Lucius Marcius Philippus (consul 56 BC)

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For the Roman tribune and consul who was his father, see Lucius Marcius Philippus (consul 91 BC).

Lucius Marcius Philippus (flourished 1st century BC) was a member of a Roman senatorial family. He was a descendant of Roman King Ancus Marcius and the son of the consul and censor Lucius Marcius Philippus. He was a praetor in 60 BC, and became propraetor of Syria in 59 BC, although Appian (Syrian Wars 8.51) records that he was propraetor of Syria in 61 BC. That same year he married Atia Balba Caesonia, niece of Julius Caesar. Philippus had a son and a daughter Marcia (later the wife of Cato the Younger) from a previous marriage which had ended with his wife's death. Atia's previous husband, Gaius Octavius, had died on his return to Rome, leaving her with two children: Octavia Minor and Gaius Octavius (future Roman Emperor Augustus). Philippus cherished his stepchildren as if they were his own. He was consul of 56 BC with Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus.

Despite his marriage ties with Caesar, Philippus did not take his side in Caesar's civil war with Pompey, passing anti-Caesar legislation in the Senate. Because of this, Philippus was not given a province to govern for the year. Sensing the threat implicit in this snub, Philippus requested that Caesar allow him to sit out the war, to remain in Italy for the duration. Caesar obliged, thankful that he had not gained an enemy, even if he had not gained a supporter. Philippus became a close friend of Cicero, who also waited out the war.

The desire of Philippus to avoid conflict is evident at all times of his life. When his stepson Octavius was named Caesar's heir, Philippus attempted to dissuade him from accepting his inheritance because of the danger from Antony. He enlisted Atia to try her hand at convincing the young man to decline, but it was no use. Although he opposed Marcus Antonius, Philippus took part in the delegation sent to him at Mutina, and returned his demands to the senate. Cicero chided Philippus for this.

Atia died during August/September 43 BC and according to Ovid, Philippus later married one of Atia's sisters. He lived to old age and Augustus rewarded him for his continued loyalty. He had at least one son, Lucius Marcius Philippus.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther and Quintus Caecilius Metellus Nepos Iunior
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus
56 BC
Succeeded by
Marcus Licinius Crassus and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus