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Lucius Minicius Natalis Quadronius Verus
Proconsul of Africa

Lucius Minicius Natalis Quadronius Verus (Barcino, 97 dC – ?) was a Roman statesman and military leader who served as the Proconsul of Africa from 153 to 154. He was the first known Olympic champion to have been born in the Iberian Peninsula.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Lucius Minicius was born in the month of February 96. His father, Lucius Minicius Natalis, originally a plebeian, achieved significant civilian and military positions in Numidia, Dacia, and Pannonia during the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian, eventually becoming a Senator. Lucius Minicius was raised in Barzini, modern-day Barcelona, in Hispania Tarraconensis.[1]

Athletic career[edit | edit source]

In 129, before reaching the age of 32 years, Lucius Minicius decided to participate in the Olympic Games in Greece. To do so, he left his hometown of Barzini and traveled to Tarraco, the largest city in Hispania Tarraconensis, where Roman chariot races to qualify for the Olympic Games were being held. Lucius Minicius hired the best chariot driver who won the race and, therefore, qualified to go to Greece. He went on to win the chariot race in the 129th Olympiad.[2]

Military Service[edit | edit source]

Lucius Minicius served three legions as military tribune: Legio I Adiutrix at Dacia around 115, Legio XI Claudia at Moesia around 115, and Legio XIV Gemina at Carnuntum around 116. He played an important role in the conquest of Dacia.[3] Around 127 he was appointed Praetor and around 130 he was appointed legate in command of the Legio VI Victrix in Britain. He was a friend and companion of Trajan, the 13th Emperor of the Roman Empire.

Public service[edit | edit source]

After his return Lucius Minicius was appointed praefectus alimentorum and also curator of the Via Flaminia. Lucius Minicius served as the Proconsul of Africa from 153 to 154.[4][5]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

External images
Plate honoring Lucius Minicius on display at the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia

Lucius Minicius was the patron of Barcino, his hometown. In 125 he donated a spa town to the city with aqueducts built on the property. Traces of these baths were found under the plaça de Sant Miquel, a town square in Barcelona. Two plates honoring him were found and placed on exposition at the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia.[6] On the anniversary of his birth Lucius Minicius made monetary contributions to the city. In his honor, the Generalitat of Catalonia constituted a medal awarded to Olympic athletes from Catalonia. The city of Barcelona named an area in his honor at Montjuïc, an Olympic venue.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. CIL II, 4511
  2. Agustí Duran i Sanpere (1975). Història de Barcelona. Editorial Aedos. p. 131. 
  3. S. J. Keay (1988). Roman Spain. Exploring the Roman world. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-520-06380-8. 
  4. Christian Habicht (1985). Pausanias' Guide to Ancient Greece. University of California Press. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-520-05398-4. 
  5. John Stewart (2006). African states and rulers. McFarland & Co.. p. 393. ISBN 978-0-7864-2562-4. 
  6. "Epigraphische Datenbank Heidelberg". http://edh-www.adw.uni-heidelberg.de/edh/inschrift/HD030769?. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Andreas Krieckhaus: Senatorische Familien und ihre patriae (1./2. Jahrhundert n. Chr.). Kovač, Hamburg 2006, ISBN 3-8300-1836-3, S. 103–112.
  • Bengt E. Thomasson: Fasti Africani. Senatorische und ritterliche Ämter in den römischen Provinzen Nordafrikas von Augustus bis Diokletian. Paul Aströms Förlag, Stockholm 1996, ISBN 91-7042-153-6, S. 61f, P 74.
Preceded by
Publius Tullius Varro
Proconsul of Africa
153 – 154
Succeeded by
Lucius Hedius Rufus Lollianus Avitus

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