previous next

Plancus


1.

T. Bursa, tribune of the commons in B.C. 52. He took part in the troubles excited by the death of Clodius, and, on the expiration of his office, was accused and condemned, notwithstanding the interest made by Pompey in his behalf.


2.

L. Munatius, a native of Tibur, was in early life a pupil of Cicero's, and obtained considerable eminence in the oratorical art. He afterward commanded a legion under Caesar in Gaul. On the assassination of that individual Plancus acted at first a very equivocal part, and frequently changed sides, attaching himself successively to each party according as it became powerful. Thus we find him, after the victory at Mutina, affecting the utmost zeal for the cause of Brutus and freedom; and subsequently, when he saw Antony reestablished in power, he went over to him with four legions which he had at the time under his command. He obtained upon this the consulship along with Lepidus, B.C. 42. Tired at last of Antony, he sided with Octavius, who received him with the utmost cordiality. It was Plancus who proposed in the Senate that the title of Augustus should be bestowed on Octavianus. The ancient writers reproach him with an absurd performance at the court of Cleopatra , in Alexandria, when he appeared on the public stage in the character of a sea-god, having his person painted green, and in a state of almost complete nudity, wearing a crown of reeds on his head, and with the tail of a fish attached to his body behind. Plancus, however, appears to have been a man of literary tastes, and we have an ode addressed to him by Horace on one occasion, when he had become suspected of disaffection by Augustus, and was meditating his departure from Italy (Ant.; Vell. Paterc. ii. 63; Horat. Carm. i. vii).


3.

Lucius, a friend of Iulius Caesar, under whom he served both in the Gallic and the Civil Wars. Caesar, shortly before his death, nominated him to the government of Transalpine Gaul for B.C. 44, with the exception of the Narbonese and Belgic portions of the province, and also to the consulship for 42, with D. Brutus as his colleague. After Caesar's death Plancus hastened into Gaul, and took possession of his province. Here he prepared at first to support the Senate against Antony; but when Lepidus joined Antony, and their united forces threatened to overwhelm Plancus, the latter was persuaded by Asinius Pollio to follow his example, and to unite with Antony and Lepidus. Plancus, during his government of Gaul, founded the colonies of Lugdunum and Raurica. He was consul in 42, according to the arrangement made by Caesar, and he subsequently followed Antony to Asia, where he remained for some years, and governed in succession the provinces of Asia and Syria. He deserted Antony in 32, shortly before the breaking out of the Civil War between the latter and Octavianus. He was favourably received by Octavianus, and continued to reside at Rome during the remainder of his life. It was on his proposal that Octavianus received the title of Augustus in 27; and the emperor conferred upon him the censorship in 22, with Paulus Aemilius Lepidus. Both the public and private life of Plancus were stained by numerous vices. One of Horace's odes ( Carm. i. 7) is addressed to him.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: