The gens Mucia was an ancient and noble patrician house at Rome. The gens is first mentioned at the earliest period of the Republic, but in later times the family was known primarily by its plebeian branches.
The first of the Mucii to appear in history is Gaius Mucius Scaevola, a young man at the inception of the Roman Republic. According to legend, he volunteered to infiltrate the camp of Lars Porsena, the king of Clusium, who besieged Rome c. 508 BC, and who may in fact have captured and held the city for some time. Mucius, armed with a dagger, attempted to assassinate Porsena, but unfamiliar with Etruscan dress, he mistook the king's secretary for the king, and was captured.
Brought before the king, Mucius declared that he was but one of three hundred Roman men who had sworn to carry out this mission, or die in the attempt. As a show of bravery, it was said that he thrust his right hand into a brazier, and stood silently as it burned. Porsena was so impressed by his courage and endurance that Mucius was freed, and some traditions held that Porsena withdrew his army in fear of the threat of assassination invented by the young Roman.
Branches and cognomina
The only major family of the Mucii bore the cognomen Scaevola. This surname is said to have been acquired by Gaius Mucius, who lost the use of his right hand following his attempt on the life of Lars Porsena, and was subsequently called Scaevola because only his left hand remained. The similar cognomen, Scaeva, which occurs in other gentes, including among the Junii, is generally assumed to mean "left handed",[i] and Scaevola could be a diminutive form; but in ordinary usage, scaevola referred to an amulet.
The only other important cognomen of the Mucii was Cordus, borne by some of the Scaevolae. According to some traditions, Gaius Mucius was originally surnamed Cordus, and assumed the surname Scaevola on account of his deed before Porsena. However, it may be that the tradition concerning his right hand was a later addition to the story, intended to explain the descent of the Mucii Scaevolae from one of the heroes of the Republic. Although Gaius Mucius was a patrician, the later Mucii Scaevolae were plebeians.
- Gaius Mucius Scaevola, attempted the life of Lars Porsena, c. 508 BC.
- Publius Mucius Scaevola, father of the praetor of 215 BC.
- Quintus Mucius P. f. Scaevola, praetor in 215 BC, received Sardinia as his province. His command there was prolonged for three years. He may have been consul in 220.
- Publius Mucius Q. f. P. n. Scaevola, consul in 175 BC, triumphed over the Ligures.
- Quintus Mucius Q. f. P. n. Scaevola, consul in 174 BC.
- Publius Mucius (P. f. Q. n.) Scaevola, consul in 133 BC; two years later he succeeded his brother, Publius Licinius Crassus Dives Mucianus, as Pontifex Maximus. He was regarded as one of the founders of the ius civile.
- Publius Licinius Crassus Dives Mucianus, Pontifex Maximus, and consul in 131 BC; he was defeated and killed by Aristonicus.
- Quintus Mucius Q. f. Q. n. Scaevola, called the augur, consul in 117 BC.
- Mucia Q. f. Q. n., the elder daughter of Quintus Mucius Scaevola, the augur, married Lucius Licinius Crassus, the orator, who was consul in 95 BC, and the colleague of Mucia's cousin, Quintus Mucius Scaevola.
- Tertia Mucia Q. f. Q. n., better known as Mucia Tertia, the younger daughter of the augur, married Gnaeus Pompeius, the triumvir.
- Quintus Mucius P. f. (P. n.) Scaevola, son of the Pontifex Maximus, was consul in 95 BC, and later himself became Pontifex Maximus. He was murdered during the proscription of the younger Marius.
- Gaius Mucius Scaevola, one of the quindecimviri sacris faciundis in 17 BC.
- Gaius Licinius Mucianus, consul in AD 52, 70, and 75; a general, statesman, orator, and historian praised by Tacitus, he was a strong supporter of Vespasian.
- Scaeva could also refer to a favourable omen.
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. II, p. 1117 ("Mucia Gens").
- Livy, ii. 12, 13.
- The New College Latin & English Dictionary, s. v. scaeva, scaevola.
- Livy, ii. 13.
- Varro, De Lingua Latina, vi. 5.
- Livy, ii. 13.
- Niebuhr, History of Rome, vol. i, "The War with Porsenna".
- Broughton, vol. I, p. 235.
- Livy, xxiii. 24, 30, 34, 40, xxiv. 9, 44, xxv. 3, xxvii. 8.
- Broughton, vol. I, pp. 235, 236 (note 1), 255.
- Livy, xl. 44, xli. 19.
- Fasti Triumphales.
- Broughton, vol. I, pp. 401, 403 (note 1).
- Livy, xl. 44, xlii. 49, 67.
- Broughton, vol. I, p. 403.
- Plutarch, "The Life of Tiberius Gracchus", c. 9.
- Cicero, Pro Plancio, c. 36, De Domo Sua, c. 34, De Oratore, i. 50, Brutus, c. 28.
