Potillius Cerealis (1st century) was a Roman general, a near relative of the emperor Vespasian. He is first heard of during the reign of Nero in Britain, where he was completely defeated (AD 61) by Boadicea.

Eight years later he played an important part in the capture of Rome by the supporters of Vespasian. In 70 he put down the revolt of Civilis. In 71, as governor of Britain, where he had as a subordinate the famous Agricola, he inflicted severe defeats upon the Brigantes, the most powerful of the tribes of Britain.

Tacitus says that he was a bold soldier rather than a careful general, and preferred to stake everything on the issue of a single engagement. He possessed natural eloquence of a kind that readily appealed to his soldiers. His loyalty towards his superiors was unshakable.

Tacitus, Annals, xiv. 32; Histories, iii. 59, 78, iv. 71, 75, 86, V.21 Agricola, 8, 17.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.