Lucius Aelius Lamia Plautius Aelianus

Lucius Aelius Lamia Plautius Aelianus (c. 45 – 81/96) was a Roman senator, described by Brian W. Jones as "the most eminent of the consular victims" of Domitian.[1] Juvenal used his family as representative of Domitian's most noble victims;[2] Lamia was consul suffect in 80 with three different colleagues: Aulus Didius Gallus Fabricius Veiento, Quintus Aurelius Pactumeius Fronto, and Gaius Marius Marcellus Octavius Publius Cluvius Rufus.[3]

A number of scholars have concluded that Lamia was most likely a son of Tiberius Plautius Silvanus Aelianus.[4] He married Domitia Longina, the daughter of the general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo and Cassia Longina. Their son is thought to have been Lucius Fundanius Lamia Aelianus (consul 116), born before Domitian forced them to divorce.[1] It is surmised Lamia had a daughter, referred to as Plautia, who married three times and gave birth to several prominent Romans.[5] Longina may have born him one or two daughters.[6][7]

Domitia was seduced by Domitian while his father Vespasian was still in Roman Egypt (AD 70); Domitian afterwards forced Lamia to divorce her so he could have her for himself.[8] Despite this, Lamia retained his sense of humor. Jones suspects it was his sense of humor, in the form of harmless jokes directed at the emperor, that led to his execution. Domitian was unable to handle personal criticism of any sort, and there was ample precedent for the laws of treason to be applied to writings of this kind.[9]

It has been conjectured that Lamia may have married to another woman after the divorce from Longina. The woman may have been the daughter of Quintus Fabius Barbarus.[10]


  1. ^ a b Jones, The Emperor Domitian (London: Routledge, 1993), p. 184
  2. ^ Satires, IV.152
  3. ^ Paul Gallivan, "The Fasti for A. D. 70-96", Classical Quarterly, 31 (1981), pp. 189, 215
  4. ^ Frederik Juliaan Vervaet provides a list: "A Note on Syme's Chronology of Vistilia's Children", Ancient Society, 30 (2000), p. 103 n. 23
  5. ^ Ronald Syme, "Antonine Relatives: Ceionii and Vettulani", Athenaeum 35 (1957), pp. 306-315
  6. ^ Carney, Elizabeth D.; Müller, Sabine (9 November 2020). The Routledge Companion to Women and Monarchy in the Ancient Mediterranean World. ISBN 9780429783982.
  7. ^ Hughes, David (2007). The British Chronicles. ISBN 9780788444913.
  8. ^ Dio Cassius, 66.3.4
  9. ^ Jones, Domitian, p. 185
  10. ^ Birley, Anthony R. (6 December 2012). Marcus Aurelius: A Biography. ISBN 9781134695690.

Further readingEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Titus Caesar Vespasianus VIII, and
Caesar Domitianus VII

as ordinary consuls
Suffect consul of the Roman Empire
with Aulus Didius Gallus Fabricius Veiento
Quintus Aurelius Pactumeius Fronto
Gaius Marius Marcellus Octavius Publius Cluvius Rufus
Succeeded by
Marcus Atilius Postumus Bradua,
and Quintus Pompeius Trio

as suffect consuls