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Lucius Furius Purpureo was a Roman politician and general, becoming consul in the year 196 BC. Lucius Furius was from the Furia (gens) patrician family in Rome.


Military tribuneEdit

Purpureo was a military tribune in 210 BC during the Second Punic War. After the Battle of Numistro against Hannibal, he was left behind in charge of the wounded with a small number of guards, while the consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus pursued the enemy.[1]


He was a praetor in 200 BC and received Cisalpine Gaul as his province. Shortly after he arrived in Cisalpine Gaul with 5,000 Latin troops, about 40,000 Insubres, Cenomani, and Boii, led by the Carthaginian general, Hamilcar, plundered Placentia and besieged Cremona. Upon learning of the invasion, Purpureo requested more troops from Rome. The Senate responded by sending him a new army of two Roman legions and a similar number of Latin troops. After sending his original 5,000 troops to Etruria, Purpureo proceeded to raise the siege at Cremona.[2] He gained a brilliant victory. More than 35,000 Gauls were killed or taken prisoner, and Hamilcar and three Gallic chiefs also fell in the battle. The senate voted three days of thanksgiving in consequence of the victory, and the honor of a triumph was granted to him.[3]

The following year, Purpureo was a deputy of the proconsul Publius Sulpicius Galba during peace talks with Macedonia and their ambassadors. Not much was achieved at this meeting and the Macedonians tried to convince the Aetolians, a Roman ally, to break their alliance and join Macedonia. This event ensured that no peace was concluded and both sides continued to fight.[4]

Consul of 196 BCEdit

In 196 BC, Purpureo was Consul with Marcus Claudius Marcellus. Both assigned to Cisalpine Gaul, they, together and separately, forced the Boii and other native tribes into submission. On their return to Rome, Marcellus celebrated a triumph.[5]


Lucius Furius Purpureo was the son of Spurius Furius Purpureo. It is known that Purpureo was a descendant of Marcus Furius Camillus and had a son of his own namesake who served as Legatus in Aetolia in 200 BC under Publius Sulpicius Galba.


  1. ^ Livy, History of Rome 27.2.
  2. ^ Livy, History of Rome 31.10-11.
  3. ^ Livy, History of Rome 31.21-22. Words taken from William Smith, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, Volume 3, page 605.
  4. ^ Edmonds, Cyrus (1891). The History of Rome, Volume 3 (1 ed.). London: George Bell & Sons. pp. 1369–1370. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  5. ^ Livy, History of Rome 33.37.
Political offices
Preceded by
Gaius Cornelius Cethegus and Quintus Minucius Rufus
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Marcus Claudius Marcellus
196 BC
Succeeded by
Lucius Valerius Flaccus and Marcus Porcius M.f. Cato