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Ahenobarbus

Ahenobarbus ("brazen-bearded" or "red-haired"), the name of a plebeian Roman family of the gens Domitia. The name was derived from the red beard and hair by which many of the family were distinguished. Amongst its members the following may be mentioned:

Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, tribune of the people 104 BC, brought forward a law (lex Domitia de Sacerdotiis) by which the priests of the superior colleges were to be elected by the people in the comitia tributa (seventeen of the tribes voting) instead of by co-optation; the law was repealed by Sulla, revived by Julius Caesar and (perhaps) again repealed by Marcus Antonius, the triumvir (Cicero, De Lege Agraria, ii. 7; Suetonius, Nero, 2). Ahenobarbus was elected pontifex maximus in 103 BC, consul in 96 BC and censor in 92 BC with Lucius Licinius Crassus[?] the orator, with whom he was frequently at variance. They took joint action, however, in suppressing the recently established Latin rhetorical schools, which they regarded as injurious to public morality (Aulus Gellius xv. 11).

Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, son of the above, husband of Porcia the sister of Cato Uticensis, friend of Cicero and enemy of Caesar, and a strong supporter of the aristocratical party. At first strongly opposed to Pompey, he afterwards sided with him against Caesar. He was consul in 54 BC, and in 49 he was appointed by the senate to succeed Caesar as governor of Gaul. After the outbreak of the civil war he commanded the Pompeian troops at Corfinium, but was obliged to surrender. Although treated with great generosity by Caesar, he stirred up Massilia (Marseilles) to an unsuccessful resistance against him. After its surrender, he joined Pompey in Greece and was slain in the flight after the battle of Pharsalus, in which he commanded the right wing against Antony (Caesar, Bellum Civile, i., ii., iii.; Dio Cassius xxxix., xli.; Appian, B.C. ii. 82).

Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, son of the above.

See also: Roman Republic -- Cursus honorum


Initial text from 1911 encyclopedia -- Please update as needed



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