A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

2. Q.FufiusCalenus, Q. F. C. N., son of No. 1, was tribune of the plebs in B. C. 61, and patronized P. Clodius, whom he endeavoured to save from condemnation for his violation of the mysteries of the Bona Dea. With this view he proposed a law, that Clodius should not be tried by special judges, but by the ordinary court. This bill was supported by Q. Hortensius, though he thought it impossible that Clodius should be acquitted. However the law was passed, and Fufius Calenus gained his end. In B. C. 59, he was elected praetor by the influence of Caesar, in whose cause he continued to be very active ever afterwards. In this year he carried a law, that each of the three classes of judges, senators, equites, and tribune aerarii, should give their votes separately, so that it might always be seen in what way each of them voted. Being generally known as the tool of Caesar, he also shared in the hatred which the latter drew upon himself, and was accordingly treated, says Cicero (Cic. Att. 2.18), with contempt and hisses by all the good citizens.

In B. C. 52, Calenus is stated to have supported the Clodian party after Clodius had been murdered by Milo, and in the year following we find him as legate of Caesar in Gaul. On the outbreak of the civil war in B. C. 49, Calenus hastened in the month of March to meet Caesar at Brundusium, and on his journey thither he called upon Cicero at his Formian Villa, on which occasion he called Pompey a criminal, and charged the senate with levity and folly. (Cic. Att. 9.5.) When Caesar afterwards went to Spain, Calenus again followed him as legate; and after Caesar had gone to Epeirus, Calenus was sent to fetch over the remainder of the troops from Italy. But while he was crossing over from Epeirus to Italy with his empty ships, Bibulus captured most of them : Calenus himself escaped to the Italian coast and afterwards returned to Epeirus with Antony. Before the battle of Pharsalia Caesar sent him to Achaia, and there he took Delphi, Thebes, and Orchomenos, and afterwards Athens, Megara, and Patrae. In B. C. 47, Caesar caused him to be raised to the consulship.

After the murder of Caesar, in B. C. 44, Calenus joined M. Antony, and during the transactions of the early part of B. C. 43, he defended Antony against Cicero. The speech which Dio Cassius (42.1, &c.) puts into his mouth, does not, probably, contain much genuine matter, and is, perhaps, only an invention of the historian. After the war against Brutus and Cassius, Calenus served as the legate of M. Antony, and the legions of the latter were placed under his command in northern Italy. When the Perusinian war terminated, in B. C. 41, with the defeat of L. Antonius, Octavianus was anxious to get possession of the army of Calenus, which was stationed at the foot of the Alps; fortunately for Octavianus, Calenus just then died, and his son, who was a mere youth, surrendered the army to Octavianus without striking a blow. It is related by Appian (App. BC 4.47), that during the proscription of (B. C. 43) the life of the great M. Terentius Varro was saved by Calenus, and it is not improbable that the letter of Varro to Fufius, which is still extant (Fragm. p. 199. ed Bipont.) was addressed to our Q. Fufius Calenus. (Cic. ad Fam. 5.6, ad Att 1.14, 15, 11.15, 16 ; Schol. Bobiens. pp. 330, 235; Ascon. ad Milon. p. 43, ed. Orelli; Cic. Philip. 8.4, &c.; Caes. Gal. 8.39, B. C. 3.8, 26, 55; D. C. 38.8, 12.14, 55, 48.10, 20; Appian, App. BC 2.53, 5.3, 12, 24, 33, 51, 61; comp. Orelli, Onom. Tull. ii. p. 259.)