Calpurnius Piso, Gnaeus

(7 bc)

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(consul 7 bc)

was appointed governor of Syria in ad 17, for the avowed purpose of lending counsel and assistance to Germanicus when he journeyed to the east. His previous experience had lain in other lands: proconsul of Africa and legate of Hispania Tarraconensis. After reciprocal bickering and open quarrel, Germanicus broke off his amicitia with Piso. Germanicus' death (19) was attributed by his friends to magical devices or poisoning by Piso and his forceful wife, Monātia Plancina. Returning to Rome, Piso was prosecuted in the senate (20), but took his own life before the trial was over, protesting his innocence and his loyalty to Tiberius. The text of a senatus consultum about Piso's trial and disgrace, including an account of his activities in Syria, was found in Spain in the 1980s.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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