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On this page: Virginius – Virgpnius Rufus


Caeliomontanus, Esguilinus, and Rutilus respect­ively. The first of them who obtained the consul­ship was T. Virginius Tricostus Caeliomontanus in B. c. 496. The plebeian Virginii are also men­tioned at an early period among the tribunes, but none of them had any cognomen. Under the em­pire we find Virginii with other surnames, a list of which is given below.

VIRGINIUS. 1. A. virginius, tribune of the plebs. B. c. 461, accused K. Quintius, the son of L. Cincinnatus, and after a severe struggle ob­tained his condemnation. (Liv. iii. 11—13.)

2. L. virginius, the father of Virginia, whose tragic fate occasioned the downfall of the decem­virs, b. c. 449. [virginia.]

3. A. virginius, tribune of the plebs, b. c. 395, was condemned with his colleague Q. Pom-ponius, two years afterwards. (Liv. v. 29.) For details see pomponius, No. 3.

4. L. virginius, a tribune of the soldiers ic the second Punic war, b. c. 207. (Liv. xxvii. 43.)

5. virginius, tribune of the plebs, b. c. 87, who accused Sulla, is spoken of under virgilius, No. 1.

6. virginius, proscribed by the triumvirs b. c. 43, escaped to Sicily by promising large sums of money to his slaves, and to the soldiers who were sent to kill him. (Appian, B. C. iv. 48.) VIRGFNIUS CA'PITO. [capito.] VIRGI'NIUS FLAVUS. [flavus.] VIRGFNIUS ROMA'NUS, a contemporary of the younger Pliny, wrote comedies and mimi-iambi, which are much praised by Pliny. (Ep. vi.


VIRGPNIUS RUFUS. [Rurus.] VIRIATHUS (Oviptaeos, Diod. and Dion Cass.: OvpiarOos, Appian), a Lusitanian, com­manded his countrymen in their war against the Romans, whose power he defied, and whose armies he vanquished during many successive years. He is described by the Romans as originally a shep­herd or huntsman, and afterwards a robber, or, as would be called in Spain in the present day, a gue­rilla chief. His character is drawn very favour­ably in a fragment of Dion Cassius (Fragm. 78, p. 33, ed. Reimar.), and his account is confirmed by the testimony of other ancient writers, who celebrate especially his justice and equity, which was particularly shown in the fair division of the spoils he obtained from the enemy. (Comp. Diod. vol. ii. p. 519, ed. Wess. ; Cic. de Off. ii. 11.) The Lusitanians had long been accustomed to sup­port themselves by robbery and rapine ; and as they still continued their predatory mode of life after the Romans had become masters of the neighbouring countries, the Roman commanders in Spain resolved to reduce them to submission. Ac­cordingly in b.c. 151 their country was invaded by the propraetor Ser. Galba, and in the following year (b.c. 150) by the proconsul L. Lucullus as well as by Galba. The Lusitanians in alarm sent offers of submission to Galba, who enticed them to leave their mountain fastnesses by promising to give them fertile lands, and when they had de­scended into the plains, relying on the word of a Roman general, he surrounded them with his troops and treacherously butchered them. Very few of the Lusitanians escaped, but among the survivors was Viriathus, who was destined to be the avenger of his country's wrongs. The Lusitanians, who



had not left, their homes, rose as a man against the rule of such treacherous tyrants, and they found in Viriathus a leader who was well acquainted with the country, and who knew how to carry on the war in the way best adapted to the nature of the country and the habits of his countrymen. At first he avoided all battles in the plains, and waged an incessant guerilla warfare in the mountains. It was not, however, till B. c. 147 that the Lusi­tanians were able to collect any formidable body of men ; and in this year having invaded Tur-detania, they were attacked, while ravaging the country, by the Roman propraetor C. or M. Veti­lius, defeated with loss and obliged to take refuge in a fortress, to which the Romans laid siege. The want of provisions prevented them from hold­ing out long, and they accordingly endeavoured to make terms with Vetilius, who promised to assign to them a place where they might settle. Viri­athus, who was serving among his countrymen, but who had not yet been formally recognised as their general, reminded them of the .treachery of the Romans, and promised, if they would obey his commands, to save them from their present danger. His offer was gladly accepted, and he was unani­mously elected their commander. By a bold and skilful stratagem he eluded the Roman general, and again assembled his forces at Tribola, a town to the south of the Tagus in Lusitania. Thither he was followed by Vetilius ; but Viriathus, pre­tending to retreat, led the Romans into an ambus­cade, where they were attacked by the Lusi­tanians, and defeated with great loss: Vetilius himself was killed ; and out of 10,000 Romans scarcely 6000 escaped. The survivors took refuge under the command of the quaestor within the walls of Carpessus, which Appian supposes to be the same as the ancient Tartessus. Fearing to meet the enemy in the field, the quaestor obtained 5000 men from the Belli and Titthi, Celtiberian tribes, who were then allies of the Romans, and sent them against Viriathus ; but they were also defeated by the Lusitanian general, who now laid waste Carpetania without encountering any opposi­tion.

On the arrival of the praetor C. Plautius in the following year, b.c. 146, with a fresh army, Viri­athus abandoned Carpetania and retreated into Lusitania. He was eagerly followed by Plautius, who crossed the Tagus in pursuit of him, but while the Romans were engaged in fortifying their camp on a mountain, covered with olives, which the Roman writers call the Hill of Venus, they were, attacked by Viriathus and put to the rout with great slaughter. Plautius was so disheartened with this defeat that he made no further attempt against the enemy, but led his army into winter quarters, although it was still only the middle of summer. The country of the Roman allies was thus again left exposed to the ravages of Viriathus, who compelled the inhabitants to pay to him the full value of their crops, and destroyed them if they refused. He also took Segobriga, the chief town of the Celtiberians, (Frontin. Strat. iii. 11. §4.)

The war in Spain had now assumed such a threatening aspect that the senate resolved to send a consul and a consular army into that country. Accordingly, in b. c. ] 45, the consul Q. Fabius Aemilianus, the son of Aemilius Paulus, who con­quered Macedonia, received Spain as his province,

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