A courtier is a person, in attendance at the court of a monarch or other royal personage. The earliest historical examples of courtiers were part of the retinues of rulers; the court was the centre of government as well as the residence of the monarch, the social and political life were completely mixed together. Monarchs often expected the more important nobles to spend much of the year in attendance on them at court. Not all courtiers were noble, as they included clergy, clerks, secretaries and middlemen with business at court. All those who held a court appointment could be called courtiers but not all courtiers held positions at court; those personal favourites without business around the monarch, sometimes called the camarilla, were considered courtiers. As social divisions became more rigid, a divide present in Antiquity or the Middle Ages, opened between menial servants and other classes at court, although Alexandre Bontemps, the head valet de chambre of Louis XIV, was a late example of a "menial" who managed to establish his family in the nobility.
The key commodities for a courtier were access and information, a large court operated at many levels: many successful careers at court involved no direct contact with the monarch. The largest and most famous European court was that of the Palace of Versailles at its peak, although the Forbidden City of Beijing was larger and more isolated from national life. Similar features marked the courts of all large monarchies, including in India, Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Ancient Rome, Byzantium or the Caliphs of Baghdad or Cairo. Early medieval European courts travelled from place to place following the monarch as he travelled; this was the case in the early French court. But, the European nobility had independent power and was less controlled by the monarch until around the 18th century, which gave European court life greater complexity; the earliest courtiers coincide with the development of definable courts beyond the rudimentary entourages or retinues of rulers. There were courtiers in the courts of the Akkadian Empire where there is evidence of court appointments such as that of Cup-bearer, one of the earliest court appointments and remained a position at courts for thousands of years.
Two of the earliest titles referring to the general concept of a courtier were the ša rēsi and mazzāz pāni of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.. In Ancient Egypt we find a title translated as high great overseer of the house; the courts influenced by the court of the Neo-Assyrian Empire such as those of the Median Empire and the Achaemenid Empire had numerous courtiers After invading the Achaemenid Empire Alexander the Great returned with the concept of the complex court featuring a variety of courtiers to the Kingdom of Macedonia and Hellenistic Greece. The imperial court of the Byzantine Empire at Constantinople would contain at least a thousand courtiers; the court's systems became prevalent in other courts such as those in the Balkan states, the Ottoman Empire and Russia. Byzantinism is a term, coined for this spread of the Byzantine system in the 19th century. In modern English, the term is used metaphorically for contemporary political favourites or hangers-on. In modern literature, courtiers are depicted as insincere, skilled at flattery and intrigue and lacking regard for the national interest.
More positive representations include the role played by members of the court in the development of politeness and the arts. Examples of courtiers in fiction: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from William Shakespeare's Hamlet. Sir Lancelot from Arthurian legend, Gríma Wormtongue from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Count Hasimir Fenring and Gaius Helen Mohiam from Frank Herbert's Dune. Petyr Baelish and Varys from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Fire. Ivan Vorpatril from Lois McMaster Bujold's series Vorkosigan Saga. Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington from J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books. Brokerage at the Court of Louis XIV, by Sharon Kettering. 1, pp. 69-87.
Franciscus Patricius was a philosopher and scientist from the Republic of Venice of Croatian descent. He was known as an opponent of Aristotelianism. In Croatia he is referred to as Franjo Petriš or Frane Petrić, his family name in Cres was known as Petris. Franciscus Patricius was born in Cres, today in Croatia the territory of the Republic of Venice. According to the family legend, the Petriš family was of noble origin from Kingdom of Bosnia and was forced to flee from the crumbling Bosnian kingdom after the Ottoman invasion; as a young man, he traveled the Mediterranean with his uncle Georgius Patricius, who commanded a galley in the wars against the Ottoman Empire. He gained the patronage of the Greek Orthodox Bishop of Cyprus, who brought him to Venice, where his abilities were recognized, he studied economy in Venice he moved to study in Ingolstadt under the patronage of his cousin Matthias Flacius. He went to study medicine and philosophy at the University of Padova. Here he was elected twice as a representative of the students from Dalmatia.
