Name: Frontinus, Sextus Julius
Occupation: Soldier, politician, and writer.
Dates: c. 30-104 AD
Brief biography: Frontinus was a Roman general, politician, and writer, and was one of the most distinguished men of his time, according to Pliny the younger. He campaigned in Britain, Gaul, and Germany, was consul three times, and governed Britain in 73-77 AD, founding the legionary fortress at Caerleon in south Wales. In 97, Nerva appointed him superintendent of the aqueducts of Rome, and as a direct result of this Frontinus decided to write a book on the history, administration and maintenance of the system. This was probably based on notes gathered as he learned on the job – which was the regular Roman method of educating their magistrates at this time, but few chose to put their findings in writing. His was the first handbook on the topic, and it explains some, but not all Roman practices. He is an indispensable source on ancient understanding of hydraulic engineering. Praetor Urbanus in 70; consul suffectus in 73; Governor of Britain 74-8. Served with Domitian in Germany in 83, Proconsul of Asia in 84;consul twice more in 98 and 100. Curator aquarum under Nerva or Trajan; wrote On aqueducts while in post, probably c. 97. Other writings on military matters, farming, and surveying.
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Last modified: 11 March 2003