Titus Flavius Sabinus (consul AD 69)

See also Titus Flavius Sabinus (disambiguation) for other men of this name.

Titus Flavius Sabinus was a Roman senator who was active in the first century AD. He was twice consul suffectus, first in the nundinium of April through June of 69 with his brother Gnaeus Arulenus Caelius Sabinus, and again in May and June of 72 as the colleague of Gaius Licinius Mucianus.[1]

Gavin Townend has identified Sabinus as a nephew of the emperor Vespasian, and the son of Titus Flavius Sabinus, consul in 47,[2] a thesis that has come to be accepted by other scholars.[3] Townend further argued that Sabinus was the father of Titus Flavius Sabinus consul in 82, and Titus Flavius Clemens consul in 95.[4]


Little is known of Sabinus' activities before his consulate. According to Tacitus, Sabinus and his brother were appointed consuls for the second nundinium of the year 69, the Year of the Four Emperors, an arrangement that Otho did not change.[5] However Townend, citing the evidence of an Egyptian papyrus, argued that both Sabini were intended by Nero to have been the consules ordinarii for that year, but Galba had moved them from that prestigious position in the calendar to the nundinium immediately following.[6]

That same year, Sabinus served as a general for Otho, assuming command of a group of gladiators who had been pressed into service on Otho's side and placed under the command of Martius Macer, but had been defeated by a detachment of soldiers supporting Vitellius. Tacitus writes that "the soldiers were delighted by this change of generals, while the generals were led by these continual outbreaks to regard with disgust so hateful a service."[7] Following the defeat and suicide of Otho, Sabinus submitted to Vitellius.[8] As the brothers Sabini had already begun their nundinium as suffect consuls when the decisive First Battle of Bedriacum was fought, Vitellius allowed the brothers to complete their term of office.[9]

Townend also suggests that Sabinus was appointed governor of Pannonia between his two consulates.[10] "Sabinus must have had some claims to be considered a vir militaris," Townend argues in a footnote, "if only as legatus legionis, to be given an active commission by Otho (Hist. II, 36), when so many distinguished soldiers were available on the staff." Other scholars of the period have not been quick to accept this possibility.

Family treeEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Paul Gallivan, "The Fasti for A. D. 70-96", Classical Quarterly, 31 (1981), pp. 188, 213
  2. ^ Gavin Townend, "Some Flavian Connections", Journal of Roman Studies, 51 (1961), pp. 55f
  3. ^ For example, Brian W. Jones, The Emperor Domitian (London: Routledge, 1992), p. 45
  4. ^ Townend, "Some Flavian Connections", pp. 55-57
  5. ^ Tacitus, Histories, i.77
  6. ^ Townend, "The Consuls of A. D. 69/70", American Journal of Philology, 83 (1962), p. 118
  7. ^ Tacitus, Histories, ii.36
  8. ^ Tacitus, Histories, ii.51
  9. ^ Townend, "Consuls of A. D. 69/70", pp. 120f
  10. ^ Townend, "Some Flavian Connections", pp. 60f


Political offices
Preceded by
Lucius Verginius Rufus II,
and Lucius Pompeius Vopiscus
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Gnaeus Arulenus Caelius Sabinus
Succeeded by
Gnaeus Arrius Antoninus,
and Aulus Marius Celsus
Preceded by
Vespasian IV,
and Titus II

as Ordinary consuls
Suffect consul of the Roman Empire
with Gaius Licinius Mucianus II,
followed by Marcus Ulpius Traianus
Succeeded by
Sextus Marcius Priscus, and
Gnaeus Pinarius Aemilius Cicatricula

as Suffect consuls