After graduation he lived in different cities in Italy: Ancona, Bologna, Venice. He moved to Cyprus where he spent seven years. Here he attended upon the Bishop of Cyprus who send him back to Italy, where he traveled to Venice, Genoa, to Barcelona, he went to live in Ferrara, a center of Platonism in Italy, where he was appointed to the chair of philosophy at the University of Ferrara by Duke Alfonso II. He was subsequently invited in Rome by Pope Clement VIII in 1592, where he spent five years as the chair of Platonic philosophy. Here he became a member of the Council of St. Jerome, at the Illyrian College of St. Jerome. Patricius died in Rome, he was buried in the church of Sant'Onofrio, in the tomb of his colleague Torquato Tasso. In spite of his continual controversies with the Aristotelians, Patricius managed to make a comprehensive study of contemporary science, publishing in 15 books a treatise on the New Geometry, as well as works on history and the art of war, he studied ancient theories of music, is said to have invented the thirteen-syllable verse form known subsequently as versi martelliani.
In his philosophy he was concerned to defend Plato against the followers of Aristotle. His two great works, Discussionum peripateticorum libri XV, Nova de universis philosophia, developed the view that, whereas Aristotle's teaching was in direct opposition to Christianity, Plato, on the contrary, foreshadowed the Christian revelation and prepared the way for its acceptance. In the earlier treatise he attacks the life and character of Aristotle, impugns the authenticity of all his works, attempts to refute his doctrines from a theological standpoint. In the second and greater work he goes back to the theories and methods of the Ionians and the Presocratics in general. Patricius' theory of the universe is that, from God there emanated Light which extends throughout space and is the explanation of all development; this Light is not corporeal and yet is the fundamental reality of things. From Light came Fluidity; this cosmic theory is a curious combination of abstract ideas. His practical work included a scheme for diverting a river to protect military strategy.
De rerum natura libri ii. priores. Aliter de spacio physico. Ferrara: Victorius Baldinus 1587. De spacio physico et mathematico. Ed. Helene Vedrine. Paris: Libr. philosophique J. Vrin, 1996. Discussionum Peripateticarum tomi iv, quibus Aristotelicae philosophiae universa Historia atque Dogmata cum Veterum Placitis collata, eleganter et erudite declarantur. Basileae. 1581 Nova de Universis philosophia. (Ad calcem adiecta sunt Zoroastri oracula cccxx. Ex Platonicis collecta, etc. Ferrara. 1591, Venice 1593. Apologia ad censuram, L'amorosa filosofia. Firenze, F. Le Monnier, 1963. Della historia diece dialoghi. Venice. 1560. Della nvova geometria di Franc. Patrici libri XV. Ne' quali con mirabile ordine, e con dimostrazioni à marauiglia più facili, e più forti delle usate si vede che la matematiche per uia regia, e più piana che da gli antichi fatto n? si è, si possono trattare.... Ferrara, Vittorio Baldini 1587 Della poetica. Ed. critica a cura di D. A. Barbagli. Bologna, Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento, vol.
1-3 1969-1971. Della poetica...la deca disputata. Ferrara. 1586. Della retorica dieci dialoghi... nelli quali si favella dell'arte oratoria con ragioni repugnanti all'opinione, che intorno a quella hebbero gli antichi scrittori. Venetia: Appresso Francesco Senese, 1562. Difesa di Francesco Patrizi. Ferrara. 1587 La Città felice, Venice: Griffio, 1553. In Utopisti e Riformatori sociali del cinquecento. Bologna. N. Zanichelli. 1941. L'Eridano. In nuovo verso heroico... Con i sostentamenti del detto verso. Ferrara. Appresso Francesco de Rossi da Valenza 1557
Late antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages in mainland Europe, the Mediterranean world, the Near East. The popularization of this periodization in English has been accredited to historian Peter Brown, after the publication of his seminal work The World of Late Antiquity. Precise boundaries for the period are a continuing matter of debate, but Brown proposes a period between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD, it can be thought of as from the end of the Roman Empire's Crisis of the Third Century to, in the East, the early Muslim conquests in the mid-7th century. In the West the end was earlier, with the start of the Early Middle Ages placed in the 6th century, or earlier on the edges of the Western Roman Empire; the Roman Empire underwent considerable social and organizational changes starting with the reign of Diocletian, who began the custom of splitting the Empire into Eastern and Western halves ruled by multiple emperors.
