Titus Didius (also spelled Deidius in ancient times) was a politician and general of the Roman Republic. In 98 BC he became the first member of his family to be consul. He is credited with the restoration of the Villa Publica, and for his command in Hispania Citerior (the south-east of modern-day Spain). He held two Triumphs, one for his victories over the Scordisci, another for his victories in Spain.
|Consul of the Roman Republic|
January 98 BC – December 98 BC
|Preceded by||Aulus Postumius Albinus and Marcus Antonius the Orator|
|Succeeded by||Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus and Publius Licinius Crassus|
|Died||June 11, 89 BC|
Titus Didius belonged to the plebiean gens Didia, which was relatively new in Roman politics. The first known member of the gens was his homonymous father, who passed a sumptuary law (the lex Didia) when he was tribune of the plebs in 143 BC. From his filiation given in the Fasti Capitolini, we also know that Didius' grandfather was named Sextus.
Triumvir monetalis (c. 113–112 BC)
Titus Didius first appears in history as triumvir monetalis, one of the three men tasked with minting coins, probably in 113 or 112. The reverse of his denarii shows two gladiators fighting. Michael Crawford suggests that it may have been a political promise from Didius to offer gladiatorial shows, should he be elected curule aedile (the magistrate in charge of organising such games). It is not known whether Didius was subsequently elected.
Tribune of the Plebs (103 BC)
Titus Didius held office in 103 BC as a tribune of the Plebs. He is noted for attempting to veto fellow tribune Gaius Norbanus’s prosecution of Quintus Servilius Caepio in the aftermath of the Battle of Arausio, which resulted in him being driven off from the proceedings by force.
Praetor (101 BC)
Consul (98 BC)
Proconsul (97–93 BC)
After his term as consul, Didius was assigned to govern the province of Hispania Citerior as a proconsul, where he governed from 97 BC to 93 BC. Nearly his entire proconsular term in Spain was spent at war with the Celtiberi. In the four years Didius governed Spain, he achieved multiple victories and is said to have slain 20,000 Arevaci, quelled the rebellious city of Termes (today Tiermes in the province of Soria), and besieged Colenda for nine months, after which time the city fell and the women and children were sold into slavery. Didius earned another triumph after slaughtering a colony of "robbers"—in actuality, poor people who had banded together to subsist through banditry after losing their property. Didius lured them in with promises of land to live on, and when the families assembled within the Roman castra in good faith, he had them all killed. The historian Appian indicates that Didius's exceptional cruelty and treachery caused an even greater uprising which his experienced successor, Gaius Valerius Flaccus, had to put down.
Death (89 BC)
After concluding his service in Spain, Didius served as a legate in the Social War, under Lucius Julius Caesar in 90 BC, then Lucius Porcius Cato and Sulla in 89 BC. Shortly following a successful capture of Herculaneum, he died in battle on June 11, 89 BC.
- Makin, Ena. "The Triumphal Route, with Particular Reference to the Flavian Triumph." The Journal of Roman Studies 11(1921) 27. JSTOR 295885
- Broughton, vol. I, pp. 472, 474 (note ).
- Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage, p. 308.
- Cicero, "In Pisonem." http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0020&layout=&loc=Pis.+60
- Cicero, "de Domo Sua." <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0020&layout=&loc=dom.+53>
- Appian, History of Rome. https://www.livius.org/ap-ark/appian/appian_spain_20.html#%A7100
- William Smith, "T. Didius." Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1870. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2011-06-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Leonard A. Curchin, Roman Spain: Conquest and Assimilation (Routledge, 1991), p. 41 online.
- Plutarch, Life of Marius, 27; Philip Matyszak, Sertorius and the struggle for Spain, p. 17.
- Cicero, "Pro Fonteio." http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0019&layout=&loc=Font.+43
- T. Robert S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, American Philological Association, 1951–1952.
- Michael Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage, Cambridge University Press, 1974.