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Lucius Calpurnius Piso Pontifex, prefect amans bibendi

Augustus had elected Lucius Calpurnius Piso prefect of Rome in A.D. 13 and he was up to the date of his death in 32 AD; He came from a prominent and rich family, the Pisoni of the gens Calpurnia, his father was Cesonino, and was the brother of Calpurnia, Caesar's wife.
He was born in Rome in 48 BC, was consul in 15 BC and governor of Pamphylia, a small coastal region of Asia Minor opposite the island of Cyprus incorporated later in Galatia, and for three years he was engaged in suppressing an insurrection in Thrace which earned him triumphal ornaments. In 2-3 BC He had the proconsulate in Asia, later became Pontifex Maximus and in 13 A.D. he was in charge of urban prefecture until his death in 32 AD.
He was a very important man in the public life of the early years of the empire. He gathered together in himself two very important positions, he was prefect dell'Urbe from 13 A.D. until his death in 32 A.D. and simultaneously was Pontifex (as reported by Tacitus in the Annals), also it seems to have been even Priest Arvale.
The cursus Honorum of Piso the Pontiff was glorious, he had recognition of the triumph for the military successes in Thrace, masterfully held the office of Praefectus Urbi; when he dies at 80, Tacitus in Annales makes him a monument in the history of Rome but there are other testimonies that tell of his pleasure in living viciously in otium moments.
His family came from Veleia (ancient city among Piacenza and Parma), of whom he was patron and where did make a basilica and raise statues to the Julio-Claudian dynasty and where it was found the statue as Pontifex also and especially in the large estates inherited by his mother Calventia was cultivated grapes. The art of producing wine was aged by Pisoni when Cuma transplanted into their lands, as told by Pliny the Younger in his Naturalis Historia, the Calventina an absolutely new grape variety to the lands of Campania.
We know from Cicero that the Pisos familiy were estimators of wine who drank in no elegant earthenware chalices as its Cicero emphasized in his invective against Lucius Calpurnius Piso, the father of the Pontifex; However Piso the Pontifex not only loved his wine but he was abusing.
Piso, the Pontifex was amans bibendi and good friend of Emperor Tiberius, who was also a heavy drinker so that soldiers cripple his name Tiberius Claudius Nero making it, by assonance, Biberius Caldius Mero (Drinker for hot undiluted wine).
Suetonius tells of a "perpotatio" lasted two days and two nights: at the villa in Capri, Tiberius and Piso in friendly company even with Pomponius Flaccus indulged to eat and to drink, and at the end of the banquet were also thanked by the emperor and right after those days of revelry, as reported by Pliny in his Naturalis Historia, Lucius Calpurnius Piso received some gifts because he was able to stand up to Tiberius.
This indulge in the habit of drinking of Piso the Pontifex was well known by everyone in Rome, but his image as a politician and indeed valid administrator of justice - Praefectus Urbi - seems not having been affected, on the contrary in a passage of Seneca on vice drinking he brings for example Piso as a man capable of carrying out his duties even exaggerating drinking: "L. Piso, prefect of Rome, was always drunk since the day he was elected. He spent most of the night feasting; He slept almost until noon; this was his dawn. And yet he executed its tasks that concerned the defense of the city with great diligence. " His ability to administer justice while being shiny little from the morning became almost legendary, and also we know that Tiberius also entrusted him with the secrets and special assignments which, it seems, managed to finish well ...

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by M.L. ©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (Ed 1.0 - 07/08/2016)