L. Calpurnius Bibulus or M. Bibulus
1. L. Calpurnius
Bibulus, obtained each of the public magistracies in the same year as C. Julius Caesar.
He was curule aedile in B. C. 65,
praetor in 62, and consul in 59. Caesar was anxious to obtain L. Lucceius for his colleague in the consulship; but as Lucceius was a thorough partizan of Caesar's, while Bibulus was opposed to him, the aristocratical party used every effort to secure the election of the latter, and contributed large sums of money for this purpose. (Suet. Jul. 19
.) Bibulus, accordingly, gained his election, but was able to do but very little for his party.
After an ineffectual attempt to oppose Caesar's agrarian law, he withdrew from the popular assemblies altogether, and shut himself up in his own house for the remainder of the year; whence it was said in joke, that it was the consulship of Julius and Caesar.
He confined his opposition to publishing edicts against Caesar's measures: these were widely circulated among his party, and greatly extolled as pieces of composition. (Suet. Jul. 9
. 49; Cic. Att. 2.19
; Plut. Pomp. 48
; comp. Cic. Brut. 77
.) To vitiate Caesar's measures, he also pretended, that he was observing the skies, while his colleague was engaged in the comitia (Cic. pro Dom.
15); but such kind of opposition was not likely to have any effect upon Caesar.
On the expiration of his consulship, Bibulus remained at Rome, as no province had been assigned him. Here he continued to oppose the measures of Caesar and Pompey, and prevented the latter in 56 from restoring in person Ptolemy Auletes to Egypt. When, however, a coolness began to arise between Caesar and Pompey, Bibulus supported the latter, and it was upon his proposal, that Pompey was elected sole consul in 52, when the republic was almost in a state of anarchy through the tumults following the death of Clodius.
In the following year, 51, Bibulus obtained a province in consequence of a law of Pompey's, which provided that no future consul or praetor should have a province till five years after the expiration of his magistracy.
As the magistrates for the time being were thus excluded, it was provided that all men of consular or praetorian rank who had not held provinces, should now draw lots for the vacant ones.
In consequence of this measure Bibulus went to Syria as proconsul about the same time as Cicero went to Cilicia.
The eastern provinces of the Roman empire were then in the greatest alarm, as the Parthians had crossed the Euphrates, but they were driven back shortly before the arrival of Bibulus by C. Cassius, the proquaestor. Cicero was very jealous of this victory which had been gained in a neighboring province, and took good care to let his friends know that Bibulus had no share in it. When Bibulus obtained a thanksgiving of twenty days in consequence of the victory, Cicero complained bitterly, to his friends, that Bibulus had made false representations to the senate. Although great fears were entertained, that the invasion would be repeated, the Parthians did not appear for the next year. Bibulus left the province with the reputation of having administered its internal affairs with integrity and zeal.
On his return to the west in 49, Bibulus was appointed by Pompey commander of his fleet in the Ionian sea to prevent Caesar from crossing over into Greece. Caesar, however, contrived to elude his vigilance; and Bibulus fell in with only thirty ships returning to Italy after landing some troops. Enraged at his disappointment, he burnt these ships with their crews.
This was in the winter; and his own men suffered much from cold and want of fuel and water, as Caesar was now in possession of the eastern coast and prevented his crews from landing. Sickness broke out among his men; Bibulus himself fell ill, and died in the beginning of the year 48, near Corcyra, before the battle of Dyrrhachium. (Caes. Civ. 3.5
; D. C. 41.48
; Plut. Brut. 13
; Oros. 6.15
;; Cic. Brut. 77.
Bibulus was not a man of much ability, and is chiefly indebted for his celebrity to the fact of his being one of Caesar's principal, though not most formidable, opponents.
He married Porcia, the daughter of M. Porcius Cato Uticensis, by whom he had three sons mentioned below. (Orelli, Onomast. Tull.
p. 119, &c.; Drumann's Gesch. Roms,
ii. p. 97,