a Roman, who was aedilis cerealis in B. C. 44.
This office had been instituted by J. Caesar, and Critonius and M. Fannius were the first who filled it. Appian (App. BC 3.23
) relates the following occurrence respecting Critonius. When the Cerealia were celebrated, shortly after the murder of Caesar, and Octavianus erected the golden sella with a crown in honour of Caesar,--a distinction which had been conferred upon the dictator by a senatusconsultum,--Critonius declared that he would not suffer Caesar to be thus honoured in the games for which he (Critonius) himself had to pay the expenses.
This conduct of a man who had belonged to the party of Caesar, and had been promoted by him (comp. Cic. Att. 13.21
), is indeed surprising; but it may have been the consequence of a strong republican enthusiasm. Another more serious difficulty is contained in the fact, that the Cerealia, at which Octavianus is here represented to have been present, were celebrated in the early part of April (Dict. of Ant. s.v. Cerealia
), that is, before the time at which Octavianus is known to have returned to Rome. Unless, therefore, we suppose that there is some blunder in the account of Appian, we must believe that the celebration of the games in that year was postponed on account of the great confusion that followed after the murder of Caesar. (Drumann, Gesch. Roms,
i. p. 123.)
The annexed coin refers to this Critonius.
It bears on the obverse the head of Ceres, and on the reverse two men sitting, with the legend, M. FAN. L. CRIT., and it was doubtless struck by order of M. Fannius and L. Critonius in the year that they were aediles cereales.