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.


The son of Marcus Porcius Cato Salonianus, Cato was elected Praetor in 92 BC.[1] In 90 BC, he was given a propraetoral command during the Social War, and defeated an Etruscan army which had joined the revolt.[2][3] He was elected consul in 89 BC, and was given command of the northern theatre of the war against the Marsi tribe.[4] Although his troops were undisciplined and mutinied at one point,[4][3] he managed to inflict a defeat on them early on.[4] 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, leading to a Marsic victory.[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.[5][3]

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.

Political offices
Preceded by
Lucius Julius Caesar and Publius Rutilius Lupus
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo
89 BC
Succeeded by
Lucius Cornelius Sulla and Quintus Pompeius Rufus


  • T. Robert S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, Vol II (1952).
  • Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, Vol III (1849).
  • Orosius, Paulus, The Seven Books of History Against the Pagans, CUA Press (2001)


  1. Broughton 1952, p. 17.
  2. Broughton 1952, p. 28.
  3. Smith 1849, p. 645.
  4. Broughton 1952, p. 31.
  5. Orosius 2001, p. 210.
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