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6. M. Licinius Luctllus, L. F. L. N., son of No. 3, and own brother of No. 4, though Eutropius (6.7) erroneously calls him his cousin (consobrinus). He was adopted by M. Terentius Varro, and consequently bore the names of M. TERENTIUS VARRO LUCULLUS, M. F. 1, by which he appears in the Fasti. (Fast. Capit. ap. Gruter, p. 294. See also Orelli, Onom. Tull. vol. ii. p. 352, and Inscr. Lat. No. 570.) Hence Cicero, though he designates his consulship as that of M. Terentius and C. Cassius (in Verr. 1.23), elsewhere always calls him M. Lucullus. He was younger than L. Lucullus, though apparently not by much, as we find both brothers, who were united through life by the bonds of the most affectionate friendship, joining in the prosecution against the augur Servilius, with a view to avenge their father's memory, at which time Lucius was still very young. (Plut. Lucull. 1; Cic. Acad. pr. 2.1, de Prov. Cons. 9). The year of his quaestorship is unknown, but he appears to have held that office under Sulla, as he was afterwards brought to trial by C. Memmius for illegal acts committed by him in that capacity by the command of the latter (Plut. Luc. 37). the civil war which followed the return of Sulla to Italy, we find M. Lucullus employed by that general as one of his lieutenants, and in B. C. 82 he gained a brilliant victory over a detachment of the forces of Carbo, near the town of Fidentia (Plut. Sull. 27; Vell. 2.28; Appian, Civ. 1.92). In B. C. 79 he held the office of curule aedile, together with his brother Lucius (Plut. Luc. 1; see above, No. 4). Two years later (B. C. 77) he obtained the praetorship, in which he distinguished himself greatly by the impartiality with which he administered justice, and by his efforts to check the lawless habits which had grown up during the late civil wars (Cic. pro M. Tullio, ยง 8, ed. Orell.). In B. C. 73 he succeeded his brother in the consulship, with C. Cassius Varus as his colleague (Cic. pro Cluntio, 49; Fast. Capit.). The year of their joint administration was marked by a law for the distribution of corn among the lower classes, known as the Lex Terentia et Cassia (Cic. in Verr. 3.70, 5.21). Its precise provisions are, however, unknown.

He appears to have hastened before the expiration of his consulship to the province of Macedonia, which had fallen to his lot. He was probably desirous to emulate the successes of his brother, and Macedonia offered a ready field for distinction to a warlike governor, from the numerous tribes of hostile barbarians, who frequently infested its frontiers with their incursions. Against these Lucullus now directed his arms, defeated the Dardanians and Bessi in repeated actions, took their chief towns, and laid waste the whole country from Mount Haemus to the Danube, putting to the sword or mutilating in a cruel manner all the barbarians that fell into his hands. Nor did he spare the Greek cities on the Euxine : these had probably taken some part against Rome, as we learn that he captured in succession the cities of Apollonia, Callatia, Tomi, and Istrus, besides some others of minor note. On his return to Rome he was rewarded for these successes by the honour of a triumph, B. C. 71. Among the trophies with which this was adorned, the most conspicuous was a colossal statue of Apollo, 30 cubits in height, which he had brought from Apollonia, and subsequently erected in the capitol. (Eutrop. 6.7, 8, 10; Oros. 6.3; Flor. 3.5; Appian, App. Ill. 30; Liv. Epit. xcii.; Cic. in Pison. 19; Plin. Nat. 4.13.27, 34.6.18; Strab. vii. p.319.)

M. Lucullus was, as well as his brother, a strong supporter of the aristocratic party at Rome. It was probably to their influence that he was indebted for his appointment in B. C. 67, as one of the ten legates who were destined to settle the affairs of Pontus as a Roman province: a purpose which was defeated by the unfavourable change that had taken place in the affairs of that country. (Cic. Att. 13.6; Plut. Luc. 35.) On his return he was assailed by C. Memmius with the accusation already mentioned, which however, terminated in his acquittal (Plut. Ib. 37; Pseud. Ascon. ad Cic. Div. in Caecil. p. 109). From this time forth he bears a prominent place among the feaders of the aristocratic party or Optimates at Rome; thus we find him in B. C. 65, coming forward together with Hortensius, Catulus, Metellus Pius, and M. Lepidus, to bear testimony against the tribune C. Cornelius (Ascon. Arg. in Cic. p. Cornel. p. 60, ed. Orell.). Though opposed on this occasion to Cicero, In he was in general a warm friend and supporter of the great orator, whom he assisted with his counsels in the dangers of the Catilinarian conspiracy, when both he and his brother were among the first to urge the execution of the conspirators (Cic. Att. 12.21): and he is again mentioned as exerting his utmost endeavours both with Pompey and the consul L. Piso, to prevent the banishment of Cicero (Cic. in Pison. 31). After the return of the latter from his exile, Lucullus, both as one of the pontiffs, and afterwards in his place in the senate, supported him in his demand for the restitution of his house (Cic. pro Dom. 52, de Harusp. Resp. 6). After all these services both to himself and his party, we cannot wonder that Cicero should designate him as one of the " lights and ornaments of the republic" (de Prov. Cons. 9). How long he survived his brother-whose funeral oration he pronounced-is uncertain; the exact date of the death of either one or the other being nowhere recorded. But we learn from Cicero that he was still alive in B. C. 56; at the beginning of which year he took an active part in opposing the mission of Pompey to Egypt, and supporting the pretensions of Lentulus Spinther to that appointment (Cic. Fam. 1.1). He is again mentioned a few months later, as present at the debate in the senate concerning the consular provinces (Id. de Prov. Cons. 9), but we hear no more of him after this, and it seems probable that he did not long survive. It is certain at least that he died before the commencemnent of the civil war, B. C. 49. (Vell. 2.49 ; Plut. Luc. 43.)

We know very little of the character of M. Lucullus, except from the somewhat vague and general praises of Cicero, who appears disposed to place him on a level with his far more celebrated brother. The affectionate union which subsisted between the two through life, is undoubtedly a trait favourable to them both; but if we may judge from the account of the cruelties committed in his campaign against the Bessi, Marcus was far from possessing the mild and humane disposition of his elder brother. He is mentioned by Cicero as a speaker of considerable merit, though not deserving to be styled an orator (Brut. 62). He appears to have participated to some extent also in his brother's love of luxury and magnificence, though not to such a reprehensible excess. (Cic. Att. 1.18; Varr. de R. R. 3.3.10.)

The following persons were probably more or less closely connected with the distinguished family whose members have been above enumerated, but in what manner is unknown.

1 * Drumann says that he was called M. Terentius M. f. Licinianus Varro; but this, though it would be strictly according to analogy, is contrary to all the evidence we possess.

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hide References (12 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (12):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 1.1
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 12.21
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 13.6
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 1.18
    • Appian, Illyrian Wars, 5.30
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 34.6
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 4.13
    • Plutarch, Sulla, 27
    • Plutarch, Lucullus, 1
    • Plutarch, Lucullus, 35
    • Plutarch, Lucullus, 37
    • Plutarch, Lucullus, 43
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