Quintus Servilius Caepio the Younger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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 urbanus in 100 BCE. In this role he had oversight of the Roman treasury. Three years previously in 103 BCE, his father, Quintus Servilius Caepio the Elder (consul 106 BCE), had been tried before the people by the tribune Gaius Norbanus for his catastrophic loss at the Battle of Arausio. Therefore, in his quaestorship the younger Caepio used violence to oppose Lucius Appuleius Saturninus, a tribune of the plebs and a political ally of Norbanus, in his attempt to pass a bill to sell grain at a deeply discounted price to the Roman people. Caepio was later brought to trial in 95 BCE, but, defended by Lucius Licinius Crassus, he was acquitted. In his role as quaestor urbanus he issued coins with the unusual legend AD FRV EMV EX SC, standing for ad frumentum emundum ex senatus consulto, ‘for the purchase of grain by order of the senate’ (RRC 330/1).

In 92 BCE, Caepio prosecuted Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, the eminent princeps senatus, for alleged 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 BCE.

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 BCE after falling out with her brother. Livia subsequently remarried in c.96 BCE 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 BCE: 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).

Family tree[edit]

See also[edit]