22. Cn. Cornelius
Lentulus Marcellinus, P. F., was a son of the preceding. (Dio Cass. Arg.
He is first mentioned as zealously supporting the cause of the Sicilians against Verres, while yet a young man, B. C. 70. (Cic. Div. in Caecil. 4, in Verr.
He next appears in B. C. 61, as supporting his kinsman, L. Lentulus Crus, in the accusation of Clodius, for violating the mysteries of the Bona Dea. (Schol. Bob. ad Cic. in Clod.
p. 336, ed. Orell.) In B. C. 59 he held the office of praetor, and presided at the trial of C. Antonius, the colleague of Cicero. (Cic. in Vatin.
11; Orell. Onom. Tall.
The following year he repaired to Syria, and administered that province for nearly two years, during which his time was principally taken up with repressing the predatory incursions of the neighboring Arabs. (Appian, App. Syr. 51
But he returned to Rome soon enough to sue for the consulship at the elections of the year 57, and was chosen for the ensuing year, together with L. Marcins Philippus.
Before the close of the same year also he took a prominent part in favour of Cicero, after the return of the latter from exile, and exerted himself zealously and successfully to procure the restoration of his house and property. (Cic. Att. 4.2
, ad Q. Fr.
2.1, de Har. resp.
1.7.) During the year of his consulship (B. C. 56), Marcellinus opposed a vigorous resistance to the factious violence of Clodius and of the tribune C. Cato; and by his conduct in this respect earned from Cicero the praise of being one of the best consuls he had ever seen. (Ad Q. Fr.
At the same time he endeavoured to check the ambition and restrain the power of Pompey, and at the very commencement of his magistracy succeeded in preventing his being sent to Egypt with an army to reinstate Ptolemy Auletes.
But not content with this, he was constantly inveighing against him and his ambition in his speeches both to the senate and people: and though the former generally were disposed to concur with him in these sentiments, it is probable that these attacks of Marcellinus contributed to induce Pompey to draw closer the bonds which united him to his brother triumnvirs, at the interview which took place this year at Lucca. (Cic. ad Fam.
1.1, 2, ad Q. Fr.
2.6; D. C. 39.16
.) We hear very little of Marcellinus after the expiration of his consulship; and the period of his death is wholly unknown. Cicero praises his eloquence, which displayed itself especially during the time that he was consul. (Brut.
He held the sacerdotal office of one of the Epulones. (Id. de Har. resp.