Publius Rutilius Rufus (born 158 BC – died after 78 BC) was a Roman statesman, orator and historian of the Rutilius family, as well as great-uncle of Gaius Julius Caesar.
He started his military career in 134 BC, as a member of the staff of Scipio Africanus Minor during the Numantine War. Later on, Rufus was a legate of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus in the campaign against Jugurtha of Numidia of 109 BC, along with Gaius Marius. He distinguished himself in the battle of the Muthul, where he faced a charge by the foe Bomilcar and managed to capture or maim most of the Numidian war elephants. In 105 BC he was elected to the consulship as a senior partner of Gnaeus Mallius Maximus. His main achievements concerned the discipline of the army and the introduction of an improved system of drill. Subsequently, he served as legate to Quintus Mucius Scaevola, governor of Asia.
By assisting his superior in his efforts to protect the provincials from the extortions of the publicani, or farmers of taxes, Rufus incurred the hatred of the equestrian order, to which the publicani belonged.