Beginning with Constantine the Great, Christianity was made legal in the Empire, a new capital was founded at Constantinople. Migrations of Germanic tribes disrupted Roman rule from the late 4th century onwards, culminating in the eventual collapse of the Empire in the West in 476, replaced by the so-called barbarian kingdoms; the resultant cultural fusion of Greco-Roman and Christian traditions formed the foundations of the subsequent culture of Europe. The term Spätantike "late antiquity", has been used by German-speaking historians since its popularization by Alois Riegl in the early 20th century, it was given currency in English by the writings of Peter Brown, whose survey The World of Late Antiquity revised the post-Gibbon view of a stale and ossified Classical culture, in favour of a vibrant time of renewals and beginnings, whose The Making of Late Antiquity offered a new paradigm of understanding the changes in Western culture of the time in order to confront Sir Richard Southern's The Making of the Middle Ages.
The continuities between the Roman Empire, as it was reorganized by Diocletian, the Early Middle Ages are stressed by writers who wish to emphasize that the seeds of medieval culture were developing in the Christianized empire, that they continued to do so in the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire at least until the coming of Islam. Concurrently, some migrating Germanic tribes such as the Ostrogoths and Visigoths saw themselves as perpetuating the "Roman" tradition. While the usage "Late Antiquity" suggests that the social and cultural priorities of Classical Antiquity endured throughout Europe into the Middle Ages, the usage of "Early Middle Ages" or "Early Byzantine" emphasizes a break with the classical past, the term "Migration Period" tends to de-emphasize the disruptions in the former Western Roman Empire caused by the creation of Germanic kingdoms within her borders beginning with the foedus with the Goths in Aquitania in 418; the general decline of population, technological knowledge and standards of living in Europe during this period became the archetypal example of societal collapse for writers from the Renaissance.
As a result of this decline, the relative scarcity of historical records from Europe in particular, the period from the early fifth century until the Carolingian Renaissance was referred to as the "Dark Ages". This term has been abandoned as a name for a historiographical epoch, being replaced by "Late Antiquity" in the periodization of the late West Roman Empire, the early Byzantine empire and the Early Middle Ages. One of the most important transformations in Late Antiquity was the formation and evolution of the Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism and Islam. A milestone in the rise of Christianity was the conversion of Emperor Constantine the Great in 312, as claimed by his Christian panegyrist Eusebius of Caesarea, although the sincerity of his conversion is debated. Constantine confirmed the legalization of the religion through the so-called Edict of Milan in 313, jointly issued with his rival in the East, Licinius. By the late 4th century, Emperor Theodosius the Great had made Christianity the State religion, thereby transforming the Classical Roman world, which Peter Brown characterized as "rustling with the presence of many divine spirits."Constantine I was a key figure in many important events in Christian history, as he convened and attended the first ecumenical council of bishops at Nicaea in 325, subsidized the building of churches and sanctuaries such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, involved himself in questions such as the timing of Christ's resurrection and its relation to the Passover.
The birth of Christian monasticism in the deserts of Egypt in the 3rd century, which operated outside the episcopal authority of the Church, would become so successful that by the 8th century it penetrated the Church and became the primary Christian practice. Monasticism was not the only new Christian movement to appear in late antiquity, although it had the greatest influence. Other movements notable for their unconventional practices include the Grazers, holy men who ate only grass and chained themselves up. Late Antiquity marks the decline of Roman state religion, circumscribed in degrees by edicts inspired by Christian advisors such as Eusebius to 4th century emperors, a period of dynamic religious experimentation and spirituality with many syncretic sects, some formed centuries earl
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the emperors Tiberius, Claudius and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors; these two works span the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus, in 14 AD, to the years of the First Jewish–Roman War, in 70 AD. There are substantial lacunae in the surviving texts, including a gap in the Annals, four books long. Tacitus' other writings discuss oratory and the life of his father-in-law, the general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain focusing on his campaign in Britannia. Tacitus is considered to be one of the greatest Roman historians, he lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature, is known for the brevity and compactness of his Latin prose, as well as for his penetrating insights into the psychology of power politics. Details about his personal life are scarce.
What little is known comes from scattered hints throughout his work, the letters of his friend and admirer Pliny the Younger, an inscription found at Mylasa in Caria. Tacitus was born in 57 to an equestrian family. One scholar's suggestion of Sextus has gained no approval. Most of the older aristocratic families failed to survive the proscriptions which took place at the end of the Republic, Tacitus makes it clear that he owed his rank to the Flavian emperors; the claim that he was descended from a freedman is derived from a speech in his writings which asserts that many senators and knights were descended from freedmen, but this is disputed. His father may have been the Cornelius Tacitus who served as procurator of Germania. There is no mention of Tacitus suffering such a condition, but it is possible that this refers to a brother—if Cornelius was indeed his father; the friendship between the younger Pliny and Tacitus leads some scholars to conclude that they were both the offspring of wealthy provincial families.
