Bolanus served in Anatolia under Corbulo in 62. He became governor of Britain in 69 in the midst of the Year of four emperors, appointed by the short-lived emperor Vitellius. His predecessor, Marcus Trebellius Maximus, had been undermined and forced to flee by a mutiny led by Marcus Roscius Coelius, commander of Legio XX Valeria Victrix. Bolanus was joined by Legio XIV Gemina, which had been withdrawn from Britain in 67 and was still loyal to Vitellius's defeated opponent, Otho.
Bolanus had to face the second insurrection of Venutius amongst the Brigantes. Cartimandua, Venutius's ex-wife and queen of the Brigantes, had been a loyal client ruler for twenty years, and the Romans had defended her against an earlier revolt by her ex-husband. On this occasion, however, Bolanus was only able to send auxiliaries. Cartimandua was evacuated, leaving the kingdom to Venutius.
By the end of 69, Vespasian had established himself as emperor and set about restoring control. The XIVth Gemina was withdrawn again in 70 to help put down unrest on the lower Rhine, and Roscius Coelius was replaced as commander of XX Valeria Victrix by Gnaeus Julius Agricola. Bolanus remained as governor until 71. The poet Statius speaks of him establishing forts and capturing trophies from a British king, which suggests that he was able to reconquer some of the territory lost in the revolt. He was succeeded by Quintus Petillius Cerialis.
- Paul A. Gallivan, "Some Comments on the Fasti for the Reign of Nero", Classical Quarterly, 24 (1974), pp. 292, 310
- Werner Eck, "Jahres- und Provinzialfasten der senatorischen Statthalter von 69/70 bis 138/139", Chiron, 12 (1982), p. 296
Marcus Annius Afrinus,
and Gaius Paccius Africanus
as consules suffecti
| Suffect consul of the Roman Empire
with Marcus Arruntius Aquila
Lucius Julius Rufus,
and Fonteius Capito
as consules ordinarii
Marcus Trebellius Maximus
| Roman governors of Britain
Quintus Petillius Cerialis