Lentulus (lĕnˈtyōləs) [key], ancient Roman patrician family of the Cornelian gens. Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura, d. 63 B.C., was notorious for his private life and was ejected from the senate because of it. He was quaestor (81) and twice praetor (75 and 63). He joined the conspiracy of Catiline, who put him in charge of the operations in the city. By opening negotiations with the Allobrogian ambassadors, he spoiled the plot. He was arrested and strangled. Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther, d. after 49 B.C., was curule aedile (63), praetor (60), and consul (57). He was a consistent partisan of Cicero, who gave him charge of Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura on the revelation of the Catiline conspiracy. As consul he was instrumental in procuring Cicero's recall, and he received Cilicia for his proconsulship. In 49, Lentulus Spinther took sides with Pompey against Caesar; he was executed after Pharsalus.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.