Rufio was the son of a freedman and came in 48 BC as a member of Caesar's army to Egypt. After Caesar had intervened in the Ptolemaic struggle for the throne between the siblings Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII and won the Alexandrian war against the party of Ptolemy XIII (January 47 BC) he stationed three legions in Egypt to safeguard his victory. These troops of the 27th, 37th, and 39th legion served to protect but also keep in check the rule of Cleopatra, who had become Caesar's mistress and now reigned as allied queen.
Contrary to tradition Caesar did not appoint a senator as supreme commander of the Roman occupying army but his reliable officer Rufio. The main reason for this nomination was that Caesar feared that an influential senator, left behind in Egypt as commander-in-chief, could use the economically strong and strategically important land on the Nile as a base to make a bid for power, whereas Rufio had too low a rank and did not possess the necessary connections. Caesar also seems to have considered his officer very trustworthy because Suetonius calls Rufio a lover (exoletus) of Caesar (but probably not in a sexual sense).
- Rufio appears in The Hidden Ones, an expansion for the 2017 video game Assassin's Creed Origins. He serves as the main antagonist and as a member of the fictitious Order of the Ancients.
- Rufio appears in the 1999 two-part miniseries Cleopatra (miniseries), in which he was portrayed by John Bowe.
- Rufio also appears in the 1963 film Cleopatra, in which he was portrayed by Martin Landau.
- In the 1945 film Caesar and Cleopatra directed by Gabriel Pascal and based on the play by George Bernard Shaw, Rufio is played by Basil Sidney.
- Michael Grant: Cleopatra, 1972, Rev. ed. 1974, German Bergisch Gladbach 1998, ISBN 3-404-61416-X, pp. 113–114; 116–117.
- Friedrich Münzer: Rufio 3. In: Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft, vol. I A,1, Stuttgart 1914, col. 1198.
- Christoph Schäfer: Kleopatra, Darmstadt 2006, ISBN 3-534-15418-5, pp. 80–81 with note 105.