This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Quintus Fulvius Flaccus – censor who gone mad

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

A preserved column from the temple of Juno Lacinia
A preserved column from the temple of Juno Lacinia

Quintus Fulvius Flaccus was the son of a four-time consul of the same name. In 182 BCE he became a praetor in Spain, where he won a series of victories over the Celtoiber people. In 179 BCE, he became a consul in Rome, and in 174 he was elected a censor.

While holding the censorship office, he decided to fulfill his decision from the time when he was a praetor in Spain. It was then that he swore that if he managed to defeat the Celtoibers, he would build a temple to Fortuna Ekwicka (Fortuna Equestris – patron of the horsemen, military formation), and then the social class – equites).

As historian Livy reports, Flavius ​​eagerly set about fulfilling his vow. To add splendor to the temple he was building, he even ordered to remove the marble slabs and tiles from the Temple of Juno Lacinia (Lacinium in Brucjum, where the famous Temple of Juno was located). The temple was completed and dedicated on August 13, 73 BCE

Unfortunately, the construction of the temple, instead of bringing Quintus favor with the gods, had the opposite effect. Livy says that “sorrow and fear have taken hold of his mind.” The Roman population believed that the goddess Juno, for the sacrilege that Flavius ​​had perpetrated by desecrating her temple, had thrown him mad. As a result, he lost his balance of mind and began to fall into deeper and deeper depression. When one day he was informed that one of his sons had died and the other was seriously ill, he broke down completely. The next day, his body was found hanging on a beam in the bedroom.

The Romans in some cases considered suicide as honorable. But Flaccus’ suicide was taken as evidence of his mental instability. The Senate, fearing the further anger of the goddess Juno, ordered the stolen tiles and marble slabs to be returned to their original place.

The exact location of the Temple of Fortune built by Flaccus is unknown. Her appearance is also unknown. Vitruvius claimed that it was located near the Theater of Pompey and was probably destroyed in 21 CE as a result of a fire. It was not rebuilt after the fire.

Author: Roger Rytter (translated from Polish: Jakub Jasiński)
  • L. Richardson, jr, A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome
  • FONTES HISTORIAE ANTIQUAE Zeszyty Źródłowe do Dziejów Społeczeństw Antycznych pod redakcją Leszka Mrozewicza Marii Musielak Zeszyt XXXIX Valerius Maximus FACTA ET DICTA MEMORABILIA.

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

Your financial help is needed, in order to maintain and develop the website. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server. I believe that I can count on a wide support that will allow me to devote myself more to my work and passion, to maximize the improvement of the website and to present history of ancient Romans in an interesting form.


News from world of ancient Rome

If you want to be up to date with news and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Roman bookstore

I encourage you to buy interesting books about the history of ancient Rome and antiquity.

Check out bookstore

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: