Virginius RufusA Roman consul A.D. 63, and governor of Upper Germany at the time of the revolt of Iulius Vindex in Gaul (A.D. 68). The soldiers of Virginius wished to raise him to the Empire; but he refused the honour, and marched against Vindex, who perished before Vesontio. (See Vindex.) After the death of Nero, Virginius supported the claims of Galba, and accompanied him to Rome. After Otho's death the soldiers again attempted to proclaim Virginius emperor, and in consequence of his refusal of the honour he narrowly escaped with his life. Virginius died in the reign of Nerva , in his third consulship, A.D. 97, at eighty-three years of age. He was honoured with a public funeral, and his panegyric was pronounced by the historian Tacitus, who was then consul. His epitaph, composed by himself, notices his refusal of the throne:
Hic situs est Rufus, pulso qui Vindice quondam
Imperium adseruit non sibi sed patriae. The younger Pliny , of whom Virginius had been the tutor or guardian, also mentions him with praise ( Hist. i. 8, 77; ii. 49, 68; Plut. Galb. 4Plut. Galb., 6Plut. Galb., 10; Dio Cass. lxiii. 24-27; lxiv. 4; lxviii. 2; Pliny , Epist. ii. 1; v. 3; vi. 10; ix. 19).