Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer

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Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer[1] (before 103 BC or c. 100 BC – 59 BC) was a Consul in 60 BC and son of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Nepos, or, according to some, the son of Tribune Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer while the latter is the son of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Nepos. Previously he held the offices of Legate in 66 BC, Praetor in 63 BC and Propraetor of Cisalpine Gaul in 62 BC.[2] and Augur.[3] Celer was once sent to Picenum and Gaul in order to gather the troops against Catilina. Celer blocked the mountain gates and prevented Catilina passing through the Apennines to Gaul.[4] Originally serving in Pompeius' army, Celer then came into conflict with him and was imprisoned. Celer was married to Clodia Maior and had a daughter by her named (as were all the women in the Caecilius Metellus family), Caecilia Metella.

He was a Lieutenant of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus in the Army of Asia and defeated Oroezes, King of Albania in 65 BC. He was then charged with occupying the Picenum and the Senones and sent to Cisalpine Gaul as Proconsul.

He died suddenly in 59 BC, according to some poisoned by his wife and cousin Clodia Maior Quadrantaria - daughter of Appius Claudius Pulcher and wife Caecilia Metella Balearica - notoriously debauched, reputed incestuous lover of her brother Clodius, of Caelius, possibly of the great lyric poet Catullus (most authorities identify her as the subject of his Lesbia), and many others.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cognomen due to the celerity with which he treated of his father's funerals. (Cfr. F. Noel, in Dictionnaire Historique ...)
  2. ^ Cic. Fam. V 1—2
  3. ^ Dio XXXVII 23, 3
  4. ^ Cic. Fam. V 2, 1; Cat. I 19; II 5—6; Sull. 65; Sall. Cat. 30, 5; 42, 3; 57, 2; Valerius Maximus VII 7, 7; Plut. Cic. 16, 1; Dio XXXVII 27, 3; 32, 2
  5. ^ Clodia

Further reading[edit]

  • T. P. Wiseman, "Celer and Nepos", Classical Quarterly vol. 1 (1971), p. 180—182
  • Manuel Dejante Pinto de Magalhães Arnao Metello and João Carlos Metello de Nápoles, "Metellos de Portugal, Brasil e Roma", Torres Novas, 1998

Political offices
Preceded by
Marcus Pupius Piso Frugi Calpurnianus,
Marcus Valerius Messalla Niger
60 BC,
with Lucius Afranius
Succeeded by
Julius Caesar,
Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus