7. L. Aurelius
Cotta, was consul in B. C. 119. and proposed in the senate that C. Marius, who was then tribune of the people, should be called to account for a law (lex Maria) which he had brought forward relative to the voting in the comitia, and which was levelled at the influence of the optimaes. Marius, who was summoned accordingly, appeared in the senate, but, instead of defending himself, threatened Cotta with imprisonment unless he withdrew his motion. L. Caecilius Metellus, the other consul, who supported Cotta, was really thrown into prison by the command of Marius, none of whose colleagues would listen to the appeal of the consul, so that the senate was compelled to yield. (Plut. Mar. 4
; Cic. de Leg.
3.17.) From Appian (App. Ill. 10
) it might seem as if Cotta had taken part with his colleague Metellus in the war against the Illyrians, but it may also be that Appian mentions his name only as the consul of that year, without wishing to suggest anything further.