The province of his birth remains unknown, though various conjectures suggest Gallia Belgica, Gallia Narbonensis or Northern Italy. His marriage to the daughter of Narbonensian senator Gnaeus Julius Agricola implies that he came from Gallia Narbonensis. Tacitus' dedication to Lucius Fabius Justus in the Dialogus may indicate a connection with Spain, his friendship with Pliny suggests origins in northern Italy. No evidence exists, that Pliny's friends from northern Italy knew Tacitus, nor do Pliny's letters hint that the two men had a common background. Pliny Book 9, Letter 23 reports that, when he was asked if he was Italian or provincial, he gave an unclear answer, so was asked if he was Tacitus or Pliny. Since Pliny was from Italy, some infer that Tacitus was from the provinces Gallia Narbonensis, his ancestry, his skill in oratory, his sympathetic depiction of barbarians who resisted Roman rule have led some to suggest that he was a Celt. This belief stems from the fact that the Celts who had occupied Gaul prior to the Roman invasion were famous for their skill in oratory, had been subjugated by Rome.
As a young man, Tacitus studied rhetoric in Rome to prepare for a career in law and politics. In 77 or 78, he married daughter of the famous general Agricola. Little is known of their domestic life, save that Tacitus loved the outdoors, he started his career under Vespasian, but entered political life as a quaestor in 81 or 82 under Titus. He advanced through the cursus honorum, becoming praetor in 88 and a quindecimvir, a member of the priestly college in charge of the Sibylline Books and the Secular games, he gained acclaim as an orator. He served in the provinces from c. 89 to c. 93, either in command of a legion or in a civilian post. He and his property survived Domitian's reign of terror, but the experience left him jaded and ashamed at his own complicity, giving him the hatred of tyranny evident in his works; the Agricola, chs. 44–45, is illustrative: Agricola was spared those years during which Domitian, leaving now no interval or breathing space of time, but, as it were, with one continuous blow, drained the life-blood of the Commonwealth...
It was not long before our hands dragged Helvidius to prison, before we gazed on the dying looks of Mauricus and Rusticus, before we were steeped in Senecio's innocent blood. Nero turned his eyes away, did not gaze upon the atrocities which he ordered. From his seat in the Senate, he became suffect consul in 97 during the reign of Nerva, being the first of his family to do so. During his tenure, he reached the height of his fame as an orator when he delivered the funeral oration for the famous veteran soldier Lucius Verginius Rufus. In the following year, he wrote and published the Agricola and Germania, foreshadowing the literary endeav
Nobility is a social class ranked under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society; the privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be honorary, vary by country and era. As referred to in the Medieval chivalric motto "noblesse oblige", nobles can carry a lifelong duty to uphold various social responsibilities, such as honorable behavior, customary service, or leadership positions. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is hereditary. Membership in the nobility has been granted by a monarch or government, unlike other social classes where membership is determined by wealth, lifestyle, or affiliation. Nonetheless, acquisition of sufficient power, military prowess, or royal favour has enabled commoners to ascend into the nobility. There are a variety of ranks within the noble class.
Legal recognition of nobility has been more common in monarchies, but nobility existed in such regimes as the Dutch Republic, the Republic of Genoa, the Republic of Venice, the Old Swiss Confederacy, remains part of the legal social structure of some non-hereditary regimes, e.g. Channel Islands, San Marino, the Vatican City in Europe. Hereditary titles and styles added to names, as well as honorifics distinguish nobles from non-nobles in conversation and written speech. In many nations most of the nobility have been un-titled, some hereditary titles do not indicate nobility; some countries have had non-hereditary nobility, such as the Empire of Brazil or life peers in the United Kingdom. The term derives from the abstract noun of the adjective nobilis. In ancient Roman society, nobiles originated as an informal designation for the political governing class who had allied interests, including both patricians and plebeian families with an ancestor who had risen to the consulship through his own merit.
