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Lucius Cornelius Balbus the Younger

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Title: Lucius Cornelius Balbus the Younger  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Lucius Cornelius Balbus, Gaius Norbanus Flaccus (consul 24 BC), Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Crus, Cornelii, History of Libya
Collection: 1St-Century Bc Romans, 1St-Century Bc Writers, Ancient Roman Generals, Cornelii, People from Cádiz
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Lucius Cornelius Balbus the Younger

Statue of Balbus in Cadiz, Spain

Lucius Cornelius Balbus (called Minor - the Younger - to distinguish from his uncle), received Roman citizenship at the same time as his uncle.

During the civil war, he served under Julius Caesar, by whom he was entrusted with several important missions. He also took part in the Alexandrian and Spanish wars. He was rewarded for his services by being admitted into the college of pontiffs. In 43 BC he was quaestor to Asinius Pollio in Further Spain (Hispania Ulterior), where he amassed a large fortune by plundering the inhabitants. Also, while there he added to his native town, Gades, a suburb.[1]

In the same year he crossed over to Bogud, king of Mauretania, and is not heard of again until 21 BC, when he appears as Proconsul of Africa. Mommsen thinks that he had incurred the displeasure of Augustus by his conduct as praetor, and that his African appointment after so many years was due to his exceptional fitness for the post.[1]

In 19 BC Balbus defeated the Garamantes, and on March 27 in that year received the honor of a triumph, which was then for the first time granted to one who was not a Roman citizen by birth, and for the last time to a private individual, until the triumph of Belisarius in 534. He built a magnificent theatre at Rome, which was dedicated on the return of Augustus from Gaul in 13 BC.[2]

Balbus appears to have given some attention to literature. He wrote a play of which the subject was his visit to Lentulus in the camp of Pompey at Dyrrhachium, and, according to Macrobius,[3] was the author of a work called Ἐξηγητικά (Exegetica) dealing with the gods and their worship.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Chisholm 1911, Balbus.
  2. ^ Chisholm 1911, Balbus cites Dio Cassius liv. 25; Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxxvi. 12. 60.
  3. ^ Chisholm 1911, Balbus cites Saturnalia, iii. 6.


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