Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor
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- See Gaius Claudius Marcellus for other men of this name, or Gaius Claudius Marcellus Maior for his cousin, consul of 49 BC.
Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor (88 BC – May 40 BC) was a Roman senator and consul. He was a member of the distinguished Claudius family. He was a friend to Roman senator Cicero, and an early opponent of Julius Caesar.
Descent and family
He was a direct descendant of consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus. His father was also named Marcus, and his mother was named Junia.
Marcellus married in an arranged ceremony Octavia Minor, a great-niece of Julius Caesar and sister of Octavian. They had three children: two daughters, both named Claudia Marcella, and a son, Marcus, born in Rome.
Opposition to Julius Caesar
In 54 BC, Octavia's great-uncle Julius Caesar was said to be anxious for Octavia to divorce Marcellus so that she could marry Pompey, his rival and son-in-law who had just lost his wife Julia (Caesar's daughter, and thus Octavia's cousin once removed). However, Pompey apparently declined the proposal and Octavia's husband continued to oppose Julius Caesar, culminating in the crucial year of his consulship in 50 BC when he tried to recall Julius Caesar from his ten-year governorship in Gaul two years early, without his army, in an attempt to save the Roman Republic. Failing this, he called unsuccessfully upon Caesar to resign. He also obstructed Caesar from standing for a second consulship in absentia, insisting that he should return to Rome to stand, thereby forgoing the protection of his armies in Gaul. When Caesar finally invaded Italy in 49 BC, Marcellus, unlike his brother and nephew, did not take up arms against him. Caesar subsequently pardoned him.
In 47 BC he was able to intercede with Caesar for his cousin and namesake Gaius Claudius Marcellus Maior, also a former consul (49 BC), then living in exile. He died in May 40 BC. Five months later, his wife Octavia married Mark Antony. The Roman general Publius Quinctilius Varus and his two sisters were grandchildren from his first marriage.
- Roman coinage of Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor can be seen at 
Marcus Claudius Marcellus and Servius Sulpicius Rufus
|Consul of the Roman Republic
with Lucius Aemilius Paullus
Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Crus and Gaius Claudius Marcellus Maior