In modern usage, "nobility" is applied to the highest social class in pre-modern societies, excepting the ruling dynasty. In the feudal system, the nobility were those who held a fief land or office, under vassalage, i.e. in exchange for allegiance and various military, services to a suzerain, who might be a higher-ranking nobleman or a monarch. It came to be seen as a hereditary caste, sometimes associated with a right to bear a hereditary title and, for example in pre-revolutionary France, enjoying fiscal and other privileges. While noble status conferred significant privileges in most jurisdictions, by the 21st century it had become a honorary dignity in most societies, although a few, residual privileges may still be preserved and some Asian and African cultures continue to attach considerable significance to formal hereditary rank or titles. Nobility is a historical and legal notion, differing from high socio-economic status in that the latter is based on income, possessions or lifestyle.
Being wealthy or influential cannot ipso facto make one noble, nor are all nobles wealthy or influential. Various republics, including former Iron Curtain countries, Greece and Austria have expressly abolished the conferral and use of titles of nobility for their citizens; this is distinct from countries which have not abolished the right to inherit titles, but which do not grant legal recognition or protection to them, such as Germany and Italy, although Germany recognizes their use as part of the legal surname. Still other countries and authorities allow their use, but forbid attachment of any privilege thereto, e.g. Finland and the European Union, while French law protects lawful titles against usurpation. Although many societies have a privileged upper class with substantial wealth and power, the status is not hereditary and does not entail a distinct legal status, nor differentiated forms of address. Not all of the benefits of nobility derived from noble status per se. Privileges were granted or recognised by the monarch in association with possession of a specific title, office or estate.
Most nobles' wealth derived from one or more estates, large or small, that might include fields, orchards, hunting grounds, etc. It included infrastructure such as castle and mill to which local peasants were allowed some access, although at a price. Nobles were expected to live "nobly", that is, from the proceeds of these possessions. Work involving manual labour or subordination to those of lower rank was either forbidden or frowned upon socially. On the other hand, membership in the nobility was a prerequisite for holding offices of trust in the realm and for career promotion in the military, at court and the higher functions in the government and church. Prior to the French Revolution, European nobles commanded tribute in the form of entitlement to cash rents or usage taxes, labour or a portion of the annual crop yield from commoners or no
Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini, best known as Poggio Bracciolini, was an Italian scholar and an early humanist. He was responsible for rediscovering and recovering a great number of classical Latin manuscripts decaying and forgotten in German and French monastic libraries, his most celebrated find was De rerum natura, the only surviving work by Lucretius. Poggio di Guccio was born at the village of Terranuova, since 1862 renamed in his honour Terranuova Bracciolini, near Arezzo in Tuscany. Taken by his father to Florence to pursue the studies for which he appeared so apt, he studied Latin under Giovanni Malpaghino of Ravenna, the friend and protégé of Petrarch, his distinguished abilities and his dexterity as a copyist of manuscripts brought him into early notice with the chief scholars of Florence: both Coluccio Salutati and Niccolò de' Niccoli befriended him. He studied notarial law, and, at the age of twenty-one he was received into the Florentine notaries' guild, the Arte dei giudici e notai.
In October 1403, on high recommendations from Salutati and Leonardo Bruni he entered the service of Cardinal Landolfo Maramaldo, Bishop of Bari, as his secretary, a few months he was invited to join the Chancery of Apostolic Briefs in the Roman Curia of Pope Boniface IX, thus embarking on eleven turbulent years during which he served under four successive popes. Under Martin V he reached the top rank of his office, as papal secretary; as such he functioned as a personal attendant of the Pope, writing letters at his behest and dictation, with no formal registration of the briefs, but preserving copies. He was esteemed for his excellent Latin, his extraordinarily beautiful book hand, as occasional liaison with Florence, which involved him in legal and diplomatic work. Throughout his long office of 50 years, Poggio served a total of seven popes: Boniface IX, Innocent VII, Gregory XII, Antipope John XXIII, Martin V, Eugenius IV, Nicholas V. While he held his office in the Curia through that momentous period, which saw the Councils of Constance, in the train of Pope John XXIII, of Basel, the final restoration of the papacy under Nicholas V, he was never attracted to the ecclesiastical life.
