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Octavia. It was evidently to the influence of Pompey, combined with that of his cousin M. Marcellus, that he was indebted for his elevation to the consulship at the comitia of the year 51 ; and during the year of his office he showed himself a zealous and uncompromising advocate of the party hostile to Caesar. His measures were, however, very much impeded by the opposition of his colleague, L. Aemilius Paullus, as well as of the tribune C. Curio, both of whom, though previously hostile, had been recently gained over by Caesar. The latter is said to have endeavoured to corrupt Marcellus also, but to have found him inaccessible to bribes. (Appian, B. C. ii. 26.) On the 1st of March, b.c. 50,. Marcellus brought before the senate, as previously arranged, the question of superseding Caesar in his command ; but the interposition of Curio prevented any conclusion being come to at that time ; and afterwards the illness of Pompey and the elections for the ensuing year caused the question to be again postponed. The consul, however, succeeded in obtaining a decree of the senate for withdrawing from Caesar two of his legions, under pretence that they were wanted for the Parthian war; but as soon as the troops arrived in Italy they were detained at Capua, to wait for further orders. Meanwhile, repeated discussions took place in the senate in regard to Caesar, Curio still insisting that if he was compelled to resign his command, Pompey should do so too ; while Marcellus in vain endeavoured to force on a decree in pursuance of the views of himself and the more violent party. At length, a rumour having arrived that Caesar was actually marching upon Rome with four legions, the consul once more took the opportunity to propose that Pompey should be immediately placed at the head of the forces then in Italy ; but having again failed in obtaining the consent of the senate, he took the extraordinary step of investing Pompey with the command by his own personal authority, supported only by that of the two consuls elect, C. Marcellus and L. Len-tulus. * (Caes. B. G. viii. 54, 55; Dion Cass. xl. 59—64; Appian, B. C. ii. 27—31; Plut. Pomp. 58, 59.)
The violence with which Marcellus urged matters to a crisis at this time is strangely contrasted with his timidity and helplessness when the war had actually broken out, and which exceeded, according to Cicero, that of all others of his party. He used his utmost endeavours with Cicero to induce him not to quit Italy, in order that he might himself have an excuse for remaining : but even when the orator reluctantly followed Pompey and the senate to Epeirus, Marcellus could not make up his mind to do the same; he remained in Italy; and probably, from this circumstance, coupled with his relationship to Caesar, readily obtained the forgiveness of the conqueror. Thus, in b. c. 47, he was able to intercede with the dictator in favour of his cousin, M. Marcellus, who was then still in exile: and at a later period we find hirn enjoying, as the husband of Octavia, a place of high consideration. He is repeatedly mentioned by Cicero in the year 44, and must have lived till near the close of b. c. 41, as his widow, Octavia, was pregnant by him when betrothed to Antony in the following year. (Cic. ad Fam. iv. 4, 7, 11, ad Att. x. 15, xv. 12, pro Marc. 4, 11, Phil iii. 6 ; Dion Cass. xlviii. 31.) Orelli has referred many of these passages to C. Marcellus, M. f., whom he considers as the
husband of Octavia; but Drumami has satisfactorily shown that they relate to his cousin, the subject of the present article.
15. M. claudius, C. $. C. n. marcellus, son of the preceding and of Octavia, the daughter of C. Octavius and sister of Augustus. He must have been born in the year b. c. 43, and was a youth of promising talents and engaging manners, having been brought up with great care by his mother, a woman of superior understanding, as well as of the highest virtue. As early as B. c. 39 he was betrothed in marriage to the daughter of Sex. Pompey, as one of the conditions of the peace concluded in that year between Pompey and Octavian (Dion Cass. xlviii. 38); but the marriage never took place, as Pompey's death, in b. c. .35, removed the occasion for it.
In b. c, 29 Augustus, on his return from Egypt, distributed a congiarium, in the name of young Marcellus, to the boys of the Roman populace (id. ii. 21) ; and in B. c. 25 we find him, together with Tiberius, presiding at the games and spectacles exhibited by Augustus at the foundation of his new colony of Emerita in Spain. (Id. liii. 26.) It was apparently in the same year that Augustus adopted him as his son, at the same time that he gave him his daughter Julia in marriage (Pint. Ant. 87 ; Dion Cass. liii. 27), and caused him to be admitted into the senate with praetorian rank, and with the privilege of suing for the consulship ten years before the legal period. Shortly afterwards (in b. c. 24), the young Marcellus was elected curule aedile for the ensuing year, and distinguished his magistracy by the magnificence of the games which he exhibited, on occasion of which the whole forum was covered over with an awning, as well as the theatres themselves, which were hung with splendid tapestries. Augustus himself did every thing in his power to contribute to the effect of this display, in which- Octavia also bore an important part. (Dion Cass. liii. 28, 31 ; Pro-pert, iii. 18. 13—20 ; Plin. H. N. xix. 1.) But Marcellus was not destined to survive the year of this his first office: in the autumn of b. c. 23, almost before the end of the games and shows, he was attacked by the disease, of which he died shortly after at Baiae, notwithstanding all the skill and care of the celebrated physician Antonius Musa. He was in the 20th year of his age (Pro-pert. /. c.), and was thought to have given so much promise of future excellence, that his deatli was mourned as a public calamity ; and the grief of Augustus, as well as that of his mother, Octavia, was for a time unbounded.
On the other hand, his untimely fate was so favourable to the views of Livia as to give rise to, the suspicion, probably unfounded, that she had been the means of hastening it. (Dion Cass. liii. 33.) The rising favour of Marcellus with Augustus had led to the general expectation that he would name him his successor; and it is probable that he would have done so had the life of the young man been prolonged ; but he evidently deemed him as yet unequal to the charge ; and in a severe illness, which endangered his own life at the beginning of the year 23, Augustus had certainly destined Agrippa to succeed to the management of affairs in case of his death, a circumstance which gave rise to great jealousy between the two, and to the temporary removal of Agrippa from Rome, (Ibid. 31, 32.)