Quintus Tineius Rufus (consul 127)

Quintus Tineius Rufus, also known as Turnus Rufus the Evil (Hebrew: טוּרְנוּסְרוּפוּס הָרָשָׁעṬūrnūsrūfūs hāRāšā‘) in Jewish sources (c. 90 CE – after 131) was a senator and provincial governor under the Roman Empire. He is known for his role unsuccessfully combating the early uprising phase of the Jews under Simon bar Kokhba and Elasar.


In Jerome's Latin version of The Chronicle of Eusebius, Tineius Rufus is called Tinnio Rufo (a variant of T. Annio Rufo).[1] O. Salomies identifies Quintus Tineius Rufus' place of origin as the Etruscan town of Volterra, despite an inscription mentioning Q. Tineius Q.f. Sab. Her[mes] in Nicomedia.[2] Rufus was Legatus Augusti pro praetore or governor of Thracia from 123 to 126,[3] after which he was made Consul suffectus for the nundinium of May to September 127.

A few years after he held the fasces, Rufus was appointed consular legate of Judaea, during which time he is said to have ordered the execution of the Jewish leader Rabbi Akiva in Caesarea.[4] Rufus' tenure ended a period of ten years following Lusius Quietus' governorship where until recently little was known of the provincial governors; an Aquila is recorded as governor during those years, but when he governed or his full identity is not clear.[5] In November 2016, an inscription in Greek was recovered off the coast of Dor in Israel by Haifa University underwater archaeologists, which attests that Antiquus was governor of the province of Judea sometime between 120 and 130, prior to the Bar Kokhba revolt.[6] Rufus' tenure began in 130 and continued to 133.[7]

Quintus Tineius Rufus is known for his role in unsuccessfully combating the early uprising phase of the Jews under Simon bar Kokhba and Elasar. The Church Fathers and rabbinic literature emphasize his role in provoking the revolt.[8] Rufus is last recorded in 132; whether he died or was replaced is uncertain.

Offspring and legacyEdit

Quintus Rufus took a woman named Claudia Rufina as a wife, and had a daughter[9] and a son, Quintus Tineius Sacerdos Clemens, who became Consul in 158 and later one of the pontifices.

His reputation varies, depending on the source; in Jewish tradition, Rufus conducted the war against the Jewish people. However, there is an inscription in his honor in Scythopolis. He was the first of his family to attain high office in Rome; that his son also did implies that he was not blamed for the unsuccessful start of the Roman war against Bar Kokhba.[clarification needed]

Terentius RufusEdit

According to the Jewish historian Josephus, a certain Terentius Rufus (sic) was left to command the Roman army in Jerusalem after the Romans had sacked the city during the First Jewish Revolt.[10] When his arch-enemy Simon bar Giora was eventually caught and brought to him after hiding in a cavern in Jerusalem's Temple Mount, Terentius Rufus ordered that the Temple Mount be ploughed up in hopes of discovering other hideaways from the war.[10] Whether this Terentius Rufus refers to the same Quintus Tineius Rufus who was made Consul suffectus some 59 years later is reasonably doubted.


  1. ^ Schürer, E. (1891). Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi [A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ]. 2. Translated by John MacPherson. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 262–263.
  2. ^ Salomies, "Die Herkunft der senatorischen Tineii", Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 60 (1985), pp. 199-202
  3. ^ Werner Eck, "Jahres- und Provinzialfasten der senatorischen Statthalter von 69/70 bis 138/139", Chiron, 13 (1983), pp. 158-163
  4. ^ Midrash Shocher Tov (Midrash Mishlei, on Proverbs 9:2), Jerusalem 1968 (Hebrew)
  5. ^ Werner Eck suggests he may be identical with L. Statius Aquila, suffect consul in 116. (Eck, Senatoren von Vespasan bis Hadrian (München: Beck'sche, 1970), p. 18 n. 88)
  6. ^ Divers Find Unexpected Roman Inscription From the Eve of Bar-Kochba Revolt Haaretz.com (Last accessed 6 June 2017)
  7. ^ Werner Eck, "Jahres- und Provinzialfasten", pp. 169-173
  8. ^ William David Davies, Louis Finkelstein, The Cambridge History of Judaism: The late Roman-Rabbinic period (Cambridge University Press, 1984), p. 35 ISBN 9780521772488
  9. ^ Werner Eck: Rom und die Provinz Iudaea/Syria Palaestina. Der Beitrag der Epigraphik.
    Aharon Oppenheimer (ed.): Jüdische Geschichte in hellenistisch-römischer Zeit. Wege der Forschung: Vom alten zum neuen Schürer. Oldenbourg, München 1999, ISBN 3-486-56414-5, S. 237–264, hier S. 244.
  10. ^ a b Josephus, Wars vii.ii.§ 1


Political offices
Preceded by
Publius Tullius Varro,
and Junius Paetus

as ordinary consuls
Suffect consul of the Roman Empire
AD 127
with Marcus Licinius Celer Nepos
Succeeded by
Lucius Aemilius Juncus,
and Sextus Julius Severus

as suffect consuls