14. L. ANTONIUS M. F. M. N., the younger brother of the preceding and of the triumvir, was tribune of the plebs in 44, and upon Caesar's death took an active part in supporting his brother's interests, especially by introducing an agrarian law to conciliate the people and Caesar's veteran troops.
He subsequently accompanied his brother into Gaul, and obtained the consulship for 41, in which year he triumphed on account of some successes he had gained over the Alpine tribes. During his consulship a dispute arose between him and Caesar about the division of the lands among the veterans, which finally led to a war between them, commonly called the Perusinian war. Lucius engaged in this war chiefly at the instigation of Fulvia, his brother's wife, who had great political influence at Rome.
At first, Lucius obtained possession of Rome during the absence of Caesar; but on the approach of the latter, he retired northwards to Perusia, whore he was straightway closely besieged. Famine compelled him to surrender the town to Caesar in the following year (40). His life was spared, and he was shortly afterwards appointed by Caesar to the command of Iberia, from which time we hear no more of him.
L. Antonius took the surname of Pietas (D. C. 48.5
), because he pretended to attack Caesar in order to support his brother's interests.
It is true, that when he obtained possession of Rome in his consulship, he proposed the abolition of the triumvirate; but this does not prove, as some modern writers would have it, that he was opposed to his brother's interests. Cicero draws a frightful picture of Lucius' character.
He calls him a gladiator and a robber, and heaps upon him every term of reproach and contempt. (Phil.
3.12, 5.7, 11, 12.8, &c.) Much of this is of course exaggeration. (Orelli's Onomast.;
Drumann's Gesch Roms,
i. p. 527, &c.)
The annexed coin of L. Antonius represents also the head of his brother, M. Antonius, the triumvir, with the inscription : M. ANT. IM(P). AVG. IIIVIR. R. P. C. M. NERVA. PROQ. P.