- Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther
Publius Cornelius Lentulus, nicknamed Spinther because of his likeness to a popular actor of that name, came from an ancient Roman patrician family of the Cornelia gens. Although treated with great favour by
Julius Caesar, Spinther eventually came to support the aristocratic senatorial cause of Caesar's great rival Pompeius Magnus and to align himself with the Optimatesparty. This proved an unwise move that would eventually lead to his political destruction and perhaps to his death.
Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther first attained public office in 63 BC (the year of
Cicero's consulship) when he was voted " curule aedile". As curule aedile, Spinther assisted Cicero in the suppression of the Catiline conspiracy, and in that office he also distinguished himself by the splendour of the games he provided (though the royal purple stripe he used on his toga is said to have offended many Romans to whom purple was connected with royalty and therefore anathema to a good Roman.)
Spinther's career didn't suffer, however, and he was elected
praetorin 60. Subsequently in 59 BC as pro-praetor he received the governorship of Hispania Citerior (Hither Spain). In seeking this province, Spinther received support for the first time from Julius Caesar.
As pro-praetor in Spain, Spinther struck coins which bore his name and nickname - proving the 'Spinther' nickname was now being officially used to distinguish him from those others in the Cornelia gens who bore the same name as he.
Spinther again received the support of Julius Caesar when he sought election to Rome's top job - the consulship in (57 BC). With Caesar's help, Spinther's campaign was successful, and he was elected one of Rome's two consuls for 57 BC. On the first day of his consulship (1 January 57 BC) he moved for the recall of Cicero from exile. Thereafter Cicero speaks of Spinther in friendly and grateful terms and indeed addressed a long letter to him when Spinther was later proconsular governor in
Cilicia. This letter has survived and is published in most anthologies of Cicero's letters.
Immediately after his consulship ended - from 56 BC-53 BC P Cornelius Lentulus Spinther was appointed by the Senate to govern the province of Cilicia (with
Cyprus). This was his choice, and he appears to have done a good job as pro-consular governor, looking after the best interests of his subjects and not enriching himself at their expense. As governor of a wealthy province in the East, Spinther struck large silver coins (known as Cistophoric Tetradrachms) from a provincial mint at Apameia in Phrygiathat bear his name - P LENTVLVS P F IMPERATOR - (Stumpf 74, pl. II, 26; BMC p. 73, 27-8; SNG Copenhagen 158.) These tetradrachms are on average 25mm in diameter and weigh 10.65 grams. They are uncommon but not rare. (In October 2006 at its Sale # 149, Classical Numismatic Group in the USA sold a fine example as Lot 211 for $US192.)
In spite of his indebtedness to Caesar, Spinther (who was regarded as a rather haughty type) increasingly tended to support and side with the patrician Senatorial class and their leader Pompey, rather than with Caesar and his popularist supporters. This steadily distanced him from Caesar and when civil war broke out between the supporters of Pompey and Caesar in 49 BC, Spinther predictably sided with Pompey. Unfortunately although a good governor, Spinther was not a good soldier, and soon found himself trapped and besieged by Caesar's troops in
Corfiniumwhere he was forced to surrender. The generosity with which he was subsequently treated by Caesar after the capitulation of Corfinium made Spinther hesitate, but not for long. After a brief retirement to Puteoli he soon rejoined Pompey's main army in Greece.
In 48 BC, Pompey's main army confronted that of Julius Caesar and his lieutenant
Marc Antonyat the battle of Pharsalus. This battle resulted in a decisive defeat for the Pompeian forces. Pompey himself fled to Egypt (where he was immediately beheaded by Egypt's ruler Ptolemy in the mistaken belief this act would please Caesar) and Spinther escaped to Rhodes, where he was at first refused admission, but subsequently given asylum (Cicero, Ad Alt. xi. 13. i).
Sextus Aurelius Victor("De vir." ill. Ixxviii., 9, if the reading be correct), he later fell into Caesar's hands and was put to death. This event is unverified by other contemporary sources, but may explain why his son (P Cornelius P f P n Lentulus Spinther) joined Caesar's assassins, Brutus and Cassius, and struck coins for them during their civil war against the forces of Marc Anthony and Octavian. Like his father before him, the younger Spinther also put his own name and nickname 'Spinther' on the reverse of his coins, the obverse of which feature the head of 'Liberty'. See Caesar, "Bell. Civ." i. 15-23, iii. 102; Plutarch, "Pomp." 49; Valerius Maximusix. 14, 4; many letters of Cicero, especially "Ad Fam." i. 1-9.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther — ist der Name folgender Personen: Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther (Konsul 57 v. Chr.) († 47/46 v. Chr.), römischer Politiker Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther (Politiker) († 42 v. Chr.), römischer Senator und Politiker … Deutsch Wikipedia
Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther — Publius Cornelius Lentulus, surnommé Spinther en raison de sa similarité à un acteur populaire de ce nom, est d une famille patricienne romaine antique du gens de Cornelia. En 63, édile curule, lorsque Cicéron est consul. Comme édile, il a aidé… … Wikipédia en Français
Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther (Konsul 57 v. Chr.) — Publius Cornelius Lentulus genannt Spinther oder Lucius Cornelius Lentulus, genannt Spinther aufgrund seiner Ähnlichkeit mit einem Schauspieler gleichen Namens († 47/46 v. Chr.), war einer der Hauptanhänger der pompeianischen Partei. 63 v. Chr … Deutsch Wikipedia
Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther (Politiker) — Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther († 42 v. Chr.) war ein römischer Senator und Politiker während der Krise der Römischen Republik in der Mitte des 1. Jahrhunderts v. Chr. Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther gehörte dem Zweig der Lentuli der… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Publius Cornelius Lentulus — ist der Name folgender Personen: Publius Cornelius Lentulus (Prätor 214 v. Chr.), römischer Senator, Politiker und Militär Publius Cornelius Lentulus (Suffektkonsul 162 v. Chr.), römischer Senator, Politiker und Militär Publius Cornelius Lentulus … Deutsch Wikipedia
Publius Cornelius Lentulus — was the name of a number of notable Romans: *Publius Cornelius Lentulus Scipio, a prominent Roman senator, suffect consul in 24 *Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura, a Catiline conspirator *Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther, provincial governor and … Wikipedia
P. Cornelius Lentulus Spinther — Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther Publius Cornelius Lentulus, surnommé Spinther en raison de sa similarité à un acteur populaire de ce nom, est d une famille patricienne romaine antique du gens de Cornelia. En 63, édile curule, lorsque Cicéron… … Wikipédia en Français
Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther — Lucius Cornelius Lentulus, genannt Spinther aufgrund seiner Ähnlichkeit mit einem Schauspieler gleichen Namens († 47/46 v. Chr.), war einer der Hauptanhänger der pompeianischen Partei. 63 v. Chr. war er kurulischer Ädil, unterstützte Marcus… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Cornelius Lentulus — Lentulus war das Cognomen einer römischen Familie, der stirps Lentuli, die zur Familie (gens) der Cornelier gehörte. Der Name Lentulus ist vermutlich etruskischen Ursprungs. Zur Familie gehören: Lucius Cornelius Lentulus, Konsul 327 v. Chr.… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Cornelius Lentulus — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différentes personnes de la Rome antique partageant un même nom. Article détaillé : Cornelii. Les Cornelii Lentuli sont des patriciens romains membres d une branche de la gens des Cornelii. Ils… … Wikipédia en Français