Mucia Tertia

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Mucia Tertia
Known forWife of Pompey, mistress of Julius Caesar
Marcus Aemilius Scaurus
ChildrenGnaeus Pompeius
Pompeia Magna
Sextus Pompey
Marcus Aemilius Scaurus the Younger

Mucia Tertia was a Roman matrona who lived in the 1st century BC. She was the daughter of Quintus Mucius Scaevola, the pontifex maximus and consul in 95 BC. Her mother was a Licinia who 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 the choice of name was 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), Quintus Metellus Celer, consul in 60 BC, and Quintus 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 (who married 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 fighting King Mithridates VI of Pontus. On his 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 king's wife.[1] Mucia next married Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, a stepson of the dictator Sulla, with whom she had another 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 triumvir Octavian (the future Emperor, Augustus). She was living at the time of the battle of Actium, 31 BC. Octavian treated her with great respect.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michael Lovano; All Things Julius Caesar: An Encyclopedia of Caesar's World and Legacy [2 volumes] - 531


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "Mucia (2)". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 2. p. 1117.