Sex.Julius Frontinus, author of the famous work on the aquaducts of Rome, was, we may infer from his praetorship in 70, born around the year 35.
After holding the prestigious praetorship of the City he became consulsuffectus in 73. In the following year he was dispatched as Legatus Aug.pro praetore to the province of Britain where he subdued the Silures, a powerful and – from a Roman point of view – warlike tribe of Wales. In 78 he returned to Rome and may have written his lost treatise on ‘The art of war’ soon hereafter.
As proconsul of Asia he governed this province in 82/83 (according to W.Eck 86/87). After his return to Rome he may have started to write his ‘Strategemata’ (according to Gundermann he wrote this work between the years 84 and 96.)
At some time in the early eighties he was coopted into the college of Augurs which greatly enhanced his status and political influence.
In 97 he was appointed to the post of water commissioner (Curator Aquarum), the office whose management gives him probably his best title to eminence, and during the tenure of this he wrote ‘De aquis urbis Romae’’, his famous work on the aquaducts of Rome. He proved himself to be a faithful civil servant with a sharp eye to the public service and a frugal use of the public funds.
On February 20th, A.D. 98 he was given the honour of the suffectconsulship as colleague to the Emperor Traianus as consul II, replacing Domitianus, and the extraordinary honour of consul ordinarius III in A.D.100, again with Traianus as his colleague. Frontinus passed away in 104 and was succeeded in his Augurate by Pliny Minor.
Sex.Julius Frontinus was the father of Julia Frontina, married to Q.Sosius Senecio, consul II, in 107; grandfather of Sosia Polla, married to Pompeius Falco, consul 108; great-grandfather of Q.Pompeius Sosius Priscus, consul 149; great-great-grandfather of Pompeia Sosia Falconilla, married to M.Pontius Laelianus, consul ord. 163, and of Q.Pompeius Senecio Priscus, consul 169, married to Ceionia Fabia, daughter of L.Ceionius Commodus = L.Aelius Caesar.
See. Plin.ep.4.8, 3 (augur, pr.urb., d. 103/4); 5.1,5; 9.19,1; Plin.Pan.61/62,2 (electus a senatu); Tac.hist.4.39, 2; Agr.17 (in Britain.)
Frontinus’ ‘Strategemata’, 4.3,14 (war against Julius Civilis in Gallia)
Ditto 1.102 (cur. Aq.); Martial.10.48, 20,58 (cossuff.98)
See also R.Syme in Gnomon 29 (1957) p.518 sq.; Tacitus p. 642, 657, 790
According to W. Eck and Pangerl in Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 2003, Frontinus has been also Legatus legionis in Germania inferior.
This based on the finding near Oppenheim in Germany of an inscription dedicated by Julia Frontina, presumably the daughter of Julius Frontinus, and a second inscription found near Vetera Castra (Xanthen) is dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva in recognition of the recovery from illness of Sextus Julius Frontinus, and there is also a lead pipe, said to have been found near the modern Via Tiburtina (Leading from Rome to Tibur (Tivoli), inscribed SEXT. IULI FRONTINI.