Lucius Norbanus Balbus

Lucius Norbanus Balbus was a Roman senator during the Principate. He was consul in AD 19, as the colleague of Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus.[1] Balbus was the younger son of Gaius Norbanus Flaccus; his brother was the consul of AD 15, Gaius Norbanus Flaccus.

According to Ronald Syme, Balbus is known only from a single anecdote from Cassius Dio (LVII.18.3), yet in it he "comes to life." Dio describes Balbus as a keen trumpeter; at dawn on his first day as consul he began to play his trumpet, terrifying the populace who had believed the year to be announced with fateful omens.[2]

Josephus mentions a Norbanus, a nobleman of great bodily strength, who was killed by the German bodyguards when Caligula was assassinated (Antiquities of the Jews, XVIII, 123). Edmund Groag argues he was Balbus; if so, then Balbus died in January 41. However Syme points out this Norbanus might be the son of Balbus or his older brother.[3]


  1. ^ Syme "The Early Tiberian Consuls", Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, 30 (1981), pp. 189, 190
  2. ^ Syme "Early Tiberian Consuls", p. 190
  3. ^ Syme "Early Tiberian Consuls", p. 190 n. 7
Political offices
Preceded by

as suffect consuls
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus
Succeeded by

as ordinary consuls