2. L. Licinius
Lucullus, the grandfather of Lucullus, the conqueror of Mithridates, and the first of the family who attained to distinction (Plut. Luc. 1
; Cic. Acad. pr.
2.45), was probably a son of the preceding.
He was elected consul for the year B. C. 151, together with A. Postumius Albinus, and was appointed to succeed M. Marcellus in the command in Spain.
The war which was then going on in that country against the Celtiberians appears to have been unpopular at Rome, so that some difficulty was found in raising the necessary levies; and the severity with which these were enforced by Lucullus and his colleague, irritated the people and the tribunes to such a degree, that the latter went so far as to arrest both consuls, and to cast them into prison.
These dissensions were at length terminated by the intervention of the young Scipio Aemilianus, who volunteered his services, and succeeded in reviving the military ardour of the populace. (Plb. 35.3
; Liv. Epit.
xlviii; Appian, App. Hisp. 49
; Oros. 4.21
But before the arrival of Lucullus in Spain, the war with the Celtiberians had been completely terminated by Marcellus, and all tribes previously in arms had submitted.
The new consul, however, greedy both of glory and plunder, and finding himself disappointed of his expected foes, now turned his arms against the Vaccaeans, a tribe who had hitherto had no relations with the Romans, and proceeded to cross the Tagus and invade their territories, without any authority from the senate. His first attacks were directed against the city of Cauca, which was readily induced to submit, on terms of capitulation; but these were shamefully violated by Lucullus, who had no sooner made himself master of the town than he caused all the inhabitants to be put to the sword, to the number of near 20,000. Front hence he advanced into the heart of the country, crossed the Douro, and laid siege to Intercatia, a strong city which for a long time defied his arms, but was at length induced to submit on favourable terms, the inviolability of which was guaranteed to them by Scipio.
A subsequent attack upon Pallantia was wholly unsuccessful; and Lucullus, after suffering severely from hunger, and being hard pressed by the enemy, was compelled to recross the Douro, and take up his winter-quarters in the south of Spain.
But notwithstanding this ignominious termination of a war as unwarranted by authority from Rome as it was unjust in itself, no notice was taken of the proceedings of Lucullus, who coninued in Spain, with the rank of proconsul. (Appian, App. Hisp. 50
; Liv. Epit.
xlviii; Plin. Nat. 10.30.48
After wintering in Turdetania, in he spring of 150, lie invaded the country of the Lusitanians, at the same time with Ser. Galba ; and, according to Appian, shared with the latter in the guilt of the atrocious acts of perfidy and cruelty by which he disgraced the Roman name. [GALBA, No. 6.] But, more fortunate than his colleague, he escaped even the hazard of a trial on his return to Rome. (Appian, App. Hisp. 55
The war against the Vaccaeans, though prompted chiefly by the avarice of Lucullus, had brought him but little booty; but he appears to have, by some means or other, amassed great wealth during the period of his government, a part of which he devoted to the construction of a temple of Good Fortune (Felicitas).
It is a very characteristic trait, that having borrowed from L. Mummius some of the statues which the latter had brought from Corinth, to adorn this temple for the ceremony of its dedication, he afterwards refused to restore them, under the plea that they were now consecrated to the goddess. (Dio Cass. fragm.
81 ; Strab. viii. p.381