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Lucius Julius Ursus was a relative of the Flavian dynasty, who was originally of equestrian rank, but afterwards was promoted to senatorial rank, and was suffect consul three times.


Ursus was the younger brother of Tiberius Julius Lupus, and the father of both was Julius Lupus; Julius Lupus was the brother-in-law of the praetorian prefect Marcus Arrecinus Clemens, father of Arrecina Tertulla, the wife of the emperor Titus.

This connection led to Ursus being appointed to the two top equestrian posts: Praefectus annonae, or prefect of the grain supply for Rome, then praetorian prefect (81-83), and governor of Roman Egypt (83-84). Upon returning to Rome from Egypt, Arrecina Tertulla convinced Domitian to grant a consulship to Ursus; he held the fasces for the first time in the nundinium July–August 84.[1]

According to Dio Cassius, Ursus was a member of Domitian's inner circle at the beginning. When Domitian, early in his reign, planned on having his wife Domitia executed for infidelity, it was Ursus who convinced him not to do so.[2] Later, after Domitian returned home victorious from his campaigns in Germania, Ursus is recorded as "failing to show pleasure" and narrowly avoided being executed for this.[3] After this, Ursus held no important administrative posts during Domitian's reign, but Jones believes he remained an important member of the imperial court.[4]

Ursus must not have been too closely associated with Domitian, for after that emperor's assassination and the ascension of Trajan, Ursus was suffect consul twice more: as the colleague of Trajan in the nundinium March 98; and replacing Trajan as suffect consul for January–February 100 with Sextus Julius Frontinus as his colleague.


Ronald Syme has argued that Ursus adopted Servius Julius Servianus, suffect consul in 90, and afterwards Servianus used the name Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus, thus continuing the lineage; no scholar has spoken against this identification, and it has been considered accepted by all.[5] Servianus remained close to the center of power, being part of the imperial courts of Trajan and Hadrian until his death.


  1. ^ Brian W. Jones, The Emperor Domitian (London: Routlege, 1993), pp. 40f
  2. ^ Dio, 67.3.1
  3. ^ Dio, 67.4.2
  4. ^ Jones, Emperor Domitian, p. 42
  5. ^ Olli Salomies, Adoptive and Polyonymous Nomenclature in the Roman Empire (Helsinki: Societas Scientiarum Fennica, 1992), p. 51
Political offices
Preceded by
Domitian X, and
Gaius Oppius Sabinus

as ordinary consuls
Suffect consul of the Roman Empire
with ignotus
Succeeded by
Gaius Tullius Capito Pomponianus Plotius Firmus,
and Gaius Cornelius Gallicanus

as suffect consuls
Preceded by
Sextus Julius Frontinus II
as suffect consul
Suffect Consul of the Roman Empire
with Trajan II
Succeeded by
Titus Vestricius Spurinna II
as suffect consul
Preceded by
Trajan III,
and Sextus Julius Frontinus III

as Ordinary consuls
Suffect Consul of the Roman Empire
with Sextus Julius Frontinus III
Succeeded by
Marcus Marcius Macer,
and Gaius Cilnius Proculus

as suffect consuls