IMPERIVM
Lucius Domitius Ennius
Barry Wilson

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Usually referred to as Ennius, Lucius Domitius Ennius is the son of the deceased Emperor Castor from his second marriage. As such he is the half-brother of Emperor Domitius. He is married to Procula and has two children, 10-year-old Ennia and 13-year-old Paterculus Domitius Ennius, who is betrothed to Livia, the youngest daughter of Valerius Vespasianus. (See the imperial family tree.) He is both a pontifex (member of the College of Pontifices) and the flamen Dialis (the high priest of Jupiter), and as such is the second highest ranking religious official in the empire (after the Pontifex Maximus, a title held by the emperor).

Ennius had a short and undistinguished military career during his father's reight. In 48, when his brother returned to Rome from his famous campaign in Germania, Ennius resigned his military post in Gaul and left to study in Athens and vacation in Palestine. He returned to Rome with his family in 52, at which time he was named flamen Dialis. Seven years later he was also elected to the College of Pontifices.

[Notes on Roman religious offices:
     A flamen is one of 15 priests or sacrificers who attend specific deities. The three most important (the flamines maiores) are the flamen Dialis (priest of Jupiter), the flamen Martialis (priest of Mars), and the flamen Quirinalis (priest of Quirinus). The 12 flamines minores were priests of lesser deities.
     A pontifex is a member of the College of Pontifices, an elected body of 16 pontiffs which advises the state on religious and legal matters, regulates the calendar, keeps government records, and supervises the Vestal Virgins, six maidens consecrated to the goddess Vesta. The head of the College is the Pontifex Maximums, a title held by the emperors since it was appropriated by Augustus.
     Just for reference, there are two other major religious bodies in Rome: the augurs and the haruspices, both of whom specialize in divination.
     It should be noted that these offices, like other aspects of Roman relgion, were all about obeying formal rules and rituals so that the gods are not offended. As such they were often held simultaneously along with secular office. The individuals in these offices were not particularly "holy", nor did they carry special moral authority.]

As the flamen Dialis, Ennius has a seat in the Senate and may wear the toga praetexta. He is also indirectly in charge of the entire empire-wide cult of the Capitoline triad (Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva). On the negative side, he is also under a number of special religious restrictions. He must alwasy wear his vestments. If his wife dies he must resign. Fire must not be taken from his house (the Flaminia) unless it be sanctified. If a man in bonds enters his house, he must be set free. The flamen cannot touch iron; witness someone bleeding or seen a company of men girt up; touch a horse, goat, raw meat, or a corpse; swear an oath; or wear a ring or a knot. Because of these restrictions, Ennius is effectively prevented from participating in many normal activities of life, especially those associated with the military. Flamines normally serve for life, but should his wife die or some irregularity occur during a sacrifice he is required to resign.

Ennius's wife Procula is the only daughter of a rural patrician family which makes bricks. In the last century, with the vast expansion of the city of Rome, they've became rather wealthy and have a role in almost all public construction in Rome. For the Domitian family, he oversees extensive cattle estates in northern Italy and Iberia. Ennius is a leading figure of the Senate faction which wishes to spend more money on the city of Rome and its citizens.

Page updated 7/13/99, Scott Martin