Catulus, the name of a Roman family of the plebeian gens Lutatia. I. Cains Lutatins, consul with Aulus Postumius Albinus in 242 B. C. On March 10, 2-41, he won a great and decisive naval victory over the Carthaginians, near the island of AEgusa. This battle put an end to the first Punic war, compelling Hamilcar to agree to most disadvantageous terms of peace. Catulus claimed and obtained a triumph, which was celebrated on Oct. 4. II. Qnintns Lutatins. consul with Caius Marius in 102 B. C, died in 87. He entered upon his term of office just as a powerful body of northern tribes were preparing to descend upon Italy. Marius, with one portion of the army, was sent to oppose the Teutons, who were about to enter the country from Gaul in the neighborhood of the modern Nice; while Catulus undertook to oppose the Cimbri who were advancing from the Tyrol. He took up a position not far from the source of the Adige, and awaited their attack; but the enemy, in spite of his opportunities for defence, assailed him with such violence as to drive his army across the Po. Marius, who had meanwhile defeated the Teutons at the battle of Aquae Sextise, and returned to Rome, now hastened to aid his colleague.
His army and that of Catulus recrossed the Po and defeated the Cimbri at Vercella) (Vercelli). The accounts of this battle, which was fought in July, 101, are rendered most obscure by the jealousy of partisan writers, some of whom give all the glory to Marius, others to Catulus. It undoubtedly belonged to the former, if the accounts of the public feeling at Rome are to be trusted. In the civil war Catulus espoused the cause of Sulla, and was among those named in the lists of the proscription of 87 B. C. He preferred suicide to falling by the hands of his enemies, and killed himself by suffocation with the fumes of charcoal. III. Quintus Lutatius, son of the preceding, died in 60 B. C. He earned distinction by his honesty and patriotism, and was made consul in 78. He quelled a revolution which his colleague Lepidus excited after the death of Sulla. In 65 he was made censor. Catulus is highly praised by Cicero, whom he earnestly aided in the suppression of Catiline's conspiracy.