the name of a family of the plebeian Caelia gens. The word caldus
is a shortened form of calidus,
and hence Cicero (de Inment.
2.9) says, " aliquem Caldum vocari, quod temerario et repentino consilio sit."
1. C. CAELIUS CALDUS, a contemporary of L. Crassus, the orator. No member of his family had yet obtained any of the great offices, but he succeeded in raising himself by his activity and eloquence, though his powers as an orator do not appear to have been very great.
After having endeavoured in vain to obtain the quaestorship (Cic. pro Planc.
21), he was elected in B. C. 107, tribune of the plebs. His tribuneship is remarkable for a lex tabellaria, which was directed against the legate C. Popillius, and which ordained that in the courts of justice the votes should be given by means of tablets in cases of high treason. Cicero (De Leg.
3.16) states, that Caldus regretted, throughout his life, having proposed this law, as it did injury to the republic. In B. C. 94, he was made consul, together with L. Domitius Ahenobarbus, in preference to a competitor of very high rank, though he himself was a novus homo : and after his consulship he obtained Spain as his province, as is usually inferred from coins of the gens Caelia which bear his name, the word His (pania
) and the figure of a boar, which Eckhel refers to the town of Clunia. (One of these coins is figured in the Dict. of Ant. s. v. Epulones.
) During the civil war between Marius and Sulla, B. C. 83, Caldus was a steady supporter of the Marian party, and in conjunction with Carrinas and Brutus, he endeavoured to prevent Pompey from leading his legions to Sulla.
But as the three did not act in unison, Pompey made an attack upon the army of Brutus and routed it, whereby the plan of Caldus was completely thwarted. (Cic. de Orat. 1.25
45, in Verr.
5.70, de Petit. Cons.
3, pro Muren.
8 ; J. Obsequens, 111; Ascon. Argum. in Cornel.
p. 57, ed. Orelli; Plut. Pomp. 7
; Cic. Att. 10.12
, de Orat.
2.64; ad Herenn.
2.13, though it is uncertain whether the Caelius mentioned in the last two passages is the same as C. Caelius Caldus or not; comp. Eckhel, v. p. 175.)