The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Vettia – Vettienus – Vettius



less than ten months, and to resign all his preten­sions in favour of Constantius, by whom he was treated with great kindness, and permitted to re­tire to Prusa, in Bithynia, where he passed the remaining six years of his life in contented tran­quillity, practising the virtues of the Christian faith which he professed. It is tolerably clear, as far as we can pretend to draw any conclusion from the confused and contradictory accounts transmitted to us regarding the above transactions, that the extraordinary conduct of Vetranio must be ascribed to natural indecision or to the vacillating imbecility of old age, rather than to a system of complicated treachery altogether foreign to his character, which is painted in very favourable colours by almost all the historians of this epoch, except Aurelius Victor who describes him as little better than a mis­chievous idiot. [CONSTANS; MAGNENT1US; CoN-

stantius.] (Julian. Orat. i. ii. ; Themist. Orat. iii. iv.; Amm. Marc. xv. 1. § 2, xxi. 8. § 1 ; Aurel. Vict. de Caes. 41, 42, Epit, 41 ; Eutrop. x. 6 ; Zosim. ii. 43, 44 ; Zonar. xiii. 7 ; Chron. Alexandr.; Chron. Idat.; Socrat. H.E. ii. 28 ; Sozomen. ff. E. iv. 3 ; Philostorg. H.E. iii. 22.) [W.R.]


VETTIA or VE'CTIA GENS, plebeian, is not mentioned till the latter end of the republic, but obtained considerable eminence under the empire, where its name frequently appears in the consular Fasti. In many editions and some MSS. of the ancient writers, the name occurs in the form of Vectius ; but Vettius is the true orthography, as we see from coins. We find coins of the Vettii of the republican period, bearing the cognomen Judeoo SabinuS) a specimen of which is given under judex.

VETTIENUS, or VECTIE'NUS, a friend of Cicero and Atticus, was a money-lender. (Cic. ad Alt. x. 5, 11, 13, 15, xii. 3, xv. 13.)

VETTIUS, or VE'CTIUS. 1. P. vettius, quaestor of C. Verres in Sicily, is spoken of by Cicero as an honourable man. (Cic. Verr. v. 44.)

2. T. vettius, praetor b. c. 59, presided at the trial of L. Flaccus, whom Cicero defended. (Cic. pro Flacc. 34.)

3. vettius, one of the lovers of Clodia, gave her some copper coins instead of silver, and was in consequence shamefully treated by two other lovers of Clodia. (Cic. pro Cad. 30 ; Plut. Cic. 29.)

4. vettius, of whom Cicero purchased a house. (Cic. ad Att. iv. 5. § 2.)

5. sex. vettius, a friend of Atticus, and a coheres of Cicero. (Cic. ad Att. xiii. 12.)

6. L. vettius, a Roman eques, was in the pay of Cicero in b. c. 63, to whom he gave some valuable information respecting the Catilinarian conspiracy. Hence he is called by Cicero noster index. Among others he accused Caesar of being privy to the conspiracy. (Comp. Suet. Caes. 17, where we ought to read a L. Vettio indice instead


of a L. Vettio judice.) He was an unprincipled fellow, who was ready to sell his services to any one who would pay him well. He again appears in b. a 59 as an informer. In that year he ac­cused Curio, Cicero, L. Lucullus, and many other distinguished men, of having formed a conspiracy to assassinate Pompey. Dion Cassius, who al­ways thinks the worst about every man, asserts (xxxviii. 9) as a positive fact that Vettius had been purchased by Cicero and L. Lucullus to murder Caesar and Pompey ; but this statement is in opposition to all other authorities, and deserves no credence. It seems almost certain that the conspiracy was a sheer invention for the purpose of injuring Cicero, Curio, and others ; but there is more difficulty in determining who were the in­ventors of it. Cicero regarded it as the work of Caesar, who remained in the background while its success was uncertain, and who used the tri­bune Vatinius as his instrument. At a later pe­riod, when Cicero had returned from exile, and feared to provoke the triumvir, he threw the whole blame upon Vatinius. However this may be, the history of the affair is briefly as follows. Vettius was said to have insinuated himself into the friendship of Curio, and then to have informed him that he intended, along with his slaves, to kill Pompey, hoping to elicit from Curio an ap­proval, if not a promise, of co-operation in the plot. Curio, however, did not fall into the snare, but disclosed what he had heard to his father. The latter informed Pompey. Vettius, therefore, was apprehended and brought before the senate, where he stated that Curio was at the head of a conspiracy which had been formed against Pom­pey's life, in which some of the most distinguished young men of the state had a share ; among others, L. Aemilius Paulus, M. Brutus, and L. Lentulus. The senate ordered him to be cast into prison. On the following day Vatinius brought him before the assembly of the people, that he might confirm what he had already said before the senate ; but he now contradicted himself, and his evidence became much more suspicious than it had been on the previous day. Some names which he mentioned in the senate, he now passed over entirely, but he added many others of still greater celebrity, such as Lucullus and L. Do-mitius Ahenobarbus. He did not mention Cicero by name, but he said that an eloquent consular, who lived near the consul Caesar, had said to him that the state needed a Servilius Ahala, or a Brutus. He was sent back to prison, and on the following morning was found strangled in his cell. It was given out that he had committed suicide ; but the marks of violence were visible on his body, and Cicero at a later time charged Vatinius with the murder. Suetonius says (Caes. 20) that Vettius was poisoned, but this is in oppo­sition to the direct statement of Cicero, who must have known the manner of his death, and could have had no reason for giving a false account on this point at least. (Dion. Cass. xxxvii. 41 ; Suet. Caes. 17 ; Cic. ad Att. ii. 24, pro Sest. 63, in Vatin. 10, 11, with the Schol. Bob. pp. 308, 320, ed. Orelli ; Dion Cass. xxxviii. 9 ; Suet. Caes. 20 ; Appian, B. C. ii. 12 ; Plut. Lucull. 42 ; Drumann, Geschichte Roms, vol. ii. p. 233, foil.) The coin of the Vettia gens, with the surname of Judex upon it, has nothing to do with this Vettius. [ judex.]

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of