Overview

Quintus Publilius Philo


Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

Was consul in 339, 327, 320, and 315 bc, and the first plebeian praetor in 336. He reputedly served on a commission to organize debt relief in 352 and as dictator in 339 passed three laws: (1) one censor must always be plebeian; (2) the sanction accorded by patrician senators (patrum auctoritas) must now be given before the presentation of legislation to the centuriate assembly (thus limiting patrician obstruction); (3) decisions of the plebeian assembly (plebiscita) were to be binding on the whole people. The last of these duplicates the measure of Quintus Hortensius in 287/6 bc and is probably fictitious. Publilius' dictatorship is also suspect but if he passed the first two measures (perhaps as consul), this marks a significant development in plebeian use of a curule magistracy for political reform.

(1) one censor must always be plebeian; (2) the sanction accorded by patrician senators (patrum auctoritas) must now be given before the presentation of legislation to the centuriate assembly (thus limiting patrician obstruction); (3) decisions of the plebeian assembly (plebiscita) were to be binding on the whole people. The last of these duplicates the measure of Quintus Hortensius in 287/6 bc and is probably fictitious. Publilius' dictatorship is also suspect but if he passed the first two measures (perhaps as consul), this marks a significant development in plebeian use of a curule magistracy for political reform.

In 339 Philo also triumphed (i.e. was awarded a victory procession) for a victory over the Latins and in his censorship (332) enrolled new Latin citizens and created two new tribes (the Maecia and Scaptia). In 327–6 he besieged Naples and Palaeopolis and through his contacts with philo-Roman elements secured their surrender: the Greek interests attested by his cognomen Philo may have assisted here and he triumphed in 326 as the first historical proconsul. The victories in Campania and Apulia credited to him and Lucius Papirius Cursor by some sources in 320 constitute a suspect revenge for the Caudine Forks but his re-election with Cursor for 315 testifies to his standing and reputation.

Andrew Drummond

Subjects: Classical Studies.


Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.