3. T. Munatius
Plancus Bursa, brother of No. 2, was tribune of the plebs B. C. 52, when in connection with his colleagues C. Sallustius and Q. Pompeius Rufus, he supported the views of Pompeius Magnus.
The latter had set his heart upon the dictatorship, and, in order to obtain this honour, he was anxious that the state of anarchy and confusion in which Rome was plunged, should be continued, since all parties would thus be ready to submit to his supremacy as the only way of restoring peace and order. Plancus therefore did every thing in his power to increase the anarchy: on the death of Clodius, he roused the passions of the mob by exposing to public view the corpse of their favourite, and he was thus the chief promoter of the riot which ensued at the funeral, and in which the Curia IIostilia was burnt to the ground. His attacks upon Milo were most vehement, and he dragged him before the popular assembly to give an account of his murder of Clodius.
By means of these riots Pompey attained, to a grent extent, his end; for although he failed in being appointed dictator, he was made consul without a colleague.
The law De Vi,
which he proposed in his consulship, and which was intended to deliver him from Milo and his other enemies, was strongly supported by Plancus and Sallustius, who also attempted by threats to deter Cicero from defending Milo.
But when Pompey had attained his object, he willingly sacrificed his instruments.
At the close of the year, as soon as his tribunate had expired, Plancus was accused of the part he had taken in burning the Curia Hostilia, under the very law De Vi,
in the enactment of which he had taken so active a part.
The accusation was conducted by Cicero, and as Plancus received only lukewarm support from Pompey, he was condemned. Cicero was delighted with his victory, and wrote to his friend M. Marius (ad Fam.
7.2) in extravagant spirits, stating that the condemnation of Plancus had given him greater pleasure than the death of Clodius.
It would appear from this letter that Cicero had on some previous occasion defended Plancus.
After his condemnation Plancus repaired to Ravenna in Cisalpine Gaul, where he was kindly received by Caesar. Soon after the beginning of the civil war he was restored to his civic rights by Caesar; and from that time he continued to reside at Rome, taking no part apparently in the civil war; and the only thing by which he showed his gratitude to the dictator, was by fighting as a gladiator, together with several other citizens, on the occasion of Caesar's triumph after his return from Spain, B. C. 45. After Caesar's death Plancus fought on Antony's side in the campaign of Mutina, but he was unsuccessful; he was driven out of Pollentia by Pontius Aquila, the legate of D. Brutus, and in his flight broke his leg. (D. C. 40.49
; Plut. Pomp. 55
48; Ascon. in Cic. Mil.
p. 32, &c., ed. Orelli; Cic. Att. 6.1.10
, ad Fam.
6.4, 10.10, 11.6, 12.8, 13.12.)