Publius is the scion of a poor equestrian family from Samnium, an unregarded family with few ties to Roman politics. Through dint of skill and hard work, Publius worked his way up through the legions from centurion to tribune, eventually attaining command as a legate, a rare situation which was becoming more common under Domitius, who has promoted an unprecedented number of officers from the ranks. (Traditionally officers are drawn from powerful families, and most tribunes are young patricians with no previous military experience.)
For three years Publius commanded the XXXIInd Legion in Germania, until he was selected four years ago to serve as first tribune of the Praetorian Guard (technically a step down, but everyone realizes that it's a promotion -- it certainly has much higher pay!).
Page updated 7/21/99, Scott Martin