14. L. Manlius
Torquatus, L. F., was consul B. C. 65 with L. Aurelius Cotta. Torquatus and Cotta obtained the consulship in consequence of the condemnation, on account of bribery, of P. Cornelius Sulla and P. Autronius Paetus, who had been already elected consuls.
It is stated by Dio Cassius (36.27) that Cotta and his colleague accused the consuls elect; but it appears from Cicero (de Fin.
2.19, pro Sull. 17, 18
) that this is a mistake, and that it was the younger Torquatus [No. 15] who brought the accusation against Sulla and Paetus. Before Torquatus and Cotta entered upon the consulship, the first Catilinarian conspiracy, as it is called, was formed, in which Sulla and Paetus are said to have united with Catiline for the purpose of assassinating the consuls on the 1st of January.
This conspiracy, however, failed.
At this time and during his consulship Torquatus was in close connection with Hortensius, and he did not consult Cicero on any matters, although the latter was then praetor, and was very intimate with the younger Torquatus. (Cic. pro Sull. 4.
) Notwithstanding this attempt upon his life, Torquatus defended Catiline in the course of the same year when he was accused of extortion (de repetundis
) in his province.
After his consulship Torquatus obtained the province of Macedonia, where he performed some exploits; in consequence of which the senate, upon the motion of Cicero, conferred upon him the title of imperator. During Cicero's consulship, B. C. 63, he took an active part in suppressing the Catilinarian conspiracy, although he was then out of health.
He also supported Cicero, when he was banished in B. C. 58, and interceded in vain on his behalf with the consul Piso.
He is not mentioned again, and probably died soon afterwards. Cicero speaks of him (Brut. 68
) as "elegans in dicendo, in existimando admodum prudens, toto genere perurbanus ;" and as he belonged to the aristocratical party, the orator praises his gravitas, sanctitas,
(D. C. 36.27
; Sall. Cat. 18 ;
Liv. Epit. 101 ;
Cic. de Div.
1.12, de Leg. Agr.
2.17, pro Sull. 4,
10, 12, 29, ad Att.
12.21, in Pison. 19, 20, 31.