A Roman general and statesman, son of a celebrated orator of the same name, died in 53 B. C. Be was with the consuls when the seditious tribune L. Apuleius Saturninus was murdered in 100 B. C. In 90 he was tribune of the. people, and afterward served under Sulla in Greece, and at the capture of Athens took part in the siege of the Acropolis. He was praetor in 82, and in 76 consul with Cn. Octavius. He was afterward given Macedonia as his province, and waged war three years in the north against the barbarians, being the first Roman general to advance to the Danube. For these successes he celebrated a triumph in Rome in 71. He was an opponent of Julius Caesar and a friend of Cicero, whom he seconded in his attack upon Catiline. In 57 he was appointed pontifex maximus. He was ambitious of being an orator, but his abilities were not great. II. A son of the preceding, died in 49 B. C. Cicero knew him from childhood and tried to influence him for good; but Curio, with excellent natural talents, was indolent and dissipated. He married Fulvia, afterward the wife of Antony, and by her had a daughter as dissolute as her mother.
He followed his father into the party of Pompey, though at heart inclined in favor of Caesar. He was quaestor in Asia, and was tribune for the year 50. Being greatly in debt, he abandoned the Pompeian party upon condition that Caesar should pay his debts, pretending at first to be neutral. When Caesar was called upon to lay down his power before coming to Rome, Curio proposed that Pompey should do the same, and upon Pompey's refusal declared against him. He remained in the senate, and secured a vote of the majority that both the proconsuls should lay down their power. Failing in his efforts to prevent the levying of an army by Pompey, he fled to Caesar at Ravenna, and urged him to march upon Rome. He returned to the senate with a message from Caesar, but again fled in the night with Antony and Q. Cassius, collected the troops stationed in Um-bria and Etruria, and led them to Caesar, who made him propraetor of Sicily in 49. Here he crushed the party of Pompey, and drove away Cato; then crossing into Africa, he fought, at first successfully, against Juba and the Pom-peian general P. Attius Varus; but he lost largely by desertion, and besieging Utica he was» attacked by Juba and killed in the ensuing battle, when his army was annihilated.
He was a man of boldness and of great natural talents, especially as an orator, but unscrupulous and profligate to the last degree.