CASS0020 Sp. Cassius (91) Vecellinus


  • Patrician? Expand

    Broughton, MRR III - "Plebeian Consul? In the listing of the consuls up to 366 in MRR, vol. I, the Roman tradition as stated in Livy 6.42.9 (ut L. Sextius primus de plebe consul factus) is the basis for describing all the consuls up to that date as patrician. The considerable number of gentilicia which appear in the Fasti of consuls of the early fifth century and are known in later times to be exclusively plebeian, such as Cassius, Cominius, Iunius, Tullius, and Sempronius, is inconsistent with that tradition, and supports strongly the view that the patricians in spite of ready access to priesthoods and magistracies were not in complete and exclusive control. That these consuls were plebeians was accepted by Fraccaro (La storia romana arcaica 10-14-Opuscula 1-23) and is noted several times in Ogilvie's Commentary on Livy, Books 1-5 (e.g., p. 275 on 2.16.6, 232 on 1.60.4, and 277-278 on 2.17.1 on Sp. Cassius himself). A discussion of this problem cannot be undertaken here. The conclusions depend very largely on conceptions we may have formed of the origin and development of both patricians and plebeians in archaic Roman society under the kings and in the early years of the Republic. The explanation that these consuls were members of patrician branches of their gentes which died out while plebeian branches continued on is unsatisfactory because, as Momigliano remarks (RS1 79, 1967, 306-307), they were invented simply to harmonize with the tradition. He suggests, as a hypothesis, that these few non-patrician consuls were drawn from the conscripti, the additional senators described in the phrase qui patres quique conscripti (Liv. 2.1.11), who were originally neither patrician nor plebeian but were soon assimilated to the plebeian order as it formed (RS179, 1967, 197-312-Quarto Contributo 443-454; ""Osservazioni"" in Entretiens 13, 1966, 199-221, esp. 20811.). For a full discussion and survey of the various views, see J.-C. Richard, Les origines de la plebe romaine, esp. 519-540. Momigliano's hypothesis has the merit, in its distinction between conscripti and plebeians, of preserving in form at least the truth of the statement in Livy 6.42.9. On Cassius himself, see now R. M. Ogilvie, Comm. Liv. 337-345."

  • Nobilis Expand

    Liv. 4.15.5

Life Dates

  • 485, death - violent (Broughton MRR I) Expand



  • Triumphator 502 (Rich 2014) Expand
    • Triumph de Sabineis. MRR I.8, Itgenshorst p. 262, Rich no. 22. (Rich 2014)
  • Consul 502 (Broughton MRR I) Expand
    • Liv. 2.17.1; Dion. Hal. 5.49.1; 8.69.3, and 70.2; Chr. 354 (Tricosto et Bigellino); Fast. Hyd. (Tricasto et Vitellino); Chr. Pasc. ({Gr}); Cassiod.; Zon. 7.13; on Verginius, Auct. De Praenom. 2; and on Cassius, Act. Tr., Degrassi 64f., 536; Val. Max. 6.3.1. See Degrassi 88, 350f.; and on Verginius, Lübker no. 5. According to Livy, the Consuls fought the Aurunci. One of them was wounded, but the other captured and destroyed Pometia and both celebrated triumphs (2.17.1-7; cf. 2.25.5-6). According to Dion. Hal., Cassius defeated the Sabines and won a triumph (5.49.1-3; 8.70.2; Act. Tr., Degrassi 64f., 536; Val. Max. 6.3.1; Zon. 7.13), while Verginius captured Cameria (Dion. Hal. 5.49.3-5; cf. Zon. 7.13). (Broughton MRR I)
  • Magister Equitum 501 (Broughton MRR I) Expand
    • Liv. 2.18.5; Dion. Hal. 5.75.2 and 4; Eutrop. 1.12; Jerome, Chr. p. 107 Helm; Cassiod.; Lydus Magg. 1.37; Suidas s. v. {Gr}. (Broughton MRR I)
  • Consul 493 (Broughton MRR I) Expand
    • Cic. Balb. 53; Rep. 2.57; Liv. 2.33.4; Dion. Hal. 6.49.1; Chr. 354 (Aurunco et Vigellino); Fast. Hyd. (Aurunco II et Vitellino), so also Chr. Pasc.; Cassiod. See Degrassi 88, 352f. Cominius defeated the Volscians at Antium and through the bravery of Coriolanus captured Corioli (Liv. 2.33.4-9; Dion. Hal. 6.91.1-94.2; Val. Max. 4.3.4; Plut. Cor. 8.1-11.1). Cassius was Consul when the secession of the Plebs was ended by the foundation of the Tribunate under the leges sacratae (Cic. Rep. 2.57; Liv. 2.32-33; Dion. Hal. 6.49-90, esp. 89-90; cf. Cic. Sest. 16; Prov. Cons. 46; Ascon. 77 C; Gell. 17.21.11; Dig.; Fest. 422 L), and dedicated the temple of Ceres (Dion. Hal. 6.94.3; cf. Grueber, CRRBM 1.387ff.; Cesano, Stud. Num. 1 [1942] 145f.), but was most famous for his treaty with the Latins (Cic. Balb. 53; Liv. 2.33.4 and 9; Dion. Hal. 6.95.1-2). The Consuls also carried through a census (Dion. Hal. 6.96.1). (Broughton MRR I)
  • Consul 486 (Broughton MRR I) Expand
    • Liv. 2.41.1; Diod. 11.1.2, and 37.7; Dion. Hal. 8.68.1; 9.51.1; Chr. 354 (Rutilo et Vigellino III); Fast. Hyd. (Rutilio et Vitellino); Chr. Pasc. ({Gr}); Cassiod.; see Degrassi 89, 354f. Cassius fought the Hernici, made a treaty with them, and celebrated a second triumph (Dion. Hal. 8.68.1-69.4; Act. Tr., Degrassi 16f., 537; Val. Max. 6.3.1b; cf. Liv. 2.41.1), while Verginius fought the Aequi (Dion. Hal. 8.68.1). All traditions agree that Cassius plotted for royal power, but disagree regarding his agrarian and other proposals in favor of the Plebs, which were vetoed by his colleague. He was condemned and put to death the next year (Liv. 2.41.1-12; Dion. Hal. 8.69.1-80.4; of. Cic. Rep. 2.60; Diod. 11.37.7; Val. Max. 5.8.2; Plin. NH 34.4; Flor. 1.17.7; see under 485, Quaestors). On Verginius, see Lübker, no. 9. (Broughton MRR I)
  • Tribunus Plebis? 486 (Broughton MRR I) Expand
    • Val. Max. 5.8.2 has him introduce the first agrarian law as Tr. Pl. (Broughton MRR I)
  • Triumphator 486 (Rich 2014) Expand
    • Triumph de Volsceis, Herniceisque. MRR I.20, Itgenshorst p. 262, Rich no. 27. (Rich 2014)