24. CN. CORNELIUS LENTULUS CLODIANUS (Cic. Att. 1.19.2
; Gel. 18.4
), a Claudius adopted into the Lentulus family -- perhaps by No. 15.
He was consul in B. C. 72, with L. Gellius. They brought forward several important laws; one, that all who had been presented with the freedom of the city by Pompey (after the Sertorian war) should be Roman citizens (Cic. pro Balb.
8, 14; see Vol. I. p. 456); another, that persons absent in the provinces should not be indictable for capital offences.
This was intended to protect Sthenius of Thermae in Sicily against the machinations of Verres; and by the influence of this person it was frustrated. (Cic. in Verr.
2.34, 39, &c.) Lentulus also passed a law to exact payment from those who had received grants of public land from Sulla. (Sall. apud Gell.
In the war with Spartacus both he and his colleague were defeated-but after their consulship. (Liv. Epit. 96; Plut. Crass. 9
With the same colleague he held the censorship in B. C. 70, and ejected 64 members from the senate for infamous life, among whom were Lentulus Sura [See No. 18] and C. Antonius, afterwards Cicero's colleague in the consulship. Yet the majority of those expelled were acquitted by the courts, and restored (Cic. pro Cluent. 42, in Verr. 5.7, pro Flacc.
19; Gel. 5.6
; V. Max. 5.9.1
.) They held a lustrum, in which the number of citizens was returned at 450,000 (Liv. Epit. 98
; Ascon. ad Verr. Act.
1.18; comp. Plut. Pomp. 22
The same officers served as Pompey's legates against the pirates in B. C. 67, 66; and Lentulus supported the Manilian law, appointing Pompey to the command against Mithridates. (Appian, App. Mith. 95
; Cic. pro Leg. Manil.
As an orator, he concealed his want of talent by great skill and art, and by a good voice. (Cic. Brut. 66