8. M. Claudius
Marcellus, M. F. M. N., son of No. 5, conspicuous for his three consulships.
He succeeded his father as pontifex in B. C. 177, though he had not then held any of the higher offices of the state. (Liv. 41.13
) In 169 he was appointed praetor, and Spain assigned him for his province. (Id. 43.11, 15.) Three years later he obtained his first consulship, B. . 166, which was marked by a victory over the Alpine tribes of the Gauls, for which he was honoured with a triumph. (Liv. 45.44
, Epi.t. xlvi.; Fast. Capit.) His second consulship, in B. C. 155, was, in like manner, distinguished by a triumph over the Ligurians (Fast. Capit.); but we know nothing farther of his exploits on either of these occasions. In B. C. 152 he was a third time raised to the consulship, together with L. Valerius Flaccus, and appointed to conduct the war in Spain. Here he obtained some successes over the Celtiberians; and having added to the impression thus produced by the clemency with which lie treated the vanquished, he induced all the tribes at that time in arms to give hostages, and send ambassadors to Rome to sue for peace; but his conduct was attributed to indolence or timidity: the senate refused to ratify the proposed terms, and appointed L. Lucullus, one of the new consuls, to succeed Marcellus, and continue the war. Meanwhile, Marcellus, after an expedition against the Lusitanians, in which he had reduced the strong town of Nergobriga, had returned to winter at Corduba; but on learning the resolution of the senate, he suddenly broke up his winter-quarters, and marched into the country of the Celtiberians; whereupon all those tribes who had been previously in arms hastened to submit at discretion; a result previously concerted, as it was suspected, with the consul himself, who admitted then to favourable terms, while he had the satisfaction of handing over the province to his successor in a state of perfect tranquillity. (Appian, App. Hisp. 48
; Plb. 35.2
; Liv. Epit.
xlviii.; Eutrop. 4.9
The administration of Marcellus in Spain was farther distinguished by the foundation of the important colony of Corduba. (Strab. iii. p.141
.) In 148 he was sent ambassador to Masinissa, king of Numidia, but was shipwrecked on the voyage, and perished. (Liv. Epit. L.;
Cic. in Pisoi.
19, de Divin.
It is recorded of this Marceilus that he commemorated, by an inscription in the temple of Honour and Virtue, consecrated by his father, the circumstance that his grandfather, his father, and himself, had enjoyed between them no less than nine consulships, an instance unparallled in the history of Rome. (Ascon. ad Cic. Pison.
p. 12, ed. Orell.)