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Gaius Trebonius Proculus Mettius Modestus

Gaius Trebonius Proculus Mettius Modestus was a Roman senator of the 2nd century AD who held a number of offices in the imperial service, as well as serving as suffect consul in 103 as the colleague of Marcus Flavius Aper.[1]

Modestus was a member of the Mettii. Hans-Georg Pflaum first traced the rise of this family, identifying their origins in Petelia, a small Greek-speaking town in Bruttium, whence they emigrated to Arles when Julius Caesar settled one of their ancestors, a soldier or centurion of his Legio VI, there. Modestus' immediate ancestors were his grandfather, Marcus Mettius Modestus, procurator of Syria, and his father Marcus Mettius Rufus, governor of Roman Egypt from the year 89 to 92, which made them prominent members of the equites order. His entrance into the Senate was facilitated by his uncle Mettius Modestus, suffect consul in 82.[2] A brother Marcus Mettius Rufus is known, who died before he could reach the consulate.[3]

Modestus clearly has a polyonymous name, although the identity of Trebonius Proculus has not been investigated, either as the person who adopted Modestus, or as his maternal grandfather.

Marcus Junius Mettius Rufus, suffect consul in 128, has been identified as his biological son.[4]


He may be the same Mettius Modestus Pliny the Younger mentions in a letter to his friend Voconius Romanus.[5] Bernard Remy dates his exile to the year 93, when Domitian punished a number of Senators on the grounds of conspiracy.[2] Apparently the notorious delator Marcus Aquilius Regulus had a role in his exile, for Pliny describes in his letter with obvious delight how Regulus was in fear of Mettius Modestus, now that emperor Nerva recalled him from exile.[6]

Two of the offices Modestus held are known. The first, as propraetorian legate, or governor, of Lycia et Pamphylia, was from 99 to 102, or before he became consul.[7] The locals memorialized his tenure by erecting a monumental triple-arched gate in Patara, Lycia (in modern-day Antalya Province, Turkey) which still stands. His second office was as proconsular governor of Asia in 119/120.[8]


  1. ^ Fasti Ostienses, frag. Gd
  2. ^ a b Bernard Rémy, Les carrières sénatoriales dans les provinces romaines d'Anatolie au Haut-Empire (31 av. J.-C. - 284 ap. J.-C.) (Istanbul: Institut Français d'Études Anatoliennes-Georges Dumézil, 1989), p. 292
  3. ^ Rémy, Les carrières sénatoriales, p. 293
  4. ^ Olli Salomies, Adoptive and polyonymous nomenclature in the Roman Empire, (Helsinski: Societas Scientiarum Fenica, 1992), p. 97
  5. ^ C.P. Jones considers the identification as generally accepted. ("A New Commentary on the Letters of Pliny", Phoenix, 22 (1968), p. 123)
  6. ^ Pliny, Epistulae, I.5
  7. ^ Werner Eck, "Jahres- und Provinzialfasten der senatorischen Statthalter von 69/70 bis 138/139", Chiron, 12 (1982), pp. 332-338
  8. ^ Eck, "Jahres- und Provinzialfasten der senatorischen Statthalter von 69/70 bis 138/139", Chiron, 13 (1983), p. 152

External linksEdit

  • Kenneth W. Harl, "Patara", The Encyclopedia of Ancient History (Wiley Online Library) doi:10.1002/9781444338386.wbeah14246
  • "Arch of Modestus".
Political offices
Preceded by
Publius Metilius Nepos,
and Quintus Baebius Macer
Suffect consul of the Roman Empire
with Marcus Flavius Aper
Succeeded by
(A?)nnius Mela, and
Publius Calpurnius Macer Caulius Rufus