11. L. Valerius
Flaccus, probably a son of No. 10, and the father of L. Valerius Flaccus, whom Cicero defended. [See No. 15.] When he was curule aedile, the tribune, Decianus, brought an accusation against him. In B. C. 100 he was the colleague of C. Marius, in his sixth consulship. During the disturbances of L. Appuleius Saturninus, the consuls were ordered by the senate to avail themselves of the assistance of the tribunes and praetors, for the purpose of maintaining the dignity of the republic.
In consequence of this, Valerius Flaccus put to death Saturninus, Glaucia, and others of the revolutionary party. Four years after these occurrences, B. C. 97, he was censor with M. Antonius, the orator. In B. C. 86, when Marius had died, in his seventh consulship, L. Valerius Flaccus was chosen by Cinna as his colleague, in the place of Marius, and received the commission to go into Asia, to resist Sulla, and to bring the war against Mithridates to a close.
He was accompanied on this expedition by C. Flavius Fimbria. Flaccus was avaricious, and very cruel in his punishments, whence he was so unpopular with the soldiers, that many of them deserted to Sulla, and the rest were kept together only by the influence of Fimbria, who, taking advantage of the state of affairs, played the part of an indulgent commander, and won the favour of the soldiers. While yet at Byzantium, Fimbria had a quarrel with the quaestor, and the consul, Flaccus, being chosen as arbiter, decided in favour of the quaestor. Fimbria was so indignant, that he threatened to return to Rome, whereupon Flaccus dismissed him from his service. While the latter was sailing to Chalcedon, Fimbria, who had remained at Byzantium, created a mutiny among the soldiers; Flaccus, on being informed of it, hastily returned to chastise the offender, but was compelled to take to flight.
He reached Nicomedeia, and shut the gates against his pursuer, but Fimbria had him dragged forth, and murdered him : his head was thrown into the sea, and his body was left unburied. Most authorities place the murder of Flaccus in the year of his consulship, B. C. 86, but Velleius (2.23, 24) places it a year later.
At the beginning of his consulship, Flaccus had carried a law, by which it was decreed that debts should be cancelled, and only a quadrans be paid to the creditors, and his violent death was regarded as a just punishment for his iniquitous law. (Liv. Epil.
82; Appian, App. Mith. 8.51
, &c., Bell. Civ.
1.75 ; Plut. Sull. 33
; Oros. 6.2
; Cic. pro Flacc.
23, 25, 32, pro Rabir. perd.
7, 10, in Cat.
62; V. Max. 2.9.5
; Dio Cass. Fragm. Peir.
No. 127, p. 51, ed. Reimar.)
It was probably this Valerius Flaccus who levied the legions which were called, after him, Valerianae,
and which are mentioned in the war of Lucullus against Mithridates. (Liv. Epit. 98
; D. C. 35.14
; Sail. Hist.