Quintus Servilius Caepio the Younger

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Quintus Servilius Caepio the Younger was a Roman soldier and statesman. He was elected praetor in 91 BC, and fought for Rome during the Marsic Wars of the Italian Rebellion against Rome.


Caepio served as quaestor in 103 BC. During that year, his father, Quintus Servilius Caepio the Elder (consul 106 BC), was tried before the people by the tribune Gaius Norbanus for his catastrophic loss at the Battle of Arausio. The younger Caepio tried to use violence to oppose Norbanus and his ally, Lucius Appuleius Saturninus, but his father was nonetheless exiled. Caepio's violent tactics were used as a pretext many years later in 95 BC when he was tried by an unknown prosecutor. However, thanks to the defence of the consul Lucius Licinius Crassus, Caepio was acquitted.

In 92 BC, Caepio prosecuted Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, the eminent princeps senatus, for supposed provincial extortion and, it seems, for taking bribes from Mithridates VI of Pontus. Scaurus managed to issue a counter-accusation against Caepio, and the two accusations collapsed. Scaurus was apparently driven by the experience of the affair to side with Caepio's former brother-in-law, Livius Drusus, who was to be tribune in 91 BC.

Alongside the consul Lucius Marcius Philippus, Caepio became the chief opponent of Livius Drusus' legislative programme, including the laws aimed at giving full citizenship to the Italians. Pliny (NH 33.20) said that the dispute between the two started many years earlier because of a golden ring. Caepio, it was rumoured, was even involved in the assassination of Drusus, an event commonly seen by ancient sources as the start of the Social War.

Later, during that conflict Caepio was made a Legate in the Roman Army. He was captured and executed by the Italian allies after being tricked into leaving a secure position.


Caepio married Livia, sister of Marcus Livius Drusus the Younger, sometime around 100 BC. Caepio and Livia had three children: Servilia, the mistress of Julius Caesar, mother of Brutus, and mother-in-law of Gaius Cassius Longinus; another daughter, also called Servilia; and a son, Quintus Servilius Caepio.

Caepio divorced Livia in c.97 BC after falling out with her brother. Livia subsequently remarried in c.96 BC to Marcus Porcius Cato: their children were Marcus (the famous Cato the Younger) and Porcia. However, Livia and Porcius Cato both died in c.95-92 BC: as a result, all of Livia's children (including those by Caepio) grew up in the household of Livius Drusus, until the latter's assassination in 91 BC (Plutarch, Cato the Younger 1.1).

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