The Ancient Library

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The wife of Paullus Aemilius Lepidus was Cor­nelia, the daughter of Cornelius Scipio and of Scribonia, who was subsequently the wife of Au­gustus. She was thus the step-daughter of Au­gustus, and her family became still more closely connected with the imperial house by the marriage of one of her sons, L. Aemilius Paullus [No. 22], to a daughter of Julia, who was her half-sister, being the daughter of Augustus and Scribonia. There is an elegy of Propertius (iv. 11), in which Cornelia is represented as consoling her husband Paullus on account of her death. She there speaks of having died in the consulship of her brother (iv. 11. 65), who is supposed to have been the P. Cor­nelius Scipio who was consul in b. c. 16* Thus a contradiction arises between Velleius Paterculus (ii. 95) and Dion Cassius (liv. 2) on the one hand, and Propertius on the other, as the two former writers say that Paullus died during his censorship. Perhaps, however, the brother of Cornelia may not have been the consul of b. c. 16, but one of the consuls suffecti, not mentioned in the Fasti. Paullus had by Cornelia three children, two sons and a daughter [Nos. 22, 23, 24], to all of whom Propertius alludes. The daughter was born in the censorship of her father (Propert. iv. lh 67), and if Paullus really died in his censorship there could have been only a very short interval between his wife's death and his own. The annexed coin pro­bably has reference to this Paullus Aemilius Le­pidus : it has on the obverse the head of Concordia with pavllvs lepidvs concordia, and on the re­verse a trophy with several figures, and the words ter pavllvs. The reverse refers to the victory of the celebrated L. Aemilius Paullus over Perseus: on the right hand of the trophy stands Aemilius Paullus himself, and on the left Perseus and his two sons. Ter may refer to his triumph lasting three days, or to his having enjoyed three different triumphs. (Comp. Eckhel, vol. v. pp. 130^ 131.)


There is another coin of Paullus Aemilius Le­pidus, with the same obverse as the one given above, but with the reverse representing the Scri-bonian puteal, which we find on the coins of the Scribonian gens [see libo], and with the legend pvteal scribon. libo. This emblem of the Scribonia gens was used on account of the wife of Paullus being the daughter of Scribonia, who had then become the wife of Augustus, as is stated above.

20. M. aemilius lepidus, the son of the triumvir [No. 17] and Junia, formed a conspiracy in b. c. 30, for the purpose of assassinating Octa-vian on his return to Rome after the battle of Actium ; but Maecenas, who had charge of the city, became acquainted with the plot, seized Lepidus, without creating any disturbance, and sent him to Octavian in the East, who put him to death. His father was ignorant of the conspiracy, but his mother was privy to it. [JuNiA, No. 2.] Velleius Paterculus, who never speaks favourably




of any of the enemies of Octavian, describes Le­pidus as "juvenis forma quam mente melior." Lepidus was married twice.: his first wife was Antonia, the'daughter of the triumvir [antonia, No. 4], and his second Servilia, who put an end to her life by swallowing burning coals when the conspiracy of her husband was discovered. (Veil. Pat. ii. 88 ; Appian, B.C. iv. 50 ; Dion Cass. liv. 15; Suet. Octav. 19; Liv. Epit. 133; Senec. de Clem. 9, De Brev. Vtfae, i. 9.)

21. Q. aemilius lepidus,consul b.c. 21 with M. Lollius. (Dion Cass. liv. 6 ; Hor. Ep. i. 20. 28.) It appears from an inscription quoted under fabricius [Vol. II. p. 132,b], that he and Lollius repaired the Fabrician bridge. The descent of this Lepidus is quite uncertain : the conjecture of Dru-mann (Gesck. Roms, vol. i. p. 24) that he was a son of the triumvir is in itself improbable; and we find besides that he is called in inscriptions M*. f., and not M. f.

22. L. aemilius paullus, the son of Paullus Aemilius Lepidus [No. 19] and Cornelia, married Julia, the grand-daughter of Augustus, being a daughter of M. Agrippa and Julia, who was the daughter of Augustus. Paullus is therefore called the progener of Augustus. As Julia, the .daughter of Augustus, was the half-sister of Cornelia [see above, No. 19], Paullus married his first cousin. He was consul in A. d. 1 with C. Caesar, his wife's-brother, and the grandson of Augustus ; but, not­withstanding his close connection with the imperial family, he nevertheless entered into a conspiracy against Augustus, of the particulars of which we are not informed. (Propert. iv. 11. 63 ; Suet. Oct. 19,64; Dion Cass. Iv. Ind.) Respecting Julia, the wife of Paullus, see julia, No. 7.

23. M. aemilius lepidus, the brother of No. 22, was consul A. d. 6 with L. Arruntius. (Propert. iv. 11. 63; Dion Cass. Iv. 25.) Instead of con­spiring against Augustus, like his brother, he seems always to have lived on the most intimate terms with him. He was employed by Augustus in the war against the Dalmatians in a. d. 9. (Veil. Pat. ii. 114, 115; Dion Cass. Ivi. 12.) When Augustus shortly before his death was speaking of the Roman nobles, whose abilities would qualify them for the supreme power, or whose ambition would prompt them to aspire to it, he described Lepidus as " capax sed aspernans." (Tac. Ann.i.13.) The high estima­tion in which he was held by Augustus he continued to enjoy even with the jealous and suspicious Tibe­rius ; and although he took no part in the fulsome flatteries which the senate were continually pre­senting to the emperor, and used his influence in the cause of justice, yet such was his prudence, that he did not forfeit the favour of Tiberius. The praises bestowed upon Velleius Paterculus (I. c.), which'.would not of themselves be of much value, as this writer always speaks favourably of the friends of Augustus, are confirmed by the weightier authority of Tacitus, who bears the strongest testimony to the virtues and wisdom of Lepidus. (Tac. Ann. iv. 20.)

The name of M. Lepidus occurs several times in Tacitus, and must be carefully distinguished from that of M'. Lepidus [see No. 25], with which it is fre­quently confounded, both in the MSS. and editions of the historian. M. Lepidus is first mentioned in Tacitus at the accession of Tiberius, a. d. 14, next in A. d. 21, when he declined the proconsulate of Africa, and also in the debate in the senate in the

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