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Publius. A political adventurer in the last days of the Republic, who is described by Cicero as one of the greatest villains that ever lived. Vatinius was quaestor B.C. 63, and tribune of the plebs in 59, when he sold his services to Caesar, who was then consul along with Bibulus. In 56 he appeared as a witness against Milo and Sestius, two of Cicero's friends, in consequence of which the orator made a vehement attack upon the character of Vatinius, in the speech which has come down to us. Vatinius was praetor in 55, and in the following year (B.C. 54) he was accused by C. Licinius Calvus of having gained the praetorship by bribery. He was defended on this occasion by Cicero, in order to please Caesar, whom Cicero had offended by his former attack upon Vatinius. During the Civil War Vatinius attached himself to the fortunes of Caesar.


Of Beneventum, one of the vilest and most hateful creatures of Nero's court, equally deformed in body and in mind, and who, after being a shoemaker's apprentice and a buffoon, ended by becoming a delator, or public informer (Tac. Ann. xv. 34). A variety of drinking-cup bore his name (Juv.v. 46).

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