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Up to this period, although several individuals had enjoyed at the same time the appellation of Au gustus, it had been held as an inviolable maxim of the constitution, that the office of chief pontiff did not admit of division, and could be vacated by death only. But the senate, in this case, anxious to preserve perfect equality between the two em perors, departed from a rule scrupulously observed from the earliest ages, and invested both with the office and appellation of Pontifex Maximus. The precedent thus established was afterwards gene rally followed; colleagues in the empire became generally, as a matter of course, colleagues in the chief priesthood; and when pretenders to the pur ple arose at the same time in different parts of the world, they all assumed the title among their other designations. [W. R.]
COIN OF BALBINUS.
BALBUS, a family-name" in several gentes. It was originally a surname given to some one who had an impediment in his speech.
I. Acilii Balbi, plebeians.
1. M\ acilius L. p. K. n. balbus, consul B. c. 150. (Cic. de Senect. 5, ad Ait. xii. 5 ; Plin. H. N. vii. 36.)
2. M'. acilius M. f. L. n. balbus, consul b. c. 114. (Obsequ. 97; Plin. H. N. ii. 29, 56. s. 57.) It is doubtful to which of the Acilii Balbi the annexed coin is to be referred. The obverse has the inscription ba(l)bvs, with the head of Pallas, before which is X. and beneath roma, the whole within a laurel garland. On the reverse we have MV. Acixi, with Jupiter and Victory in a quadriga.
II. T. Am/pius Balbus, plebeian, tribune of the plebs b. c. 63, proposed, in conjunction with his colleague T. Labienus, that Pompey, who was then absent from Rome, should, on account of his Asiatic victories, be allowed to wear a laurel-crown and all the insignia of a triumph in the Circensian games, and also a laurel crown and the praetexta in the scenic games. (Veil. Pat. ii. 40.) He failed in his first attempt to obtain the aedileship, although he was supported by Pompey (Schol. Bob. pro Plane, p. 257? ed. Orelli) ; but he appears to have been praetor in b. c. 59, as we find that he was governor of Cilicia in the following year. (Comp. Cic. ad Fam. i. 3.) On the breaking out of the civil war in b. c. 49, he sided with the Pompeian party, and took an active part in the levy of troops at Capua. (Ad Ait. viii. 11, b.) He no doubt left Italy with the rest of his party, for we find him in the next year endeavouring to obtain
money by plundering the temple of Diana in Kphe-sus, which he was prevented from doing only by the arrival of Caesar. (Caes. B. C. iii. 105.) Bal-bus was one of those who was banished by Caesar; but he afterwards obtained his pardon through the intercession of his friend Cicero (comp. Cic. ad Fam. xiii. 70), who wrote him a letter on the occasion, b. c. 46. (Ad Fam. vi. 12.)
Balbus appears to have written some work on the history of his times; for Suetonius (Caes. 77) quotes some remarks of Caesar's from a work of T. Ampius. Balbus was also mentioned in the fourth book of Varro "De Vita Populi Romani." (Varr. Fraym. p. 249, ed. Bip.)
III. Q. Antonius Balbus, plebeian, is supposed to be the same as Q. Antonius who was praetor in Sicily in b. c. 82 and was killed by L. Philippus, the legate of Sulla. (Liv. Epit. 86.) The annexed coin was struck either by, or in honour of, this Balbus. The obverse represents the head of Jupiter; the reverse is Q. a(n)to. ba(l)b. pr. with Victory in a quadriga.
IV. M. Aims Balbus, plebeian, of Aricia, married Julia, the sister of Julius Caesar, who bore him a daughter, Atia, the mother of Augustus Caesar. [atia.] He was praetor in b. c. 62, and obtained the government of Sardinia, as we learn from the annexed coin (copied from the Thesaur. Morett.), of which the reverse is atius balbus pr., with the head of Balbus; and the obverse, sard. pater, with the head of Sardus, the father or mythical ancestor of the island. In
B. c. 59, Balbus was appointed one of the vigintiviri under the Julian law for the division of the land in Campania; and, as Pompey was a member of the same board, Balbus, who was not a person of any importance, was called by Cicero in joke Pompey's colleague. (Suet. Oct. 4, Phil. iii. 6, ad Att. ii. 4.)
V. Cornelii Balbi, plebeians. The Cornelii Balbi were, properly speaking, no part of the Cornelia gens. The first of this name was not a Roman ; he was a native of Gades ; and his original name probably bore some resemblance in sound to the Latin Balbus. The reason why he assumed the name of Cornelius is mentioned below. [No. L]
1. L. cornelius balbus, sometimes called Major to distinguish him from his nephew [No. 3], was a native of Gades, and descended from an illustrious family in that town. Gades, being one of the federate cities, supported the Romans in their