Rubellius Plautus

Rubellius Plautus

Rubellius Plautus

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Gaius Rubellius Plautus (33-62) was a Roman noble and a political rival of Emperor Nero. Through his mother Julia, he was a relative of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He was the grandson of Drusus (only son of Tiberius Caesar), and the great-grandson of Tiberius and his brother Drusus. Through his great-grandmothers Vipsania Agrippina and Antonia Minor, he was also descended from Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Mark Antony but not from Augustus. He was descended from Augustus' sister Octavia Minor, herself a great niece of Julius Caesar.


Plautus' father was Gaius Rubellius Blandus. Blandus' family originated from Tibur (modern Tivoli) and were of the Equestrian Class. His father died in 38. His mother was the only daughter of Drusus, and had previously been married to her cousin Nero Caesar, without issue.

Between 43 and 45, his mother Julia became an innocent victim to the intrigues of Empress Valeria Messalina. One possibility is that the young Plautus was seen by Messalina as a rival to her son Britannicus. Roman Emperor Claudius (who was notably husband to Messalina, father to Brittanicus and maternal uncle to Julia) did not secure any legal defense for his niece. Consequently, Julia was executed. However Julia was considered to be a virtuous person by those who knew her.


Plautus married Antistia Pollitta, daughter to Lucius Antistius Vetus. His father-in-law served as Consul in 55, Legatus of Germania Superior in 55-56, Proconsul of Asia in 64-65....
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