In spite of his meager salary in the Curia, he remained a layman to the end of his life. The greater part of Poggio's long life was spent in attendance to his duties in the Roman Curia at Rome and the other cities the pope was constrained to move his court. Although he spent most of his adult life in his papal service, he considered himself a Florentine working for the papacy, he kept his links to Florence and remained in constant communication with his learned and influential Florentine friends: Coluccio Salutati, Niccolò de' Niccoli, Lorenzo de' Medici, Leonardo Bruni, Carlo Marsuppini, Cosimo de' Medici. After Martin V was elected as the new pope in November 1417, although not holding any office, accompanied his court to Mantua in late 1418, once there, decided to accept the invitation of Henry, Cardinal Beaufort, bishop of Winchester, to go to England, his five years spent in England, until returning to Rome in 1423, were the least productive and satisfactory of his life. Poggio resided in Florence during 1434−36 with Eugene IV.
On the proceeds of a sale of a manuscript of Livy in 1434, he built himself a villa in the Valdarno, which he adorned with a collection of antique sculpture and inscriptions, works that were familiar to his friend Donatello. In December 1435, at age 56, tired of the unstable character of his single life, Poggio left his long-term mistress and delegitimized the fourteen children he had had with the mistress, scoured Florence for a wife, married a girl not yet eighteen, Selvaggia dei Buondelmonti, of a noble Florentine family. In spite of the remonstrances and dire predictions of all his friends about the age discrepancy, the marriage was a happy one, producing five sons and a daughter. Poggio wrote a spate of long letters to justify his move, composed one of his famous dialogues, An Seni Sit uxor ducenda From 1439 to 1442 during the Council of Florence, Poggio lived in Florence. In his quarrel against Lorenzo Valla — an expert at philological analysis of ancient texts, a redoubtable opponent endowed with a superior intellect, a hot temperament fitted to protracted disputation − Poggio found his match.
Poggio started in February 1452 with a full-dress critique of the Elegantiae, Valla's major work on Latin language and style, where he supported a critical use of Latin eruditio going beyond pure admiration and respectful imitatio of the classics. At stake was the new approach of the humanae litterae in relation to the divinae litterae. Valla claimed that biblical texts could be subjected to the same philological criticism as the great classics of antiquity. Poggio held that humanism and theology were separate fields of inquiry, labeled Valla's mordacitas as dementia. Poggio's series of five Orationes in Laurentium Vallam were countered, line by line, by
Gaius Lutatius Catulus
Gaius Lutatius Catulus was a Roman statesman and naval commander in the First Punic War. He was born a member of the plebeian gens Lutatius, his cognomen "Catulus" means "puppy". There are no historical records of his life prior to consulship, but his career followed the standard cursus honorum, beginning with service in the cavalry and continuing with the positions of military tribune and quaestor, he was elected as a consul in a novus homo. His colleague as consul was Aulus Postumius Albinus. In addition to consulship Postumius held the position of Flamen Martialis, for this reason the pontifex maximus Lucius Caecilius Metellus forbade him from leaving the city. Lutatius was therefore the only candidate for commanding the war in Sicily; the senate appointed the praetor Quintus Valerius Falto as his second-in-command. This was somewhat of a novelty, since a second praetorship was created only a few years earlier, thereby allowing one of the praetors to leave Rome; the two consuls shared the command of the army.
Upon assuming command Lutatius and Valerius embarked for Sicily. Lutatius had the command of a new fleet; this fleet was funded by donations from wealthy citizens as the prolonged war had left the public treasury empty. The degree to which Lutatius was involved with the construction of the fleet is unknown. No decisive action in the war was taken in 242 BCE, his brother, Quintus Lutatius Cerco, was elected consul in the following year, but Lutatius and Valerius were granted proconsulship and propraetorship allowing them to continue leading the military efforts against Carthage. In 241 BCE Carthage sent a large fleet commanded by Hanno the Great to Sicily with dual purpose of regaining naval supremacy and resupplying their besieged garrisons in Sicily. A wound prevented Lutatius from commanding the fleet in the ensuing Battle of the Aegates and so the command passed to Valerius; the battle ended in decisive Roman victory. Carthage, unable to fund a replacement fleet, was forced to negotiate a peace treaty favorable to the Romans with Lutatius.
Both Lutatius and Valerius were awarded a triumph by the senate. To celebrate his victory, Lutatius built a temple to Juturna in Campus Martius, in the area known as Largo di Torre Argentina. There is no historical record of his subsequent career. Gaius Lutatius Catulus is the main character of Finnish writer Jukka M. Heikkilä's book Merikonsuli