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Marcus Vinicius (consul 19 BC)

Marcus Vinicius (consul 19 BC)

Consul of the Roman Empire
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Consul of the Roman Empire
Countries Ancient Rome
Occupations Politician Military personnel
Gender male
Birth Cales
The details

Marcus Vinicius (a.k.a. Vinucius) (deceased post AD 4) was a Roman consul and a prominent general at the service of the first Roman emperor, Augustus (ruled 27 BC – AD 14).


Born the son of a Roman knight at Cales in Regio I (Latium et Campania) of Italia, Vinicius distinguished himself as legatus Augusti pro praetore (governor) of the Roman province of Gallia Belgica in 25 BC, when he led a successful campaign into Germania.

At some point, Vinicius may also have served as governor of the Roman province of Achaea; an inscription from Corinth, dated to 18–12 BC and honoring his fellow-general, and the Emperor's right-hand man, Agrippa, reveals that an administrative division of the city had been named the tribus Vinicia, apparently in Vinicius' honor.

In recognition of his services, Vinicius, the archetypal homo novus, was appointed suffect consul in 19 BC, replacing C. Sentius Saturninus and holding the office together with Q. Lucretius Vespillo.

After his consulship, Vinicius continued to be entrusted with important military commands. Vinicius served as governor of Illyricum for 14-13 BC, at the beginning of the series of rebellions which were called by Roman sources bellum Pannonicum(Pannonian war, 14–10 BC) until late 13 BC when Augustus assigned the supreme command to Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. An conscription found at Tusculum reads "... propraetor of Caesar Augustus in [Illyricum; he was the first to advance] beyond the river Danube; he [routed] the army of [the Dacians] and the Bastarnae in battle; he brought the Cotini, [Osi], . . . and Anartii [under the sway of Imperator Caesar] Augustus [and the Roman people].

Between AD 1 and 4, Vinicius commanded the 5 legions stationed in Germany. His army fought so successfully that he won the ornamenta triumphalia.

Throughout his life, Vinicius seems to have enjoyed a close friendship with the emperor: the historian Suetonius quotes a letter by Augustus in which he talks about playing dice with Vinicius and his fellow homo novus, Publius Silius Nerva.


Vinicius' son Publius was Consul in AD 2, and his grandson and namesake Marcus Vinicius was Consul in 30 and the husband of Julia Livilla, daughter of Germanicus, nephew of Tiberius.

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