8. L. Calpurnius
Piso Caesoninus, L. F. L. N., the son of No. 7, must have been born during the civil war between Caesar and Pompey (B. C. 49-48), as he was eighty at the time of his death in A. D. 32 (Tac. Ann
He was consul B. C. 15, with M. Livius Drusus Libo, and afterwards obtained the province of Pamphylia; from thence he was recalled by Augustus in B. C. 11, in order to make war upon the Thracians, who had attacked the province of Macedonia.
After a struggle which lasted for three years he subdued the various Thracian tribes, and obtained in consequence the triumphal insignia.
The favour which Augustus had shown to Piso, he continued to receive from his successor Tiberius, who made him praefectus urbi.
He was one of the associates of Tiberius in his revels, but had nothing of the cruel and suspicious disposition of the emperor. Although he spent the greater part of the night at table, and did not rise till midday, he discharged the duties of his office with punctuality and diligence; and while retaining the favour of the emperor, without condescending to servility, he at the same time earned the good-will of his fellow-citizens by the integrity and justice with which he governed the city. Velleius Paterculus, who wrote his history while Piso held the praefecture of the city, pronounces a glowing eulogy on his virtues and merits.
He died, as we have already stated, in A. D. 32, and was honoured by a decree of the senate, with a public funeral.
He was a pontiff at the time of his death.
The year in which he was appointed praefectus urbi has occasioned considerable dispute. Tacitus says that he held the office for twenty years, but this is opposed to the statements of Seneca and Tiberius, who place his appointment much later than Tacitus.
It is impossible, however, to come to any definite conclusion on the subject (D. C. 54.21
; Florus, 4.12
; Vell. 2.98
; Tac. Ann. 6.10
; Senec. Ep.
83; Suet. Tib
. 42; Plin. Nat. 14.22. s. 28
According to Porphyrion it was to this Piso and his two sons that Horace addressed his epistle on the Art of Poetry, and there are no sufficient reasons for rejecting this statement, as has been done by some modern writers. Respecting these two sons we only know that the elder was called Lucius (Anon. ad Hor. Ar. Poet
. 366), but neither of them can be identified for certain with any of the Pisones mentioned in history.