- Digesta, 1. tit. 2. s. 2. § 9; 24. tit. 3. s. 66; 50. tit. 7. s. 17; 49. tit. 15. s. 4.
- Valerius Maximus, viii. 8, 2.
- Quintilian, xi. 2.
- Zimmern, Geschichte des Römischen Privatrechts, vol. i, p. 277.
- Broughton, vol. I, p. 492.
- Plutarch, "The Life of Tiberius Gracchus", 9, 21.
- Cicero, "De Oratore", i. 37, 56, Brutus, 26, 33.
- Livy, Epitome, 59.
- Gellius, i. 13.
- Valerius Maximus, viii. 7. § 6.
- Digesta, 1. tit. 2. s. 2. § 40, ff.
- Drumann, Geschichte Roms, "Licinii Crassi", No. 21.
- Broughton, vol. I, pp. 499, 500.
- Cicero, Laelius de Amicitia, 8, c. 1, Brutus, c. 26, 35, De Finibus, i. 3, De Oratore, i. 17, ii. 70, Philippicae, viii. 10, Pro Balbo, c. 20.
- Valerius Maximus, iii. 8, iv. 1. § 11, iv. 5. § 4, viii. 12. § 1.
- Broughton, vol. I, pp. 523, 524, 529, 530 (note 1).
- Cicero, Brutus, 58. § 211, De Oratore, iii. 12.
- Valerius Maximus, viii. 8. § 1.
- Quintilian, i. 1. § 6.
- Asconius Pedianus, In Ciceronis Pro Scauro, p. 19 (ed. Orelli).
- Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, v. 2, Epistulae ad Atticum, i. 12.
- Cassius Dio, xxxvii. 49, xlviii. 16, li. 2, lvi. 38.
- Appian, Bellum Civile, v. 69, 72.
- Suetonius, "The Life of Caesar", 50.
- Plutarch, "The Life of Pompeius", 42.
- Zonaras, x. 5.
- St. Jerome, Adversus Jovinianum, i. 48.
- Cicero, De Officiis, i. 32, iii. 11, 15, De Oratore, i. 39, iii. 3, Pro Roscio Amerino, 12, Brutus, 39, 52, 89, De Legibus, ii. 20.
- Velleius Paterculus, ii. 26.
- Florus, iii. 21.
- Lucan, ii. 126.
- Appian, Bellum Civile, i. 88.
- Valerius Maximus, ix. 11.
- Plutarch, "The Life of Sulla", c. 25.
- Digesta, 41. tit. 1. s. 64; 43 tit. 20. s. 8; 50 tit. 16. s. 241; tit. 17. s. 73; 35. tit. 1. s. 7, 77, 79, ff.
- Broughton, vol. II, pp. 11, 37.
- PIR, vol. I, p. 387.
- Tacitus, Historiae, i. 10, 76, ii. 4, 5, 76–84, iii. 8, 46, 53, 78, iv. 4, 11, 39, 80, 85.
- Suetonius, "The Life of Vespasian", 6, 13.
- Cassius Dio, lxv. 8, 9, 22, lxvi. 2, 9, 13.
- Josephus, Bellum Judaïcum, iv. 10, 11.
- Pliny the Elder, xii. 1. s. 5, xxviii. 2. § 5, xxxiv. 7. s. 17 ff.
- Vossius, De Historicis Latinis, i. 27, p. 140.
- Westermann, Geschichte der Beredtsamkeit, § 82, n. 19.
- Marcus Terentius Varro, De Lingua Latina (On the Latin Language).
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- Joannes Zonaras, Epitome Historiarum (Epitome of History).
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- Sigmund Wilhelm Zimmern, Geschichte des Römischen Privatrechts bis Justinian (History of Roman Private Law to Justinian), J. C. B. Mohr, Heidelberg (1826).
- Barthold Georg Niebuhr, The History of Rome, Julius Charles Hare and Connop Thirlwall, trans., John Smith, Cambridge (1828).
- Wilhelm Drumann, Geschichte Roms in seinem Übergang von der republikanischen zur monarchischen Verfassung, oder: Pompeius, Caesar, Cicero und ihre Zeitgenossen, Königsberg (1834–1844).
- Anton Westermann, Geschichte der Beredtsamkeit in Greichenland und Rom (History of Rhetoric in Greece and Rome), Johann Ambrosius Barth, Leipzig (1835).
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, ed., Little, Brown and Company, Boston (1849).
- Paul von Rohden, Elimar Klebs, & Hermann Dessau, Prosopographia Imperii Romani (The Prosopography of the Roman Empire, abbreviated PIR), Berlin (1898).
- T. Robert S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, American Philological Association (1952).
- John C. Traupman, The New College Latin & English Dictionary, Bantam Books, New York (1995).