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Article

Vipsania Agrippina (2), ‘the Elder Agrippina’ (c.14 bce–33 ce), the daughter of M. *Vipsanius Agrippa and of *Iulia ((3), daughter of *Augustus). She married *Germanicus (probably in ce 5), to whom she bore nine children. She was with Germanicus on the Rhine from 14 to 16 and in the east from 18 until his death in the following year. From 19 to 29 she lived in Rome, the rallying point of a party of senators who opposed the growing power of Sejanus (see aelius seianus, l.). With *Tiberius, whom she suspected (without evidence) of causing her husband's death, her relations were consistently bad, and he refused her request in 26 for leave to marry again. She was arrested in 29 on the instruction of Tiberius and banished by the senate to Pandateria (cf. islands), where she starved to death in 33.

Article

Geoffrey Walter Richardson, Theodore John Cadoux, and Barbara Levick

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, the lifelong friend and supporter of *Augustus, was born in 64, 63, or even 62 bce of obscure but probably well-to-do family (he neglected his undistinguished family name). He accompanied Octavius (the future Octavian and Augustus) to Rome from *Apollonia after *Caesar's murder, helped him to raise a private army, prosecuted *Cassius in the court set up by Q. *Pedius in 43, and was prominent in the war against L. *Antonius (Pietas). After holding the tribunate of the plebs (see tribuni plebis) in 43 or a little later, and so entering the *senate, he was urban praetor in 40. As governor of Gaul in 38 he suppressed a rebellion in *Aquitania, led a punitive expedition across the Rhine, and either now or in 20 settled the *Ubii on the left bank. As consul (37) he fitted out and trained a new fleet for Octavian's war against Sextus *Pompeius, converting the lacus *Avernus near *Cumae into a harbour (portus Iulius) for the purpose, and in 36 won two decisive naval engagements at Mylae and Naulochus, where his improved grapnel was highly effective.

Article

Howard Hayes Scullard and Barbara Levick

Vipstanus Messalla, great-grandson of M. *Valerius Messalla Messallinus, military tribune in 69 ce (see tribuni militum), took temporary command of Legio VII Claudia (see legion) at the battle of *Cremona. He was perhaps a source for the account of the campaign in *Tacitus (1), who names him twice (Hist.

Article

Ernst Badian and Christoph F. Konrad

Viriatus (c. 180–139 bce), a Lusitanian shepherd (see lusitania), escaped from the massacre of Ser. *Sulpicius Galba(1) (150), rallied his people, and became their war-leader (by 147). Exploiting Roman commitments in Africa and Greece (until 145), he strove to preserve Lusitanian independence from Roman rule. With small guerrilla forces and skilful use of terrain and ambush, he defeated a series of Roman commanders—in both Further and Hither Spain—and won the co-operation (143) of Celtiberian tribes (out of which arose the Numantine War; see numantia). After defeating Q. Fabius Maximus Servilianus he refrained from destroying his army, securing instead a favourable peace (ratified by the Roman people) and recognition as an ally (140). But Fabius' successor, Cn. Servilius Caepio, persuaded the senate to authorize the resumption of hostilities, and through bribery contrived Viriatus' assassination; the Lusitanians soon surrendered (138). Viriatus remains a national hero in Portugal.

Article

vis  

Andrew Lintott

Latin word, means neutrally ‘force’ and pejoratively ‘violence’. It is the latter sense that is treated here. For Greece see under violence.(a) Political Violence. Apart from the major non-violent secessions, ‘the Conflict of the Orders’ in the early republic (see rome (history), § 1.2) seems to have involved small-scale violence between the plebeians, defending each other and their tribunes, and the patricians supported by their clients (see cliens; patricians; plebs; secessio; tribuni plebis). However, in the last century of the republic violence became an ever increasing factor, not as a mass revolutionary movement, but as a political weapon largely exploited by magistrates for limited ends. The notion of a police authority was alien to republican thought and, if violence became serious, often the only counter was a state of emergency (see senatus consultum ultimum). From 78 bcevis was an offence under the leges Lutatia and Plautia.

