13. C. Claudius
Marcellus, M. F. M. N., uncle of the two preceding, and father of the consul in B. C. 50.
He is called by the Pseudo-Asconius (ad Verr.
p. 206) great-grandson (pronepos
) of the conqueror of Syracuse [No. 4]; but as has been pointed out by Wesseling and Drumann, this is impossible on chronological grounds, and he must have been a grandson of No. 8, and therefore abnepos
of No. 4.
He was praetor apparently in B. C. 80, and afterwards succeeded M. Aemilius Lepidus in the government of Sicily.
He found that province in a state of great distress and confusion from the exactions and oppressions of his predecessor; but by the mildness and justice of his administration, he restored it to such a flourishing state, that Cicero tells us he was looked upon by the Sicilians as the second saviour of their country. Statues were erected to him in almost every city of the island; and the festival of the Marcellea already instituted in honour of his progenitor [see No. 4] was now renewed in his favour. Throughout the speeches against Verres, Cicero dwells frequently upon the administration of Marcellus, as affording the most striking contrast to that of the accused.
By a singular accident, Marcellus himself was present on that occasion, as one of the judges of Verres. (Cic. Ver. 2.3
, 21, 3.16, 91, 4.40, 42, &c., Div. in Caecil.
He held the office of augur, in which Cicero was one of his colleagues, and is cited by him as one of those who regarded the whole science of augury as a merely political institution. (Cic. de Divin.
2.35, de Leg.
He lived to see his son elected consul for the year B. C. 50; and on that occasion Cicero wrote him a letter of congratulation ad Fam.
15.8), expressed in the most friendly terms. Elsewhere also the latter dwells in the strongest manner upon the respect and affection with which he had always regarded Marcellus (pro Sull.