7. A. TERENTIUS VARRO MURENA, was adopted by A. Terentius Varro, whose name he took, according to the custom in such cases. Drumann conjectures that he was the son of the consul, which seems probable.
In the civil wars he is said to have lost his property, and that C. Proculeius, a Roman eques, gave him a share of his own property. This Proculeius is called the brother of Varro, but, if we take the words of Horace literally (Carm.
2.2), Proculeius had more than one brother. Drumann conjectures that this Proculeius was a son of C. Licinius Murena, the brother of the consul, who had been adopted by one Proculeius.
This would make Proculeius the cousin of Varro.
It was common enough among the Romans to call cousins by the name of brothers (frater patruelis, and frater).
Murena was sent by Augustus, in B. C. 25, to attack the Salassi in the Alps: he reduced the people to obedience, sold the male prisoners for slaves, and the chief part of the territory was distributed among Praetorian soldiers, who founded the town of Augusta, now Aosta, in the province of Aosta, one of the eight divisions of the continental dominion of the king of Sardinia (D. C. 53.25
; Strab. p. 206, ed. Casaub.). Murena was named consul suffectus for B. C. 23. In B. C. 22 he was involved in the conspiracy of Fannius Caepio, and was condemned to death and executed, notwithstanding the intercession of Proculeius and Terentia, the sister of Murena. Dio Cassius (54.3), when speaking of the death of Murena, calls him Licinius Murena, though he had already (53.25) called him Terentius Varro. Such confusion is common enough with the Roman writers, when they are speaking of adopted persons. Horace (Hor. Carm. 2.10
) addresses Murena by the name of Licinius, and probably intended to give him some advice as to being more cautious in his speech and conduct.
The authorities for the Licinii Murenae are given by Drumann, Geschichte Rows,
vol. iv. p. 183, &c.