Caecilia Metella Dalmatica

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Caecilia Metella (died around 80 BC) was the daughter of Lucius Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus, Pontifex Maximus in 115 BC.

Caecilia Metella's first marriage was to Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, an aging politician at the peak of his power. Scaurus was a patrician, the princeps senatus (president of the Senate) and a traditional ally of her family. Caecilia bore Scaurus two children: Marcus Aemilius Scaurus and Aemilia Scaura, whom Sulla, her second husband, married to Pompey to forge an alliance with him. Aemilia became the second wife of Pompey. Caecilia Metella had two twins, Faustus and Fausta, and another unnamed son with Sulla.

Following Scaurus' death, Caecilia married Lucius Cornelius Sulla, who was fifty. In his account of the life of Sulla, Plutarch wrote that this was a prestigious marriage for Sulla due to Caecilia being the daughter of the Pontifex Maximus, the high priest of Roman state religion. The marriage was ridiculed by the people and many leading men were dissatisfied because they thought that it was unworthy of Caecilia. Caecilia was Sulla's fourth wife and he married her only a few days after divorcing Cloelia for 'barrenness.' Because of this and despite the fact that Sulla praised Cloelia and gave her gifts, many thought that he had accused her unfairly. However, he always showed Caecilia great deference. Because of this, when Sulla refused the request of the people to restore the exiled supporters of Marius (whom Sulla had fought in Sulla's First Civil War, 88–87 BC) they asked Caecilia for help. Plutarch wrote that it "was thought also that when [Sulla] took the city of Athens, he treated its people more harshly because they had scurrilously abused Metella from the walls." [1] In another passage, Plutarch specified that the scurrilous abuse against Sulla and Caecilia was from Aristion, the tyrant of Athens. [2]

While Sulla was in Greece the Marians (the supporters of Gaius Marius) seized Rome and perpetrated violence against the supporters of Sulla. Metella fled with her children with difficulty, informed Sulla that his villas had been burned and offered to help the Sullans (the supporters of Sulla) at home. [3] After Sulla celebrated his triumph for his victory in Greece, Metella bore him twin children, "[Sulla] named the male child Faustus, and the female Fausta; for the Romans call what is auspicious and joyful, "faustum." " [4] While Sulla was devoting a lavish feast in honour of the god Hercules, Caeclia was sick and dying. The priests forbade Sulla 'to go near her or to have his house polluted by her funeral.' Sulla divorced her and had her taken to another house while she was still alive. In this way he respected the law. Sulla transgressed his laws limiting the expenses of funerals and of banquets, organised a sumptuous funeral and drowned his sorrows in drinking parties and extravagant banquets. [5] Plutarch mentioned that another, unnamed son who died shortly before the death of his mother Metella appeared to him in a dream. Plutarch clarified this by saying that when Sulla died he left two young children by Metella. [6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Plutarch, Parallel Lives, The Life of Sulla, 6.10-12
  2. ^ Plutarch, Parallel Lives, The Life of Sulla, 13.1
  3. ^ Plutarch, Parallel Lives, The Life of Sulla, 21.1
  4. ^ Plutarch, Parallel Lives, The Life of Sulla, 34.3
  5. ^ Plutarch, Parallel Lives, The Life of Sulla, 35.1-3
  6. ^ Plutarch, Parallel Lives, The Life of Sulla, 37.2, 4

References[edit]

  • Plutarch, Parallel Lives, The Live of Sulla, The Complete Collection of Plutarch's Parallel Lives, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014; ISBN 978-1505387513; see [1] accessed June 2016
  • Manuel Dejante Pinto de Magalhães Arnao Metello and João Carlos Metello de Nápoles, "Metellos de Portugal, Brasil e Roma", Torres Novas, 1998

See also[edit]