Article

Aulus Vitellius, (15–69 ce), Roman emperor in 69, son of Lucius *Vitellius, an influential figure under the Julio-Claudians, was friendly with *Gaius(1), *Claudius, and *Nero. Consul in 48, he became proconsul of Africa (see pro consule; africa, roman), then served as legate (see legati) to his brother in the same post. *Galba appointed him governor of Lower Germany (see germania) in November 68, perhaps thinking that his reputed indolence made him less of a political threat. Vitellius won over the disaffected soldiers in the province by an ostentatious display of generosity. On 2 January 69 Vitellius was proclaimed emperor by his troops, and quickly won the support of the legions of Upper Germany, which had refused allegiance to Galba on 1 January. His main supporters were the legionary legates *Fabius Valens and A. *Caecina Alienus, and soon most of the western provinces and Africa were on his side.

Article

Ronald Syme and Barbara Levick

Lucius Vitellius (consul 34 ce, consul for the second time in 43, and for the third in 47), son of P. Vitellius (a Roman knight from *Luceria (not Nuceria: RE Suppl. 9. 1741), *procurator of *Augustus), father of the emperor *Vitellius (see previous entry), was a friend of the emperor *Claudius and the most successful politician of the age: he received a public funeral and a statue in the Forum commemorating ‘unswerving devotion to the Princeps’ (Suet. Vit.3): it was indeed to the source of patronage and power that he attached himself, linking the history of three reigns; his position was strengthened by a nexus between Vitellii, Plautii, and Petronii. He was a vigorous legate (see legati) of *Syria (ce 35–7), inducing the Parthian *Artabanus II to pay homage and conciliating the Jews: ‘he acted with the integrity of ancient times’ (Tac. Ann.

Article

A. L. F. Rivet and John Frederick Drinkwater

Vocontii, a Celtic people of Gallia Narbonensis (see celts; gaul (transalpine)) who, from at least the 3rd cent. bce (Livy, 21. 31) occupied the western foothills of the Alps south of the *Allobroges. Under Roman control they remained a civitas foederata (see foedus) with the unusual arrangement of two capitals (Plin. HN 3. 37), each enjoying ius Latii. These were Vasio (mod. Vaison-la-Romaine) and Lucus Augusti (mod. Luc-en-Diois), while Die became Colonia Dea Augusta Vocontiorum (CIL 12. 690). Vaison, extensively—though not always well—excavated, appears to have originated in a hill-fort south of the Ouvèze, but the Roman town lay mainly north of the river (crossed by a Roman bridge) and the many fine structures uncovered include a theatre, the so-called portico of Pompey, and two groups of houses. Prominent citizens of Vasio were *Afranius Burrus, *Pompeius Trogus, and perhaps *Tacitus(1).

Article

Volsci  

Tim Cornell

Volsci, people of ancient Italy. The Volsci first become prominent in ancient historical narratives of the early 5th cent., when they overran southern *Latium and occupied the Monti Lepini, most of the Pomptine plain, and the coastal region from *Antium to *Tarracina. That the Volscian presence in this area was a new phenomenon is suggested by the traditional accounts of Roman hegemony in southern Latium in the late 6th cent., itself confirmed by the text of the first treaty between Rome and *Carthage (Polyb. 3. 22, 509 bce). The story of *Marcius Coriolanus also points to a vigorous Volscian offensive at this time, and recent excavations at *Satricum (1) (Lat. Pometia), indicate changes in the early 5th cent. which can be explained by the arrival of new people. Satricum became one of the chief Volscian centres; others were Ecetra, Antium, *Velitrae, *Circeii, and Tarracina (which they renamed Anxur).

Article

Marilyn B. Skinner

Volumnia Cytheris, a freedwoman of P. Volumnius Eutrapelus, was a celebrated mime actress (see mime, roman), notorious during the 40s bce for her affairs with prominent political figures. Her lovers included Mark Antony and C. Cornelius Gallus, the inventor of Roman love elegy, who celebrated her under the pseudonym “Lycoris” in four books of amatory verse (Serv. ad Verg. Ecl. 10.1 and 6). According to a late source (De vir. ill. 82.2) she was also the paramour of the tyrannicide M. Iunius Brutus (2). All three men were, like Eutrapelus, at one time adherents of C. Iulius Caesar (2), and her association with them may have furthered her former owner’s ambitions.1 While the name “Cytheris,” alluding to Venus’s birthplace, sexualizes its possessor and is thus a suitable appellation for a stage performer, “Lycoris,” reminiscent of a cult title of Apollo, transports her into the realm of literature.

