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Lutatius Catulus

Quintus Lutatius Catulus

For the Roman poet, see Catullus
Quintus Lutatius Catulus (Latin: Q·LVTATIVS·Q·F·CATVLVS) was a Roman general of the gens Lutatia and was a consul with Gaius Marius in 102 BC.

As general

In the war against the Cimbri and Teutones he was sent to defend the passage of the Alps but found himself compelled to retreat across the Po River, his troops having been reduced to a state of panic. But the Cimbri were defeated on the Raudine plain, near Vercellae, by the united armies of Catulus and Marius.

When the chief honour for victory over the Cimbri was given to Marius, Catulus became his bitter opponent. He sided with Lucius Cornelius Sulla in the civil war, was included in the proscription list of 87, and when Marius declined to pardon him, committed suicide.

As author

He was distinguished as an orator, poet and prose writer, and was well versed in Greek literature. He is said to have written the history of his consulship and the Cimbrian War after the manner of Xenophon; two epigrams by him have been preserved, one on Quintus Roscius the celebrated actor (Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Nat. Deorum, I. 28), the other of an erotic character, imitated from Callimachus (Aulus Gellius xix. 9).

As builder

Catulus was a man of great wealth, which he spent in beautifying Rome. Two buildings were known as "Monumenta Catuli": the temple of Fortuna Huiusce Diei, to commemorate the day of Vercellae, and the Porticus Catuli, built from the sale of the Cimbrian spoils.

Marriage and issue

He married Servilia and their son, Quintus Lutatius Catulus, figured prominently in Roman politics as a consul and censor near the end of the Republic.

Catulus Caesar

Unconfirmed information refers to him as Quintus Lutatius Catulus Caesar, son of Sextus Julius Caesar III. If this myth was true he would be the great uncle of Mark Antony and the second cousin of the dictator Gaius Julius Caesar. Staying with this myth, his granddaughter Hortensia and her husband Marcus Servilius Caepio together would be related by blood to the Julii Caesars, Livii Drusi, Aemilii Lepidi, Servilii Caepii, Porcii Catones, Marii, Junii Bruti, and several others.



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