Marcus Vinicius (c. 5 BC – AD 46) was a Roman consul and, as husband of Julia Livilla, grandson-in-law (progener) of the emperor Tiberius. He was the son and grandson of two consuls, Publius Vinicius (consul 2 AD) and Marcus Vinicius (consul 19 BC).
Born at Cales in Campania, Vinicius started his senatorial career as quaestor in AD 20. That same year, Vinicius was requested to take part in the defense of Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso for the murder of Germanicus, but refused. He was present for the trial, as his name appears as one of seven witnesses of the Senatus consultum de Cn. Pisone patre, the Roman Senate's official act concerning Piso' trial and punishmen.
In 33, Tiberius selected him as the husband for Julia Livilla, the youngest daughter of Germanicus. On that occasion, Tacitus describes Vinicius as "mild in character and an elaborate orator."
For the term 38/39, Vinicius was proconsular governor of Asia; two years earlier, he had been appointed to a committee assigned to estimate the damages caused by a fire on the Aventine Hill.
Vinicius and his nephew Lucius Annius Vinicianus were involved in the assassination of the emperor Caligula and, for a short time, even tried to succeed to the throne.
After Claudius became emperor, Vinicius accompanied him during the Roman conquest of Britain in 43 and was awarded the ornamenta triumphalia. In 45, he was honored with the rare distinction of a second consulship as prior consul; his colleague that year was Titus Statilius Taurus Corvinus.
At Messalina's instigation, Vinicius was killed in 46. He nevertheless received a state funeral.
Appearance in fiction
The lead character in the novel Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz, also named Marcus Vinicius, is the fictional son of the historical Marcus Vinicius.
Syme, Ronald (1939). The Roman Revolution. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Vogel-Weidemann, Ursula (1982). Die Statthalter von Africa und Asia in den Jahren 14-68 n. Chr.: Eine Untersuchung zum Verhältnis Princeps und Senat. Bonn: Habelt.