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Servilia and her Family$

Susan Treggiari

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829348

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829348.001.0001

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Servilia’s Place in Society

Servilia’s Place in Society

(p.217) 11 Servilia’s Place in Society
Servilia and her Family

Susan Treggiari

Oxford University Press

Abstract and Keywords

Servilia has been viewed as having exceptional political influence. Women were excluded from the vote, office (other than religious), army, and (normally) advocacy. Family gave them a position. They could exercise patronage. They could benefit clients in various ways, inherit them from family or husband, transmit them to children. Clients and friends gave them a network of mutual obligations (officia) and favours (beneficia). Servilia formed her own ties with friends/acquaintances of all ranks, e.g. Atticus, Cicero, Flaminia, Triarius, probably Sulpicius. She had access to the circles of Caesar, Cato, and Brutus, from whom she is known to have drawn allies, such as Balbus, Labeo, Casca, Scaptius. Her wealth gave her leverage and the ability to display herself to advantage.

Keywords:   Political influence, patronage, officia, beneficia, friends, wealth

All so far has been leading up to the question: does what we can ascertain about Servilia justify the idea that she played an important role in the social and political life of her time? In this chapter I attempt to place Servilia in the context of her society as a preliminary to discussing whether she could exert influence in social and political matters and, if so, how and to what extent.

The Question of Influence

A strong scholarly tradition emphasizes Servilia’s political influence.1 Syme saw her as ‘a political force’, ‘a woman possessed of all the rapacious ambition of the patrician Servilii and ruthless to recapture power for her house’.2

Of such dominating forces behind the phrases and the façade of constitutional government, the most remarkable was Servilia, Cato’s half-sister, Brutus’ mother—and Caesar’s mistress.3

Debarred from public life but enjoying the social prestige of family or husband, the daughters of the nobilitas could not be cheated of the real and secret power that comes from influence. They count for more than does the average senator, they might effect nothing less than an ex-consul achieved by the quiet exercise of auctoritas in the conclave of his peers—and they suitably foreshadow the redoubtable princesses in the dynasty of Julii and Claudii. The notable example is Servilia, Cato’s half-sister, the mother of Brutus—and, for a season, the mistress (p.218) of Julius Caesar. Her influence survived his removal—in June of 44 Servilia can undertake to get a decree of the Senate modified.4

Before Syme it had been suggested she was as important as Caesar—a clear exaggeration which we should dismiss.5 She is often named in the same context as her contemporary Sempronia, who was involved with the Catilinarian conspiracy,6 as Fulvia, the wife of Mark Antony,7 and as Livia, the wife of young Caesar.8 The proof of her political influence is chiefly her assumption, shared by Cicero and the rest of the council, that the deletion of part of a senatorial decree could safely be left to her.9 Cicero’s account, taking her statement so much for granted, suggests that this undertaking is ‘the tip of an iceberg’ and that Servilia was quite in the habit of doing this sort of thing.10 What is not so clear is how many women could rival Servilia’s auctoritas, as Syme calls it.11

Some scholars who have examined closely the opportunities open to Roman women have been sceptical about their political power. Thomas W. Hillard criticized Syme’s view of Servilia trenchantly in 1983. In his opinion,

She could not help but be in the centre of high society and high politics. It does not follow that she was effective in the latter.12

(p.219) Jane Gardner more recently argued that most women could do no more than act ‘as message-bearers’, provide ‘salons at which the men could meet privately’, or use ‘their wealth and social connexions to help ingratiate their husbands, sons or lovers with their peers’. She sees Sempronia, Servilia, and Fulvia as exceptional, but points out that we do not know that the grain-commission was dropped because of her intervention.13 Richard Bauman sums up his view of Servilia as follows: ‘She ought to be the greatest political strategist of the late Republic, but does not quite present as such’. He thinks her promise to change a senatorial decree was nothing special.14

Others are more inclined to credit women with influence and importance in politics. Suzanne Dixon, for instance, gives a perceptive analysis of how Cornelia, the daughter of Scipio Africanus, promoted her family’s interests, educated her children, married her daughter to Aemilianus, was invoked by her sons in public speeches, deployed patronage when they stood for office, and became an exemplar.15

On balance, this reconstruction seems the more convincing. We know that when Caesar was accumulating an enormous fortune by the conquest of Gaul, he found that one sensible investment was to make loans and gifts to men like Cicero and those seeking office in Rome to help them defray their expenses. He also sent gifts to their wives.16 Cultivating both sexes and conferring benefits in the expectation of repayment was a good insurance programme for anyone.

