Grandson of Quintus Marcius Philippus and of Appius Claudius Pulcher, after a demagogic tribunate (c.105 bc) omitted the aedileship, hence (probably) failed to become consul 93. Elected for 91, he disliked Livius Drusus (2)'s plans to enlarge the senate and enfranchise the Italians and led the opposition to him. After the death of Licinius Lucius Crassus, he succeeded, as an augur, in having Drusus' laws invalidated. He is not heard of between 90 and 86: a provincial command may be conjectured. Collaborating with the government of Cinna, he became censor with Marcus Perperna in 86, registering the first of the newly enfranchised Italians. They struck his uncle Appius Claudius Pulcher, then in exile, off the senate list as a supporter of Sulla. Together with Gnaeus Papirius Carbo and Quintus Hortensius Hortalus, he successfully defended Pompey on a criminal charge. On Sulla's return he joined him, conquered Sardinia for him (82), and as the oldest living consular (except for the inactive Perperna) became a pillar of the Sullan establishment after Sulla's death, leading vigorous action against Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Sertorius, against whom he persuaded the senate to send Pompey. He frequently, though unsuccessfully, urged the annexation of Egypt under the testament of Ptolemy X Alexander I. Cicero greatly admired him, characterizes him as a good speaker (though eclipsed by Lucius Crassus and Marcus Antonius), and frequently quotes his witticisms.
Subjects: Classical Studies.