Lucius Manlius Torquatus (Praetor 49 BC)

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Lucius Manlius Torquatus (died 46 BC) was a Roman politician. He is portrayed by Cicero in De Finibus I & II as a spokesman advocating Epicurean ethics.

Biography[edit]

The son of Lucius Manlius Torquatus, Torquatus belonged to the patrician Manlii, one of the oldest Roman houses. In 69 BC he was elected a member of the Quindecimviri sacris faciundis.[1] In 66 BC it was he who first accused Publius Cornelius Sulla and Publius Autronius Paetus, the consul designates for the following year, of bribery in connection with the elections, thereby securing the election of his father in 65 BC .[2]

Closely aligned with Cicero whom Torquatus supported during Cicero’s praetorship in 65 BC and consulship in 63 BC, they found themselves on opposite sides when in 62 BC Torquatus brought a new accusation against Publius Cornelius Sulla, whom he accused of being a part of both of Catiline’s conspiracies.[3] Torquatus was the prosecutor, while Cicero defended the accused. Torquatus accused Sulla in 66 BC of raising a force of men to secure the consulship for Catiline and murder the ruling consuls Lucius Manlius Torquatus and Lucius Aurelius Cotta.[4] He also accused Cicero of manufacturing evidence recorded on 3 December, 63 BC, against the Catilinian conspirators.[5] Torquatus lost the case and Sulla was acquitted.

Torquatus was elected praetor in 49 BC and was stationed at a place called Alba with six cohorts.[6] Deciding to oppose Julius Caesar, he joined Pompey in Greece and in the following year he was appointed propraetor.[7] Pompey put him in charge of the defence of Oricum, but the defenders and the townspeople refused to fight, forcing Torquatus to surrender the town to Caesar, after which Caesar let him go.[8] Returning to Pompey, he held command of the section of Pompey’s forces that penetrated Caesar’s siege works at Dyrrachium.[9] Retaining his imperium, in 47 BC, after the defeat of Pompey, he was in Africa[10] With the defeat of the Optimate forces there in 46 BC, Toquatus attempted to flee to Hispania along with Metellus Scipio, but was trapped at Hippo Regius by the fleet of Publius Sittius, who soon put him to death.[11]

Torquatus was noted by Cicero for his knowledge of Greek literature and his breadth of learning. An Epicurean, he was portrayed by Cicero in De Finibus I & II as a spokesman advocating Epicurean ethics.[12] His wife was named Lavinia.

Sources[edit]

  • T. Robert S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, Vol II (1952).
  • Holmes, T. Rice, The Roman Republic and the Founder of the Empire, Vol. I (1923)
  • Holmes, T. Rice, The Roman Republic and the Founder of the Empire, Vol. III (1923)
  • Anthon, Charles & Smith, William, A New Classical Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography, Mythology and Geography (1860).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Broughton, pg. 134
  2. ^ Anthon & Smith, pg. 903
  3. ^ Anthon & Smith, pg. 903; Holmes I, pg. 445
  4. ^ Holmes I, pg. 445
  5. ^ Holmes I, pg. 482
  6. ^ Broughton, pg. 256; Anthon & Smith, pg. 903
  7. ^ Anthon & Smith, pg. 903; Broughton, pg. 276
  8. ^ Holmes III, pgs. 119-120; Anthon & Smith, pg. 903
  9. ^ Broughton, pg. 276
  10. ^ Broughton, pg. 289
  11. ^ Broughton, pg. 296; Anthon & Smith, pg. 903
  12. ^ Anthon & Smith, pg. 903