Publius Petronius Turpilianus (61/2-63AD)

The career of Publius Petronius Turpilianus as governor of Britain is recorded in two works by Cornelius Tacitus, Annals of Rome (book XIV, chapter xxxix) and Agricola (chapter XVI, verse iii).

Everything, however, was softened down for the emperor’s ears, and Suetonius was retained in the government; but as he subsequently lost a few vessels on the shore with the crews, he was ordered, as though the war continued, to hand over his army to Petronius Turpilianus, who had just resigned his consulship. Petronius neither challenged the enemy nor was himself molested, and veiled this tame inaction under the honourable name of peace.

(Cornelius Tacitus Annals XIV.xxxix)

Accordingly Petronius Turpilianus was sent to the province as less inflexible; a stranger to the crimes of the enemy, he would be in proportion soft-hearted if they repented. He arranged the outstanding difficulties, but, without venturing on any further action, handed over the province to Trebellius Maximus.

(Cornelius Tacitus Agricola XVI.iii)

References for Publius Petronius Turpilianus (AD61/2-63)

  • The Roman Invasion of Britain by Graham Webster (Batsford, London, 1980);
  • Rome Against Caratacus by Graham Webster (Batsford, London, 1981);
  • Britons and the Roman Army by Grace Simpson (Gregg, London, 1964);
  • Historical Map and Guide: Roman Britain by the OS (3rd Edition, 1956; 4th Ed., 1990; 5th Ed., 2001);