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MARCELLUS—MARCH, EARLS OF

of the first fifty Psalms, as paraphrased in Italian by G. Giustiniani. They were much admired by Charles Avison, who with John Garth brought out an edition with English words (London, 1757). Some extracts are to be found in Hawkins’s History of Music. His other works are chiefly cantatas, either for one voice or several; the library of the Brussels conservatoire possesses some interesting volumes of chamber-cantatas composed for his mistress. Although he produced an opera, La Fede riconosciuta, at Vicenza in 1702, he had little sympathy with this form of composition, and vented his opinions on the state of musical drama at the time in the satirical pamphlet Il Teatro alla moda, published anonymously in Venice in 1720. This little work, which was frequently reprinted, is not only extremely amusing, but is also most valuable as a contribution to the history of opera.

A catalogue of his works is given in Monatshefte für Musikgeschichte, vol. xxiii. (1891).


MARCELLUS, the name of two popes.

Marcellus I. succeeded Marcellinus, after a considerable interval, most probably in May 308, under Maxentius. He was banished from Rome in 309 on account of the tumult caused by the severity of the penances he had imposed on Christians who had lapsed under the recent persecution. He died the same year, being succeeded by Eusebius. He is commemorated on the 16th of January.

Marcellus II. (Marcello Cervini), the successor of Julius III., was born on the 6th of May 1501, and was elected pope on the 9th of April 1555. He had long been identified with the rigorist party in the church, and as president of the Council of Trent had incurred the anger of the emperor by his jealous defence of papal prerogative. His motives were lofty, his life blameless, his plans for reform nobly conceived. But death removed him (April 30, 1555) before he could do more than give an earnest of his intentions. He was followed by Paul IV.

Contemporary lives are to be found in Panvinio, continuator of Platina, De vitis pontiff, rom.; and Ciaconius, Vitae et res gestae summorum pontiff. rom. (Rome, 1601–1602). P. Polidoro, De gestis, vita et moribus Marcelli II. (Rome, 1744), makes use of an unpublished biography of the pope by his brother, Alessandro Cervini. See also Brilli, Intorno alla vita e alle azioni di Marcello II. (Montepulciano, 1846); Ranke, Popes (Eng. trans., Austin), i. 284 seq.; A. von Reumont, Gesch. der Stadt Rom, iii. 2, 512, seq.  (T. F. C.) 


MARCELLUS, a Roman plebeian family belonging to the Claudian gens. Its most distinguished members were the following:—

1. Marcus Claudius Marcellus (c. 268–208 B.C.), one of the Roman generals during the Second Punic War and conqueror of Syracuse. He first served against Hamilcar in Sicily. In his first consulship (222) he was engaged, with Cn. Cornelius Scipio as colleague, in war against the Insubrian Gauls, and won the spolia opima for the third and last time in Roman history by slaying their chief Viridomarus or Virdumarus (Polybius ii. 34; Propertius v. 10, 39). In 216, after the defeat at Cannae, he took command of the remnant of the army at Canusium, and although he was unable to prevent Capua going over to Hannibal, he saved Nola and southern Campania. In 214 he was in Sicily as consul at the time of the revolt of Syracuse; he stormed Leontini and besieged Syracuse, but the skill of Archimedes repelled his attacks. After a two years’ siege he gradually forced his way into the city and took it in the face of strong Punic reinforcements. He spared the lives of the inhabitants, but carried off their art treasures to Rome, the first instance of a practice afterwards common. Consul again in 210, he took Salapia in Apulia, which had revolted to Hannibal, by help of the Roman party there, and put to death the Numidian garrison. Proconsul in 209, he attacked Hannibal near Venusia, and after a desperate battle retired to that town; he was accused of bad generalship, and had to leave the army to defend himself in Rome. In his last consulship (208), he and his colleague, while reconnoitring near Venusia, were unexpectedly attacked, and Marcellus was killed. His successes have been exaggerated by Livy, but the name often given to him, the “sword of Rome,” was well deserved.

Livy xxiii. 14-17, 41-46; xxiv. 27-32, 35-39; xxv. 5-7, 23-31; xxvi. 26, 29-32; xxvii. 1-5, 21-28; Polybius viii. 5-9, x. 32; Appian, Hannib. 50; Florus ii. 6.

