Lucius Porcius Cato

Lucius Porcius Cato was a Roman general and politician who became consul in 89 BC alongside Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo. He died at the Battle of Fucine Lake, possibly at the hands of Gaius Marius the Younger.

Lucius Porcius Cato
Bust of Lucius Porcius Cato at Nordkirchen, Germany
Consul of the Roman Republic
In office
January 89 BC – December 89 BC
Preceded byLucius Julius Caesar and Publius Rutilius Lupus
Succeeded byLucius Cornelius Sulla and Quintus Pompeius Rufus
Personal details
Died89 BC
Fucine Lake
Military service
Commandsthe southern theatre in the Social War
Battles/warsRome's Social War (Bellum Sociale) and the Battle of Fucine Lake


Lucius Porcius Cato was a son of Marcus Porcius Cato Salonianus.[1] He was elected praetor in 92 BC.[1] In 90 BC, during the Social War, he was given a propraetoral command and defeated an Etruscan army which had joined the revolt.[2][3] He was elected consul in 89 BC, alongside Pompey Strabo, and took over the southern command from Lucius Caesar.[4][5] Although his troops were undisciplined and mutinied at one point,[5][3] he managed to inflict a defeat on them early on.[5] However, at the Battle of Fucine Lake in the winter of 89 BC, he was winning an engagement with the Marsi when he was killed near the end of the battle, in an attempt to storm the enemy camp, leading to a Marsic victory.[6][3] Although it is usually assumed that he was killed by Marsic soldiers, at least one source states that he was killed by Gaius Marius the Younger, the son of the famous Roman general and politician, Gaius Marius, who was furious that Cato had boasted that his own achievements were on par with the elder Marius's victory over the Cimbri.[7][3]

Cultural depictionsEdit

The circumstances surrounding his death constitute a subplot in the second novel of the Australian novelist Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series, The Grass Crown.


  1. ^ a b Broughton 1952, p. 17.
  2. ^ Broughton 1952, p. 28.
  3. ^ a b c d Smith 1849, p. 645.
  4. ^ Philip Matyszak, Cataclysm 90 BC, p. 102; Lynda Telford, Sulla, p. 91.
  5. ^ a b c Broughton 1952, p. 31.
  6. ^ Philip Matyszak, Cataclysm 90 BC, p. 105.
  7. ^ Orosius 2001, p. 210.


  • Broughton, T. Robert S. (1952). The magistrates of the Roman Republic. American Philological Association. OCLC 1120836609.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  • Smith, William (1849). Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. C.C. Little and J. Brown. OCLC 669193927.
  • Orosius, Paulus (2001). The Seven Books of History Against the Pagans. Catholic University of America Press. ISBN 0-8132-1150-6. OCLC 1154935578.
Political offices
Preceded by Consul of the Roman Republic
with Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo
89 BC
Succeeded by