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The Caecilii Metellii was one of the most important and wealthiest families in the Roman Republic. Although plebeians (meaning not of patrician stock — the Caecilii Metelli were nobles) the Caecilii Metellii remained a political power within the state, from 3rd century BC to the end of the Republic, holding every office in the cursus honorum as well as several important military commands.
Important members of the Caecilius Metellus clan include:
- Lucius Caecilius Metellus, consul 251 BC and 247 BC, died 221 BC, pontifex maximus
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus, consul 206 BC
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus - eldest son of Quintus Caecilius Metellus, consul in 206 BC. He was a brilliant general that fought in the Third Macedonic War, securing, in 146 BC the annexation of Macedonia as a Roman province, hence the cognomen Macedonicus. He was elected consul in 143 BC and censor in 131 BC. During his censorship, Macedonicus legislated to make marriage compulsory for Romans, a law that was never put into practice. He died in 115 BC
- Lucius Caecilius Metellus Calvus, consul 142 BC
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Balearicus, consul 123 BC, censor 120 BC
- Lucius Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus, consul 119 BC, pontifex maximus in 115 BC, father of Dalmatica
- Lucius Caecilius Metellus Diadematus, consul 117 BC, censor 115 BC
- Marcus Caecilius Metellus, consul 115 BC
- Gaius Caecilius Metellus Caprarius, consul 113 BC, censor 102 BC
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus - second son of Calvus, he was the leader of the conservative faction of the senate and a bitter enemy of Gaius Marius. Elected consul in 109 BC, he was sent to Numidia to wage war against king Jughurta. After winning the battle of the Muthul , he returned to Rome to celebrate a triumph and acquired the cognomen Numidicus. Numidicus is elected censor 102 BC in partnership with his cousin Caprarius. During the censorship, he tries to expel Lucius Appuleius Saturninus from the senate, without success. Afterwards, Saturninus has is revenge and forces him to swear the acceptance of the agrarian law that entitled Marius' veterans to farmlands. Numidicus refuses and is sent to exile. He died in 91 BC.
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Nepos - son of Balearicus, he was elected consul in 98 BC. One of the few known aspects of his life are the circumstances that surrounded his marriage to Licinia Crassa, the mother of his sons. Licinia was already married to another man, Quintus Mucius Scaevola, when they started an affair. Being discovered, Licinia is outcaste and branded as an adulteress but Nepos, instead of letting go, divorces his wife and marries her less than a week after. This was such a scandalous procedure that the wedding deserved several references in the ancient sources.
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius - only son of Numidicus, started is military career as a legate to Lucius Cornelius Sulla in the Social War. After the outlawing of Sulla, he remains faithful to him and fled to Africa. In 83 BC he returned to Sulla and helps him win the civil war that eventually made Sulla dictator. To reward him for his services, Sulla nominated him pontifex maximus. He was elected consul 80 BC and afterwards, sent as a proconsul to the Hispania provinces. For the next eight years, he remains in Iberia fighting against the rebellious Sertorius, the last five with the help of Pompey. He eventually returned to Rome, where he celebrated a triumph for his victories in Hispania. He died around 63 BC. For his campaign against Sertorius, Pius earned the respect of Roman military historians, particularly Frontinus who often refers his deeds on the book Stratagemata.
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Creticus, consul 69 BC
- Lucius Caecilius Metellus, consul 68 BC
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer, consul 60 BC, died 59 BC, perhaps poisoned by his wife Clodia
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Nepos, consul 57 BC
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Cornelianus Scipio Nasica - AKA Scipio Metellus, consul 52 BC, adopted son of Metellus Pius, with whom he campaigned against Sertorius. He was a member of Cato the Younger's boni faction of the Roman Senate, and became father-in-law of Pompey the Great. He commanded the "Republican" army at Thapsus, and was killed in battle against Julius Caesar's legions.
- Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger, fictional star of the SPQR series of books
Women of the Caecili Metelli family were always named Caecilia Metella, according to the Roman naming convention. To distinguish them, the Caecilias often carried their father's cognomen, declined in a female form. Famous Caecilias include:
- Caecilia Metella Dalmatica, wife of Marcus Aemilius Scaurus and Lucius Cornelius Sulla, successively
- Caecilia Metella Calva, mother of Lucius Licinius Lucullus
- Caecilia Metella Balearica Minor, mother of Publius Clodius Pulcher
- Caecilia Metella Celer
See also: Caecilius Metellus family tree
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