1. Defended by Cicero in an oration still extant, was descended from a respectable equestrian family at Atina, a praefectura not far from Arpinum in Latium. His father was a Roman eques, and one of the most important and influential farmers of the public revenue (publicani
); he served under M. Crassus, who was consul B. C. 97, and he subsequently earned the hatred of the aristocracy by the energy with which he pressed for a reduction of the sum which the publicani had agreed to pay for the taxes in Asia, and by the support which he gave in B. C. 59 to Julius Caesar, who granted the demands of the equites.
The younger Plancius, the subject of this notice, first served in Africa under the propraetor A. Torquatus, subsequently in B. C. 68 under the proconsul Q. Metellus in Crete, and next in B. C. 62. as military tribune in the army of C. Antonius in Macedonia. In B. C. 58 he was quaestor in the last-mentioned province under the propraetor L. Appuleits, and here he showed great kindness and attention to Cicero, when the latter came to Macedonia during his banishment in the course of this year. Plancius was tribune of the plebs in B. C. 56. In B. C. 55, in the second consulship of Pompey and Crassus, he became a candidate for the curule aedileship with A. Plotius, Q. Pedius, and M. Juventius Laterensis.
The elections were put off this year; but in the following year, B. C. 54, Plancius and Plotius were elected, and had consequently to serve as aediles for the remainder of the year.
But before they entered upon their office Juventius Laterensis, in conjunction with L. Cassius Longinus, accused Plancius of the crime of sodulitium,
or the bribery of the tribes by means of illegal associations, in accordance with the Lex Licinia, which had been proposed by the consul Licinius Crassus in the preceding year.
By this law the accuser had not only the power of choosing the president (quaesilor
) of the court that was to try the case, but also of selecting four tribes, from which the judices were to be taken, and one of which alone the accused had the privilege of rejecting.
The praetor C. Alfius Flavus was the quaesitor selected by Laterensis. Cicero defended Plancius, and obtained his acquittal.
He subsequently espoused the Pompeian party in the civil wars, and after Caesar had gained the supremacy lived in exile at Corcyra. While he was living there Cicero wrote to him two letters of condolence which have come down to us. (Cic. pro Planc.
passim, ad Q. Fr.
2.1.3, ad Att.
3.14, 22, ad Fam.
14.1, ad Q. Fr.
3.1.4, ad Fam.
4.14. 15, 6.20, 16.9.)