The Mausoleum of Lucius Munatius Plancus in Gaeta: a monument to political ability
The Mausoleum of Lucius Munatius Plancus on Mount Orlando, in Gaeta, is the tomb of a Roman man of huge military virtue and political ability, who lived between 90 and the end of the 1st century BC.
That was a crucial period for Rome’s history, during which Pompey and Caesar fought, the latter won and later was murdered by Republican plotters, the triumvirs fought against Caesar’s assassins, and Mark Antony against Octavian…
Lucius Munatius Plancus always found himself on the “right” side. First, he was with Julius Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon, and for that received honors and important positions (he was “praefectus Urbi” and proconsul of Gallia).
After Caesar’s assassination he sided with the Triumvirs, Mark Anthony being his greatest friend and protector. Plancus stayed with him only as long as was necessary to accept a few more important positions, but soon could see that Octavian was about to gain ground – and switched again, suggesting to the Senate that a triumphant Octavian should adopt the name “Augustus”.
Meanwhile, likely before 20 BC, Plancus even had a cylindrical mausoleum built in Gaeta for himself: a monument that to this day reminds us of his power and political ability.