I incline therefore to the opinion that women had more influence than appears in our sources. Those sources, written by men, are likely to play down women’s influence for a variety of reasons. Although a man would know his mother, sisters, wife, and daughters relatively well, he was rarely around when they interacted with other women. Perhaps he simply did not often notice when they got things done. If they manipulated him, he might not realize it. A ‘softly, softly’ approach might not be recognized. Secondly, much of what women did (in their own social and religious gatherings or in contacts with their clients) might not interest him. A convention that women should focus on the domestic sphere and not take part in many areas of public life meant he would not praise them for overstepping the boundaries. Then too he might pass over in silence things of which he disapproved. I suspect that what we (p.220) have is neglect, lack of interest, and ignorance rather than malicious suppression of women’s contribution to the wider society. The sources we have document the ‘tip of an iceberg’.

Prolegomena: Connexions of Family, Friendship, and Clientela

Patrons, Friends, and Clients

It is well established that men’s success in gaining elected office was based on birth (recognition of their name because of the achievements of ancestors), connexions, and, especially for new men, demonstration of ability and acceptability.17 Political influence flowed from family connexions, marriage, wealth, friends, clients.18 Women could not stand for office nor command armies—a source of clients which was decisive for men like Pompey and Caesar.19 Nor (p.221) did they have legal expertise, act as defending counsel, or often frequent the Forum.20 Yet, despite these enormous handicaps, as Suzanne Dixon says, ‘they could inherit and transmit large bodies of clientes and amici to further far-reaching political ambitions’.21

The idea that clientelae passed from father to son is well attested. For instance, the author of the African War describes Cato as contrasting the younger Cn. Pompeius’s clientelae, passed on by his father, with what his father Pompey had started with at a comparable age.22 Such clientelae had to be nurtured. Cicero mentions that Ti. Claudius Nero had distinguished clientelae in the East inherited from his ancestors which he hoped to strengthen and bind to himself by his benefactions.23

There is evidence that women might transmit clients from their fathers to their sons.24 It was also, it seems, possible for a widow to inherit such connexions from her husband. It has been plausibly argued by Kathryn Welch that Fulvia inherited loyal members of the collegia (associations of the lower-class men in the City, based for instance on trade or locality) from Clodius and deployed them in support of her second and third husbands, Curio and Antony.25

The sources rarely mention women’s clients. But we hear that Sex. Roscius, a man of wealth and position in Ameria, frequented the houses of Metelli, Servilii, and Scipiones.26 When his son was in desperate straits, he took refuge with the elderly Caecilia Metella, sister of Nepos (cos. 98) and daughter of Balearicus (cos. 123), whom his father had known well and in whom there still remained ‘traces of old-fashioned duty’ as a model for others. She preserved him by her courage, faithfulness, and diligence. These, as we know from other sources, were the qualities and duties of a good patronus. She took him in, fed and clothed him, and did everything that could be done from her house, while a young man, Valerius Messalla, arranged the public side of things.27 Cicero (p.222) specifically claims that she acquired distinction from her father, uncles, and brother, but that by her own virtue she further enhanced their reputation.28 Women mattered to a family’s moral capital and its influence.

We should notice that Cicero does not call Caecilia the patrona of Roscius. Instead he emphasizes the hereditary tie and describes it as hospitium (exchange of hospitality). The elder Roscius saw a lot of Caecilia, ‘qua…usus est plurimum’. She may be compared with Servilia Catuli, hospita (hostess/guest) of Dio of Halaesa, who was prepared to defend him against the governor of Sicily. Our Servilia too, it was thought, might have thrown her weight on the side of the prosecutor of Scaurus, just as Clodia backed or even initiated the prosecution of Caelius.29

