonia no. 32. For the Fasti magistrorum vici, see AE (1937), no. 62. For the suffectus of 35, see R. Syme (1986), 28, 246 f. and 486; T. R. S. Broughton, MRR II.406, 555. For Fasti Tauromenitani see AE (1988), no. 626 a-b, (1991), no. 894. For a history of the suffectus of 35 in modern scholarship, see P. Tansey, ‘The Perils of Prosopography: The Case of the Cornelii Dolabellae’, in ZPE, 130 (2000), 265–71.
(60) Patrick Tansey suggested in discussion that the desired Scipio may be one of those who received consularia ornamenta from Caesar or Augustus, and that Suetonius was ignorant of the difference.
(61) CIL 6.26033: Libertorum et familiae Scriboniae Caesar(is) et Corneli Marcell(ini) f(ilii) eius [in fr(onte)] (edes) XXXII [in ag]r(o) P(edes) XX. This may be the same Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus epigraphically attested as a praetor in 29, CIL 11.7412. For a full examination of these characters, see R. Syme (1986), 250 f., 287.
(62) Vell. 2.100.5; Suet. Aug. 62.2; Tac. Ann. 2.27; Dio 48.16.3, 34.3; App. BC 5.53; Zonaras 11.14; Epitome de Caesaribus 1.23; CIL. 6.7467.
(64) Suet. Claud. 26.
(65) Prop. Eleg. 4.11 for her intimate relations with Cornelia; Dio, 55.10.14 for her choice to accompany her daughter Julia into exile; Sen. Ep. Mor. 70.10 for her presence at Drusus Libo’s side during the trial.
(69) For his role in the trial of Libo, see Tac. Ann. 2.30; for his staunch support of Tiberius, and Tiberius’ trust, see Tac. Ann. 3.48.
(74) Tacitus writes, Tac. Ann. 2.43.2: Sed Tiberius demoverat Syria Creticum Silanum, per adfinitatem conexum Germanico, quia Silani filia Neroni vetustissimo liberorum eius pacta erat, praefeceratque Cn. Pisonem…‘But Tiberius had removed Creticus Silanus from Syria (he was a marriage connection of Germanicus, whose eldest son, Nero, was betrothed to his daughter), and had appointed Cn. Piso…’.