Lucius Papirius Crassus

Lucius Papirius Crassus was a Roman politician, becoming consul twice in 336 BC and 330 BC. Lucius Papirius was from the Papirius (gens) family in Rome.[1]

Dictatorship of 340 BC

Lucius Papirius Crassus was appointed dictator in 340 BC by Titus Manlius Torquatus after the death of Publius Decius Mus in the Battle of Vesuvius and the failing health of Titus Manlius Torquatus. Following his appointment as dictator, Lucius Papirius Crassus appointed Lucius Papirius Castor as his Master of Horse.[2] The people of Antium soon began conducting raids against the farmlands of Ostia, Ardea, and Solonium but no significant advantages were gained by Lucius Papirius against these people.[3]

First Consulship of 336 BC

Four years after serving as dictator, Lucius Papirius was elected consul along with Caecilius Duilius in 336 BC. This year is noted mostly for a war between Rome and the Ausones. The Ausones, a people inhabiting the city of Cales, had joined forces with their allies and neighbors the Sidicini to oppose the Romans. The Romans defeated the Ausones and the Sidicini in a battle of little importance and forced them into flight.

After achieving victory against the Ausones and Sidicini in the field, Lucius Papirius and Caecilius Duilius decided to not actively pursue their defeated foes back to their cities and destroy them. The Senate, however, having an extreme distaste for the Sidicini people for constantly pursuing hostilities against Rome in the past were slighted by the decision of their consuls to allow the Sidinici to retreat. Therefore, the next year the Senate elected Marcus Valerius Corvus, a renowned military commander, to deal with the Sidinici in a way that the previous consuls had not.[4]

Second Consulship of 330 BC

In 330 BC Lucius Papirius was elected to a second consulship with Lucius Plautius Vennox. At the beginning of Lucius Papirius' term Volscian enovys arrived in Rome from Fabreteria and Lucania. These enovys sought Roman protection from Samnite incursions and declared that if Rome helped to protect them, that they would submit to Roman rule. Lucius Papirius and Lucius Plautius accepted these requests for protection and warned the Samnites to cease incursions against the Volscians. The Samnites, not being prepared for a war, ceased incursions at once.

This year war began with Privernum and their allies, the people of Fundi. The commander of the Privernates, Vitruvius Vaccus, was a Fundanian citizen and very well known in his own land as well as in Rome. He even had a house in Rome on the Palantine which was torn down and renamed Vaccus' Meadows. While Vitruvius was conducting widespread raiding expeditions in the lands of Setia, Norba, and Cora, Lucius Papirius set out to oppose him and dug in near Vitruvius' camp. Vitruvius did not defend himself with a rampart against a stronger opponent and without any plan or commitment had deployed his battle lines. His men constantly looked behind themselves as if to see a possibility of flight rather than thinking of engaging the enemy. Lucius Papirius defeated Vitruvius decisively and with little effort but Vitruvius took few casualties. This was in part to the confined space of the battleground and Vitruvius' camp being nearby. As darkness fell Vitruvius' forces made their way back to Privernum in a column formation. Lucius Plautius Vennox at this time was traveling from Privernum to the territory of Fundi where he laid waste to the farmland there. The senate of Fundi moved to meet Lucius Plautius to plead for peace and a pardon for Vitruvius. In exchange for peace Fundi would submit to Roman authority. These terms were accepted by Lucius Plautius and Fundi became a Roman province with Roman citizenship being given to all citizens inhabiting the territory. The Senate of Rome, however, believed that the people of Fundi would not remain loyal and did not ratify the terms of the peace. Yet the people of Fundi had no future quarrel with the Romans and were absorbed into Roman territory. While Privernum was under siege from both of the consular armies, one of the consuls was recalled to Rome to hold consular elections.[5] In the year of Lucius Papirius' consulship Alexander of Epirus led an expedition in southern Italy. During this expedition Alexander of Epirus was killed in Pandosa.[6]

Late Life

Not much is known about Lucius Papirius Crassus' late life but it is known that in 325 BC he was appointed as Master of Horse by Lucius Papirius Cursor. Lucius Papirius Crassus was also given command of the city of Rome which infuriated the former Master of Horse, Quintus Fabius.[7]


  1. Cicero, Marcus (1927). The Life of Cicero. London: Bradbury and Evans. pp. 469–470. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  2. Cicero, Marcus (1927). The Life of Cicero. London: Bradbury and Evans. pp. 469–470. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  3. Yardley, J.C (2013). Rome's Italian Wars (1 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 126–128. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  4. Yardley, J.C (2013). Rome's Italian Wars (1 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 126–128. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  5. Yardley, J.C (2013). Rome's Italian Wars, Books 6-10 (1 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 154–160. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  6. Venning, Timothy (2011). A Chronology of the Roman Empire (1 ed.). New York: Continuum International. pp. 68–69. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  7. Patavinus, Titus. The Complete Livy: The History of Rome: The Complete Histories. pp. 35–36. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by
Gaius Sulpicius Longus
and Publius Aelius Paetus
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Kaeso Duillius
335 BC
Succeeded by
Marcus Atilius Regulus Calenus
and Marcus Valerius Corvus IV
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