Rapidly rose to the consulship, which he held in 58 bc (with Gabinius ) after marrying his daughter to Caesar (consul 59). He refused to support Cicero against Clodius Pulcher, and as a reward was given the province of Macedonia by a law of Clodius. His administration there (57–55) was attacked by Cicero in two speeches. He was censor (50) and remained neutral in the Civil War, which he did his best to prevent. After Caesar's death he again tried to prevent civil war (against Marcus Antonius), but died soon after.
An Epicurean and friend of Philodemus, he was open to attack as a voluptuary (see invective); but he was no worse than many of his contemporaries, and his political influence was pacific. He is generally regarded as the owner of a villa in Herculaneum where Epicurean papyri, including work by Philodemus, were discovered.
Subjects: Classical Studies.