4. L. Lucceius
, Q. F. the historian, was an old friend and neighbour of Cicero. His name frequently occurs at the commencement of Cicero's correspondence with Atticus, with whom Lucceius had quarrelled for some reason or another. Cicero attempted to reunite his two friends, but Lucceius was so angry with Atticus that he would not listen to any overtures.
It appears that M. Sallustius was in some way or other involved in the quarrel. (Cic. ad Aft.
1.3.3, 5.5, 10.2, 11.1, 14.7)
In B. C. 63 Lucceius accused Catiline, after the latter had failed in his application for the consulship.
The speeches which he delivered against Catiline, were extant in the time of Asconius, who characterises Lucceius as an orator, paractus eruditusque
(Ascon. in Tog. Cand.
pp. 92, 93, ed. Orelli). In B. C. 60 he became a candidate for the consulship, along with Julius Caesar, who agreed to support him in his canvass, on the understanding that Lucceius, who was very wealthy, should promise money to the electors in their mutual names; but he lost his election in consequence of the aristocracy using every effort to bring in Bibulus, as a counterpoise to Caesar's influence (Suet. Jul. 19
; Cic. Att. 1.17.11
). Lucceius seems now to have withdra wn from public life and to have devoted himself to literature.
He was chiefly engaged in the composition of a contemporaneous history of Rome, commencing with the Social or Marsic war. In B. C. 55 he hold nearly finished the history of the Social and of the first Civil war, when Cicero, whose impatience to have his own deeds celebrated would not allow him to wait till Lucceius arrived at the history of his consulship, wrote a most urgent and elaborate letter to his friend, pressing him to suspend the thread of his history, and to devote a separate work to the period from Catiline's conspiracy to Cicero's recall from banishment.
In this letter (ad Fam.
5.12), which Cicero himself calls valde bella
4.6.4), and which is one of the most extraordinary in the whole of his correspondence, he does not hesitate to ask Lucceius, on account of his friendship and love for him, to say more in his favour than truth would warrant (plusculum etiam, quam conceded veritas, larfiare
), and to speak in higher terms of the events than he might perhaps think they deserved (ut ornes vehementius etiam quam fortasse sentis
); and he concludes by remarking that if Lucceius refuses him his request, he shall be obliged to write the history himself. Lucceius promised compliance with his request, and the book which Cicero sent to Lucceius by means of Atticus, shortly afterwards, probably contained materials for the work (Cic. Att. 4.11.2
It was about this time that Cicero, anxious to conciliate Lucceius in every possible way, spoke of him in public in his oration for Caelius as sanctissimus homo atque integerrinmus, as ille vir, illa humanitate praeditus, illis studiies, illis artibus atque doctrina
(cc. 21, 22); but it would seem that Lucceius never produced the much-wished-for work.
In B. C. 55 Lucceius went to Sardinia (Cic. ad Qu. Fr.
2.6.2); and on the breaking out of the civil war in B. C. 49, he espoused the side of Pompey, with whom he had long lived on terms of intimacy: Pompey was in the habit of consulting him during the course of the war on all important matters (Caes. Civ. 3.18
; Cic. Att. 9.1.3
). Lucceius was subsequently pardoned by Caesar and returned to Rome, where he continued to live on friendly terms with Cicero; and when the latter lost his beloved daughter Tullia in B. C. 45, Lucceius sent him a letter of condolence (Cic. Fam. 5.13
He probably died soon afterwards, as his name does not appear again in Cicero's correspondence.