Appius Claudius Pulcher, T Manlius Mancinus & Q Urbinus AR Denarius. Victory in triga right, one horse looking back, AP CL T MANL Q VR in ex.

Ancient Coins - Appius Claudius Pulcher, T Manlius Mancinus & Q Urbinus AR Denarius.  Victory in triga right, one horse looking back, AP CL T MANL Q VR in ex.
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Appius Claudius Pulcher, T Manlius Mancinus & Q Urbinus AR Denarius. 111-110 BC. Helmeted head of Roma right, square behind / Victory in triga right, one horse looking back, AP CL T MANL Q VR in ex. Cr299/1a; Syd 570. claudia2. No.2963. VF
Appius Claudius Pulcher (97-49 BC), was a consul of the Roman Republic in 54 BC. He was an expert in Roman law and antiquities, especially the esoteric lore of the augural college of which he was a controversial member. He was head of the senior line of the most powerful family of the patrician Claudi. The Claudi were one of the five leading families (gentes maiores or "Greater Clans") which had dominated Roman social and political life from the earliest years of the republic. He is best known as the recipient of 13 of the extant letters in Cicero's ad Familiares corpus (the whole of book III), which date from winter 53-52 to summer 50 BC. Regrettably they do not include any of Appius' replies to Cicero as extant texts of any sort by members of Rome's ruling aristocracy are quite few and rare, apart from those of Julius Caesar.

Augur, scholar, author & orator

The date of his co-option into the augural college is not known, but more likely early in life than later owing to his acknowledged expertise in augural lore, upon which he published. Most likely he succeeded his father (if the latter was one of Sulla's new augurs created in 81 BC), but in any case since the augural college remained organized on a curiate (antique clan-based) system, he must have succeeded to a vacated patrician augurate.
As an augur he engaged in heated debate with his senior colleague C. Claudius Marcellus (praetor 80 BC), who maintained that augury was established from a belief in divination but perpetuated through political expediency, while Appius strongly advocated an extreme traditionalist view upholding the authenticity of the craft and eventually published a noted Liber auguralis which included a good deal of polemic directed against "Marcelline" modernity.[1]
His typically Claudian arrogance, so evident from Cicero's correspondence with him and with Marcus Caelius Rufus,[2] is also mentioned in a letter to Cicero from Publius Vatinius (consul 47 BC), who was Caesar's nominee to take Appius' place in the augural college after the latter's death:[3]

"Upon my word, I could not face it out, not if I had the impudence of Appius, in whose place I was elected". (translation by D.R. Shackleton Bailey)


It was also characteristic of him that he was fascinated by Athenian antiquities, but not what attracted many prominent Romans to Athens at the time: its fame as the greatest university city in the Greek-inhabited world (the oikoumene) where all the chief philosophical schools were based. He was busy in Greece in 62-1 BC when his wild youngest brother Publius Clodius Pulcher got himself into trouble for violating the rites of the Bona Dea and was prosecuted for incestus, but it is not known in what capacity.[4]

Cicero wrote to Caepio Brutus as follows in his treatise on the history of Roman rhetoric and orators (Brutus 267):

Also of those who fell in that same war there are M. Bibulus, who wrote with accuracy as well, particularly since he was no orator, and resolutely conducted many suits; Appius Claudius your father-in-law, my colleague and friend. By then he was studious enough and both very learned and experienced as orator, as well as a true expert in augural and all public law, and in our antiquities.

Lineage

Eldest son and chief heir of Appius Claudius Pulcher (cos.79), whom he succeeded as head of the main line of Claudi Pulchri when Appius pater died campaigning in the Rhodope Mountains as Macedonian commander in 76 BC. Heir of a diverse political heritage: his father was an optimas, or Aristocratic party supporter of Sulla during the first civil wars, his grandfather the leading supporter of the radical popularis Tiberius Gracchus (tr.p.133) who was his son-in-law.

Marriages & children

His wives and marriage details remain unknown, and he may not have married until after returning from the eastern wars.
No sons survived to adulthood, but he had at least two daughters Claudiae neither of whom are mentioned directly by name, but only in the context of their relationships by marriage: the younger to Pompey the younger (born ca.79 BC),[12] while the elder was the first wife of Marcus Junius Brutus (born 85).[13] The terminus ante quem for both marriages is spring 51 BC (calendar Iunius). Most likely Claudia maior married Brutus ca.59 (when he turned 26) while her minor sister's match with Magnus' son was probably arranged around the time of the Luca and Ravenna conferences (spring 56 BC), with the marriage taking place in Pompeius' second consulate after Appius returned from Sardinia.
It was an interesting choice of in-laws (adfines) since Brutus refused to speak to Pompeius Magnus until the Civil War, detesting him as a tyrant and the murderer of his father.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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