★ Marcus Bassaeus Rufus
Marcus basseius Rufus was a Roman Senator who held a number of offices during the reigns of the emperors Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, and Commodus. The most famous of these were the praefectus vigilum, the praefectus, or Governor of Roman Egypt, and the Praetorian prefect.
Anthony Burley describes Rufus as"a stern soldier who grew out of a humble Italian peasant." Cassius dio writes down two anecdotes that emphasize his humble beginnings. In one of them, Rufus was visited by a visitor while he was busy pruning a vine that was growing on a tree, and when Rufus did not come down at the first call, the man rebuked him and said: "Come on, prefect, get down."Dio explains, that is, he used this title, speaking to him as a man who now holds himself haughtily, but was formerly of a low position, and it was this title that fortune subsequently gave him. In the second case, Rufus was present when Marcus Aurelius was speaking Latin to someone in Latin, but neither the person he was addressing, nor anyone else nearby, understood the Emperor. then Rufus exclaimed, "no wonder, Caesar, that he does not know what you have said, because he also does not understand Greek."Dion explains that even Rufus didnt know what Marcus Aurelius said. Karol Klodzinski notes that not only of the "five Praetorian prefects of the antonines, the full cursus honorum of which is known, only Marcius Turbo and basseius Rufus reached the Praetorian Prefecture without conducting equestrian tres militae", but that "both received promotion to the ordo equester through the primipilat ".
1. Public career. (Общественная карьера)
His career was recorded in an inscription found in Rome, but it has since been lost. As already mentioned, the equestrian career of Basseius Rufus began with the fact that he was twice primus pilus, followed by the appointment of military tribune of the vigilis cohort, then the urban cohort, and finally the Praetorian cohort. From there, he rose to civil offices, starting as a Prosecutor in the regions of Asturias and Galicia, and then became managing Prosecutor of the Imperial province of noricum until the end of the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius. This was followed by the public Prosecutors office of Gaul, Belgium, and the two Germanies, which was responsible for overseeing the distribution of funds for the armies of the Rhine. Rufus must have distinguished himself in this position, for he rose to become Procurator a rationibus, or overseer of the Imperial Secretariat in Rome.
Later, Rufus was appointed prefect of the Vigil at some point before March 10, 168, according to an inscription with this date. Between this date and 10 July of the same year, he was appointed prefect of Egypt. However, Marcus Aurelius found that he was needed in a more important post, and at some point before the death of Lucius Verus in early 169, basseius Rufus was appointed Praetorian prefect. Soon after, he received a colleague as Praetorian prefect, Marcus Macrinius Vindex.
Both were chosen to help deal with the threat posed by the Marcomanni on the Danube frontier, the previous Praetorian prefect, Titus Furius Victorinus, having been killed a year earlier in a battle with these Germanic invaders. However, their responsibilities were not limited to military matters. An inscription found in modern Sepino records the response of Rufus and Vindex to a petition from the Imperial Freedman Cosmas concerning the management of the Imperial herds. Rufus appears in another case heard by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius concerning his former mentor Herod Atticus: Herod accused three rivals from Athens of plotting, and these three appealed to Marcus at his headquarters in Sirmium. Herod, who shortly before the meeting had lost two young female slaves killed by lightning, failed to properly state his case, instead attacking him for "sacrificing me to the whim of a woman and a three-year-old child! Rufus, who was watching all this, thought only one thing possible: Herod wanted to die.
When the two prefects of the RUF and the Vindex, the Romans won a victory. Although Vindex met his death in 172, Rufus distinguished himself: a lost Roman inscription States that He received the Dona militaria corresponding to his rank. It is known that Rufus accompanied Marcus Aurelius to the front in July 175, after which the Emperor awarded Him another distinction: consularia ornamenta. This is equivalent to a Consulate for non-senators and was usually granted to Praetorian prefects who had a successful tenure in office. Rufus received it during the triumph that Marcus Aurelius celebrated on his return to Rome on December 23, 176. Bassey Rufus retired from public life shortly thereafter.
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