Mucia Tertia was a Roman matrona who lived in the 1st century BC. She was the daughter of Quintus Mucius Scaevola, the pontifex maximus, consul in 95 BC. Her mother was a Licinia that divorced her father to marry Quintus Caecilius Metellus Nepos, in a scandal mentioned by several sources. Her name, Mucia Tertia, would suggest that she was a third daughter, according to the Roman naming convention for women, though it is believed that this was instead to differentiate her from her two aunts. Mucia had also two younger half-brothers from her mother's second marriage (see Caecilius Metellus family tree), Q. Metellus Celer, consul in 60 BC, and of Q. Metellus Nepos, consul in 57 BC.
Following the victory of Lucius Cornelius Sulla over Gaius Marius the Younger, Sulla, as dictator, needed to secure Pompey's loyalty and to do that, he arranged the latter's marriage to Mucia around 79 BC. This marriage resulted in three children: elder son Gnaeus Pompeius (Pompey the Younger), daughter Pompeia Magna (married to Faustus Cornelius Sulla) and younger son Sextus Pompey. She had the misfortune to outlive all three of her children.
Between 76 and 61 BC, Pompey spent most of the time away from Rome, campaigning in Hispania against Sertorius, in the Mediterranean Sea against the pirates, and in the East, and fighting King Mithridates VI of Pontus. On his final return, in 61 BC, Pompey sent Mucia a letter of divorce. According to Cicero's personal correspondence, the motive was adultery (it is said that she was one of Julius Caesar's many affairs, although Pompey's friendship and alliance with Caesar at the time could suggest that Pompey himself either did not regard this rumour as true or did not consider it important). Imperial biographer Suetonius stated that Pompey often referred to Caesar as "Aegisthus", the name of a Greek mythological character who was known to have seduced a kings wife. Mucia next married Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, a stepson of the dictator Sulla, with whom she had an other son named Marcus. In 39 BC, Mucia, at the earnest request of the Roman people, went to Sicily to mediate between her son Sextus Pompey and Emperor Augustus. She was living at the time of the battle of Actium, 31 BC. Augustus treated her with great respect.
- Michael Lovano; All Things Julius Caesar: An Encyclopedia of Caesar's World and Legacy [2 volumes] - 531
- Asconius, Pro Scauro, p. 19, Orelli-Baiter (ed.) (1845).
- Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, v, 2.
- Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, i. 12.
- Dio Cassius, xxxvii. 49, xlviii, 16, li. 2, lvi. 38.
- Appian, Bellum Civile v. 69, 72.
- Suetonius, Life of Julius Caesar, 50.
- Plutarch, Life of Pompey, 42.
- Zonaras, x. 5.
- Hieronymus, Adversus Jovinianum, i. 48.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1870). "Mucia (2)". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 2. p. 1117.