2. L. Gellius
Publicola, the son of the preceding by his first wife.
He was accused of committing incest with his step-mother, and of conspiring against his father's life; but although the latter was nearly convinced of his guilt, he allowed him to plead his cause before a large number of senators, and, in consequence of their opinion, declared him innocent (V. Max. 5.9.1
After the death of Caesar in B. C. 44, Gellius espoused the republican party, and went with M. Brutus to Asia. Here he was detected in plotting against the life of Brutus but was pardoned at the intercession of his brother, M. Valerius Messalla. Shortly afterwards he entered into a conspiracy to take away the life of Cassius, but again escaped unpunished, through the intercession of his mother Polla.
It would hence appear that Polla had been divorced from her first husband Gellius, and had subsequently married Messalla. Gellius, however, showed no gratitude for the leniency which had been shown him, but deserted to the triumvirs, Octavian and Antony; and while in their service he had coins struck, on which he appears with the title of Q. P.,
that is, Quaestor Propraetore
(Eckhel, vol. v. p. 223).
He was rewarded for his treachery by the consulship in B. C. 36.
In the war between Octavian and Antony, he espoused the side of the latter, and commanded the right wing of Antony's fleet at the battle of Actium.
As he is not mentioned again, he probably perished in the action. (D. C. 47.24
; Liv. Epit. 122
; D. C. 49.24
; Plut. Ant. 65
; Vell. 2.85