The Classical Quarterly (New Series)

Shorter Notes

The praetorship and consular candidacy of L. Rupilius

F. X. Ryana1

a1 University of Witwatersrand

The praetorship of L. Rupilius is of great importance only to the biography of L. Rupilius. His consular candidacy has a wider significance, since his repulsa represents a reverse for his most prominent supporter, Scipio Aemilianus.

As the praetorship is not explicitly mentioned in the sources, its terminus non post quem is fixed by the consular candidacy. Scholarly treatment of the question is hard to come by. The terminus post quem for the candidacy of Lucius is his brother's candidacy (in 133); the terminus ante quem, Scipio's death (in 129): Cicero (Lael. 73) tells us that Scipio brought about the election of P. Rupilius, but failed to make his brother Lucius consul. Broughton classified L. Rupilius as ‘Pr. by 133 ’, and in this seems to have followed Münzer, who indeed considered L. Rupilius ‘Praetor gegen 620 = 134’, but added that he was a candidate ‘urn das Consulat für 623 =131 oder noch eher für 624 = 130’. Of course, if L. Rupilius was a candidate in 131 for a consulship of 130, then he was praetor by 133. A candidacy in 1294 can be safely ruled out: Scipio died in the first half of the year, in spring or early summer. But we cannot rule out candidacy in 130 for 129: Scipio might have preferred L. Rupilius to either consul of that year. The latest possible date for the praetorship of L. Rupilius is therefore 132.