Lucius Cornelius Merula (consul 87 BC)

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For another Roman politician of the same name, see Lucius Cornelius Merula (consul 193 BCE)

Lucius Cornelius Merula (d. 87 BCE) was a politician and priest of the late Roman Republic.

He held the office of Flamen Dialis (high priest of Jupiter), and wore the flamen's cap at all times, unlike the other flamines who only wore it while performing sacrifices.

In 87 BCE, during the civil war between Marius and Sulla, he was appointed consul by the Senate in place of Marius's ally Cinna, who had been driven from the city. He negotiated the return of Cinna and Marius from banishment, and abdicated his consulship. However, false charges were made against him during Marius's purges of his political enemies, and he committed suicide, opening his veins in the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus and imploring the gods to avenge him on Cinna and his allies. He had first taken care to remove his flamen's cap, for it was considered a sin for a flamen to wear it at his death.

The position of Flamen Dialis was now vacant. Marius's seventeen-year-old nephew Julius Caesar was nominated to fill it in 83 BCE, but this nomination was annulled by Sulla the following year. The position was not filled again until 11 BCE, under Augustus.