Article

Ernst Badian

Orator from *Narbo. Although L. *Annaeus Seneca(1), Controv.9, pref., assigns him a long speech explaining why he never took part in *declamations, numerous extracts, chiefly from the same book, show him taking an active part in controversiae. Mam. *Aemilius Scaurus called him the *Ovid of orators, because he would never let well alone.

Article

Jonathan Coulston

The earliest Roman battle-order was probably the spear-armed and javelin-armed Italic form of the *hoplite*phalanx, a single, close-order infantry formation. In the 4th cent. bce this was replaced by the more flexible manipular organization (see manipulus) whereby the *legion was drawn up in three lines of maniples behind a screen of light infantry (*velites) and with cavalry on the wings. Each line was supported by, and could fall back upon, the line behind. All were spear-armed initially, but by the 2nd cent. bce the first two (hastati, principes) had javelins (pila) whilst the third had spears (hastae).From the late 3rd cent. three maniples were grouped into a *cohort by taking one maniple from each line. First a tactical expedient, by the 1st cent. bce this became a permanent organization, coinciding with the equipping of all legionaries with pila.

Article

Gloria Vivenza and Neville Morley

Roman attitudes to wealth were complex and sometimes ambivalent. Wealth was an essential basis for political and social life, but also a topic of extensive debate, which focused on the proper uses of wealth and the proper ways of attaining it. These moral, philosophical, and literary debates had practical implications for how the Romans spent their wealth and how they acquired it.Wealth was a central theme in Roman politics and society. The citizen body was divided between different census classes on the basis of property holding, and access to political office and status depended on a formal assessment of personal wealth.1 Furthermore, winning election to office required considerable resources. Neither a long family tradition of public service nor individual political genius was enough, and Julius Caesar’s debt problems, partly due to his political campaigns, are well known. Conversely, a homo novus like Cicero, with no political tradition in his family, could engage in politics if he had .

Article

John F. Lazenby

Zama is the name given to the final battle of the Second *Punic War, though it was not actually fought near any of the places so called (see preceding entry). *Hannibal had perhaps 36,000 infantry, 4,000 cavalry, and 80 *elephants, P. *Cornelius Scipio Africanus perhaps 29,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry. The elephants, opening the battle, were either ushered down corridors Scipio had left in his formation or driven out to the flanks where they collided with Hannibal's cavalry, which was then routed by the Roman cavalry. When the infantry lines closed, the Roman first line may have defeated both Hannibal's first and second lines, though the remnants may have reformed on the wings of his third line, composed of his veterans from Italy. Scipio, too, reformed his lines at this point, and a titanic struggle developed until the Roman cavalry, returning from the pursuit, charged into Hannibal's rear, whereupon his army disintegrated.

Article

Zenobia  

John Frederick Drinkwater

Zenobia (Septimia), or in *AramaicBath Zabbai, one of the great women of classical antiquity (PLRE 1. 990 f.). The second wife of *Septimius Odaenathus of *Palmyra, on his death in ce 267, in suspicious circumstances, she secured power for herself in the name of her young son, *Septimius Vaballathus. As long as Zenobia kept the east secure, *Gallienus and *Claudius (II) Gothicus were prepared to accept her regime, including its bestowal upon Vaballathus of his father's Roman titles, and hence of the claim to be more than just king of Palmyra. However, in 270 Zenobia exploited the political instability that followed the death of Claudius to expand beyond Syria by taking over Egypt and much of Asia Minor, and further to enhance Vaballathus' Roman titles, while continuing to recognize *Aurelian as emperor. When Aurelian finally moved against her in 272, her forces failed to stop him at *Antioch (1) and *Emesa, and—now calling her son Augustus and herself Augusta—she was cornered in Palmyra.