Cousin of Lucius Licinius Lucullus. He was the brother of the Lucullus, who subdued Mithridates and Tigranes.
During the Civil Wars, he served as a legate in Northern Italy. In 82 BCE, at Fidentia, Marcus Lucullus, one of
Sulla's commanders, defeated Quinctius, the legate of
Gnaeus Papirius Carbo. He was elected to the Pontifical College and later to the position of aedile in 80 BCE. During this time, he and his brother hosted fantastic games, in which bulls and elephants were pitted against one another. In 76 BCE, he was elected praetor peregrinus and was put in charge of court cases involving non-Romans. Most notably, he presided over the case of Gaius Antonius Hybrida. His political success culminated in his election to the consulship in 73 BCE with Gaius Cassius Longinus.
After his consulship, he was made governor of Macedonia. In 72 BCE, he successfully fought against the Thracian Bessi. He conquered Greek bases of Mithridates and advanced all the way to the Danube River. He was later awarded a triumph in 71 BCE for his successes against the Thracians. He also played a minor role in suppressing the armies of
Spartacus' slave army.
In 66 or 65 BCE, he was put on trial by Gaius Memmius for his actions under Sulla, but he was acquitted. In 63 BCE, he opposed the attempt of
Catilina to kill the consuls, among them
Cicero. In 62 BCE, he served as the main witness in Cicero's famous Pro Archia. In 58 or 57 BCE, he worked to return Cicero from exile. He died soon after, in 56 BCE.