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date: 03 December 2022

Cornelius Cossus, Auluslocked

Cornelius Cossus, Auluslocked

  • Howard Hayes Scullard
  •  and Tim Cornell

Extract

Cornelius (RE 112) Cossus, Aulus, a Roman commander who won the *spolia opima by killing Lars Tolumnius, the king of *Veii, in a cavalry duel. The breastplate of Tolumnius, which Cossus dedicated to Jupiter Feretrius, bore an inscription which was taken by some, including the emperor *Augustus, to indicate that Cossus performed the feat as *consul (428 bce), although most of the literary tradition (Livy 4. 19–20; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 12. 5) placed the event in 437, when Cossus was military tribune (see tribuni militum). A minority opinion dated it to 426, when Cossus was tribunus militum consulari potestate and *magister equitum (Val. Max. 3. 2. 4; Frontin. Str. 2. 8. 9). The controversy about the date and Cossus’ status (on which see Livy 4. 20) was important because of its relevance to the case of M. *Licinius Crassus (2).

Subjects

  • Roman History and Historiography

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