Open main menu

Gnaeus Papirius Carbo (consul 113 BC)

Gnaeus Papirius Carbo was Roman consul in 113 BC, together with Gaius Caecilius Metellus Caprarius.



He was according to Cicero (ad Fam. ix. 21) the father of the Carbo of the same name, who was thrice consul, whereas this latter is called by Velleius Paterculus (II 26) a brother of Gaius Papirius Carbo Arvina. This difficulty may be solved by supposing that the word frater in Velleius is equivalent to frater patruelis or cousin. (Perizon., Animadv. Hist. p. 96.)

During his consulship, he was ordered by the Senate to take legions to defend the Alps from the migration of the Cimbri.[1] There, he shadowed the Germanic tribe and ambushed them near Noreia. At the ensuing Battle of Noreia, although Carbo held the advantage in terrain and surprise, his forces were overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of Cimbrian warriors.[2] The Cimbri, while smashing the Roman army, did not advance into Italy, seemingly looking for some place to settle.[2]

He was afterwards accused by Marcus Antonius Orator for provoking and then losing the Battle of Noreia.[3] Securing a conviction, Carbo committed suicide rather than depart for exile,[4] taking a solution of vitriol (atramentum sutorium, Cic., ad Fam. IX 21; Liv., Epit. 63.).

See alsoEdit


  • Duncan, Mike (2017). The Storm before the Storm. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-5417-2403-7. Details a broad narrative history of history from the death of the Gracchi brothers to the dictatorship of Sulla.


  1. ^ Duncan 2017, p. 100.
  2. ^ a b Duncan 2017, p. 101.
  3. ^ Duncan 2017, p. 102.
  4. ^ Duncan 2017, p. 103.

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "Carbo (3)". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. p. 611.

External linksEdit