Lucius Aemilius Papus

Lucius Aemilius Papus (fl. 216 BC) was a Roman general and statesman who led the Romans to victory over the Gauls in the Battle of Telamon in 225 BC. He belonged to the patrician gens Aemilia.


He was the son of Quintus Aemilius Papus, himself the son of Gnaeus Aemilius Papus.[1][nb 1][nb 2] His probable father was Quintus Aemilius Papus, who had been consul twice and censor once; if true, he would have been born to a father already in his late fifties to sixties at the very least.[nb 3]


Aemilius Papus was consul for 225 BC, with Gaius Atilius Regulus as his colleague.[1] That year, when the Boii, Insubres and Taurisci of Cisalpine Gaul enlisted the aid of the mercenary Gaesatae and mobilised against Rome, Papus was stationed at Ariminum (modern Rimini) to guard against them. Regulus' army was at this time stationed in Sardinia. A smaller force of Roman allies was stationed on the border of Etruria under a praetor, and it was this force that encountered the Gauls first, suffering a defeat at Faesulae (modern Fiesole). The arrival of Papus persuaded the Gauls to withdraw along the coast, but they were cut off at Telamon (modern Talamone) by Regulus, who had crossed from Sardinia to Pisa and begun to march towards Rome. The Gauls were forced to fight to the front and the rear simultaneously, and despite the death of Regulus the Romans were victorious. Forty thousand Gauls are reported to have died. After the battle Papus marched the army into Liguria and the territory of the Boii to conduct punitive actions. For these feats he was awarded the honour of a triumph.[2]

He was censor in 220 BC, with Gaius Flaminius as his colleague.[3] In 218 BC he was one of five men sent as a commission to Carthage following Hannibal's siege of Saguntum,[4] and in 216 BC he was one of the triumviri appointed to deal with Rome's lack of money during the Second Punic War.[5]


Aemilius Papus's year of death is unknown, nor is it known if he left any surviving sons who rose to any significant positions.[nb 4] A Marcus Aemilius Papus, maximus curio, died 210 BC, and was perhaps son or an elder brother of this Lucius Aemilius Papus. A Lucius Aemilius Papus was praetor for Sicily in 205 BC and is notable for commanding the first-known patrilineal ancestor of the emperor Augustus. This man may be the same as the Lucius Aemilius Papus, decemvir sacrorum, who died in 171 BC. The younger Lucius Aemilius Papus may have been the son of the consul of 225 BC.


  1. Smith however states (erroneously) that Lucius is "grandson apparently of" [Quintus Aemilius Papus][1] which contradicts information gleaned from his full name.
  2. The varying names in Lucius's ancestry also suggest that neither his father Quintus nor his grandfather Gnaeus were first-born sons. The first-born sons in the gens Aemilia tended to be named either Marcus (stirps Lepidus) or Lucius (stirps Paullus).
  3. Quintus Aemilius Papus was consul twice in 282 BC and 278 BC and censor in 275 BC. If the usual ages for most consuls hold true, he would have been at least 40-42 at the time of his first consulship, and thus in his mid to late fifties when his son was born. This of course assumes that Lucius Aemilius Papus was himself in his early forties when he attained the consulship in 225 BC, and was thus born c. 267-270 BC. His father, if born c. 325 BC (and aged 42-43 in the year of his first consulship), would have been aged 55 when his son was born. The dates of the birth of both consuls are purely conjectural, because neither their birth nor death years are known.
  4. The gens Aemilia was known for cremating its dead (see references to the cremation of Scipio Aemilianus, born an Aemilius). This leads to a paucity of tomb inscriptions and other memorials that can provide more information on less-known members of the extinct stirps of Papus and Paullus.


  1. 1 2 3 William Smith. (1873). Papus - L. Aemilius Papua. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
  2. Polybius, 'The Histories of Polybius Book 2. pp. 21-31.
  3. Livy. (1905). From the Founding of the City Book 23.23
  4. Livy. (1905). From the Founding of the City Book 21.18
  5. Livy. (1905). From the Founding of the City Book 23.21
Preceded by
Marcus Valerius Messalla and Lucius Apustius Fullo
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Gaius Atilius Regulus
225 BC
Succeeded by
Titus Manlius Torquatus and Quintus Fulvius Flaccus
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