Julius Africanus

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For the Christian traveller and historian, see Sextus Julius Africanus. For others with this name, see Africanus.

Julius Africanus was a celebrated orator in the reign of Nero,[1] and seems to have been the son of the Julius Africanus, of the Gallic state of the Santoni, who was condemned by Tiberius in 32 AD.[2] Quintilian, who had heard Julius Africanus, spoke of him and Domitius Afer as the best orators of their time; the eloquence of Africanus was chiefly characterized by vehemence and energy.[3][4] Pliny the Younger mentions a grandson of this Julius Africanus, who was also an advocate and was opposed to him upon one occasion,[5] he was consul suffectus in 108 AD.[citation needed]

There is a persistent belief in some quarters that Africanus was actually an African. However, being the son of a Gallic chief he was a member of a Celtic tribe.[citation needed] This confusion probably arises from an incorrect belief that the Roman cognomen Africanus means from Africa (i.e. born in Africa) rather than the correct meaning of famous relation to Africa.[citation needed] The name Africanus originated with Scipio Africanus, who defeated Carthage (in North Africa) during the Second Punic War.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Smith, William (1870), "Africanus, Julius", in Smith, William (ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, Boston, p. 56
  2. ^ Tacitus, Annales vi. 7
  3. ^ Quintilian, x. 1. § 118, xii. 10. § 11, comp. viii. 5. § 15
  4. ^ Dial. de Orat. 15
  5. ^ Pliny the Younger, Epistulae vii. 6

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "article name needed. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.