2. M. Claudius Marcellus, an inveterate opponent of Julius Caesar. During his consulship (51 B.C.) he proposed to remove Caesar from his army in March 49, but this decision was delayed by Pompey’s irresolution and the skilful opposition of the tribune C. Curio (see Caesar, Julius). In January 49 he tried to put off declaring war against Caesar till an army could be got ready, but his advice was not taken. When Pompey left Italy, Marcus and his brother Gaius followed, while his cousin withdrew to Liternum. After Pharsalus M. Marcellus retired to Mytilene, where he practised rhetoric and studied philosophy. In 46 his cousin and the senate successfully appealed to Caesar to pardon him, and Marcellus reluctantly consented to return. On this occasion Cicero’s[1] speech Pro Marcello was delivered. Marcellus left for Italy, but was murdered in May by one of his own attendants, P. Magius Chilo, in the Peiraeus. Marcellus was a thorough aristocrat. He was an eloquent speaker (Cicero, Brutus, 71), and a man of firm character, although not free from avarice.

See Cicero, Ad fam. iv. 4, 7, 10, and Ad Att. v. 11 (ed. Tyrrell and Purser); Caesar, B. C. i. 2; Suetonius, Caesar, 29; G. Boissier, Cicero and his Friends (Eng. trans., 1897).

3. M. Claudius Marcellus (c. 43–23 B.C.), son of C. Marcellus and Octavia, sister of Augustus. In 25 he was adopted by the emperor and married to his daughter Julia. This seemed to mark him out as the heir to the throne, but Augustus, when attacked by a serious illness, gave his signet to M. Vipsanius Agrippa. In 23 Marcellus, then curule aedile, died at Baiae. Livia was suspected of having poisoned him to get the empire for her son Tiberius. Great hopes had been built on the youth, and he was celebrated by many writers, especially by Virgil in a famous passage (Aeneid, vi. 860). He was buried in the Campus Martius, and Augustus himself pronounced the funeral oration. The Theatrum Marcelli (remains of which can still be seen) was afterwards dedicated in his honour.

Horace, Odes, i. 12; Propertius iii. 18; Dio Cassius liii. 28, 30; Tacitus, Annals, ii. 41; Suetonius, Augustus, 63; Vell. Pat. ii. 93.


MARCESCENT (Lat. marcescens, withering), a botanical term for withering without falling off.


MARCH, EARLS OF, title derived from the “marches” or boundaries (1) between England and Wales, and (2) England and Scotland, and held severally by great feudal families possessed of lands in those border districts. The earls of March on the Welsh borders were descended from Roger de Mortemer (so called from his castle of Mortemer in Normandy), who was connected by marriage with the dukes of Normandy. His son Ralph (d. c. 1104) figures in Domesday as the holder of vast estates in Shropshire, Herefordshire and other parts of England, especially in the west; and his grandson Hugh de Mortimer, founder of the priory of Wigmore in Herefordshire, was one of the most powerful of the barons reduced to submission by Henry II., who compelled him to surrender his castles of Cleobury and Wigmore. The Mortimers, however, continued to exercise almost undisputed sway, as lords of Wigmore, over the western counties and the Welsh marches.

I. Welsh Marches.Roger de Mortimer (c. 1286–1330), 8th baron of Wigmore and 1st earl of March, being an infant at the death of his father, Edmund, was placed by Edward I. under the guardianship of Piers Gaveston, and was knighted by Edward in 1306; Mortimer’s mother being a relative of Edward’s consort, Eleanor of Castile. Through his marriage with Joan de Joinville, or Genevill, Roger not only acquired increased possessions on the Welsh marches, including the important castle of Ludlow, which became the chief stronghold of the Mortimers, but also extensive estates and influence in Ireland, whither he went in 1308 to enforce his authority. This brought him into conflict with the De Lacys, who turned for support to Edward Bruce, brother of Robert Bruce, king of Scotland. Mortimer was appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland by Edward II. in 1316,

  1. The authorship of this speech has been disputed.