About Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor, Consul 50 BCE
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.
Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor
Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor (88-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 & family
He was a direct descendant of consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus. His grandfather was also named Marcus; his father was Gaius and his mother was named Junia.
From his first unnamed wife, Marcellus had a daughter who married the Roman Senator, Sextus Quinctilius Varus who served as a Quaestor in 49 BC. He was a grandfather to the Roman General Publius Quinctilius Varus and his three sisters.
He married in an arranged ceremony Octavia the Younger, a great-niece of Julius Caesar and sister of Octavian. Octavia bore Marcellus three children a son, Marcus and two daughters, both named Claudia Marcella born in Rome.
Opposition to Julius Caesar
In 54 BC the great-uncle of Octavia, 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 (daughter of Caesar 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, a former consul of 49 BC, then living in exile. He died in May 40 BC; five months later, his wife, Octavia, married the Roman Triumvir Mark Antony.