We remember that wealthy and respectable individuals did not care to be called clientes.30 The words ‘client’ and ‘patron/patroness’ are useful to us, but they must be taken as shorthand, not as always representing the Latin. The word patrona in Latin literature is almost invariably used of a woman who had freed a certain slave, in relation to her freedman or freedwoman. Terence provides a solitary example of a patroness of a client.31 Cicero uses the word only of a manumitter’s wife32 or metaphorically, as when (thinking of advocacy) he calls the extortion-law patroness of the friends and allies of the Roman People or the right of appeal patroness of the citizen body.33 Apart from the rare metaphorical use,34 all post-Ciceronian examples are used to describe a manumitter: nearly all are in juristic writings.35 Patronus, the masculine, is used in the same way. There are plenty of patroni in Plautus, some of them manumitters, but some patrons of clients, as one might expect in the early second century. Cicero often uses the word of an advocate. For (p.223) instance, in the speech for Roscius of Ameria he recurs often to Roscius’s difficulty in finding someone to defend him in court.36 The Roscii had traditionally had many patronos hospitesque (patrons and hosts/guests), but the bad kinsmen had dropped all these and betaken themselves to the protection and clientship (in fidem et clientelam) of Sulla’s freedman Chrysogonus.37 This is the only place in the speech where the word may have the sense of ‘patrons of clients’ (though it may include those who had functioned as advocates).38 The pattern continues in the later court speeches and in other writings: patronus is chiefly used for an advocate or manumitter. When it occurs in the sense of patron of clients, it is often linked with hospes, guest/host.39 We hear occasionally of patrons of whole communities.40

In a humorous letter the businessman M’. Curius calls Cicero his ‘great (exalted) friend’ and ‘my patron’ (‘patrone mi’).41 This man was known to Cicero from his first entry into the Forum and was further recommended to Cicero by Atticus, who was a close friend of his. Cicero and his party were entertained by him at Patrae on their journey back from Cilicia in 50 and again during the civil war. Atticus hoped Cicero would like him and he did, finding that he had a proper Roman wit. Cicero (along with Quintus, young Quintus, and members of his staff) witnessed his will (which named both Atticus and Cicero as legatees, to one-tenth and one-fortieth of the estate respectively) and was taking it back to Rome for safekeeping.42 Tiro, who was ill, was left behind in Patrae at the house of the Greek Lyso, and he and Curius were to look after his medical needs, Curius advancing him money when needed.43 Cicero would call Curius a hospes or an amicus (friend) and talk of their bond of necessitudo (connexion) and recommend him as worthy of the friendship of Sulpicius. Although not a social equal (possibly an eques), he was a useful man for a senator to know. His obsequious address to Cicero is a joke.

In the late Republic, there was no abstract noun expressing our ‘patronage’. Patrocinium means ‘the exercise of the functions of a patronus’, ‘defence, protection’, and ‘performance as a patronus in a court of law’. The corresponding verb patrocinari means ‘to act as patronus or protector’ and ‘to act as (p.224) advocate’.44 Cicero nearly always uses the abstract noun patrocinium in the third sense, ‘acting as defending counsel’, very often figuratively, for instance ‘defence of peace’, ‘defence of pleasure’.45 There seems to be only one Ciceronian passage concerning an individual patron and client where ‘protection’ would be the natural translation.46 The word is not the equivalent of ‘the position of patron’ and does not express the privilege of having clients. In other authors both noun and verb mostly connote law-court—or figurative—defence. A woman did not normally act as advocate in court, so this side of a patron’s duty was not for her.47 Patronatus, ‘the status or position of a patronus’ is used only by later jurists.

As for cliens (client), clienta (female client), and the abstract noun clientela, there are mentions in comedy,48 Caesar uses them in descriptions of Gallic society, Cicero quite frequently in a Roman context (sixty-two examples), other contemporaries provide a few examples.

With reference to individuals of a certain status, other words, such as amicus, familiaris (familiar, intimate), and necessarius (connexion) were preferred by both parties, as a glance at Cicero’s letters of recommendation will show.49 The most striking thing about Cicero’s letters is the wide range of people (all but one male) whom he introduces and recommends to people (especially officials of various ranks) who could help them, either in specific circumstances such as inheritance disputes, court cases, or business, or in general. The people are social equals (senators, though often junior), equites, freedmen, other Roman citizens, provincials (mostly Greeks). They have often deliberately cultivated Cicero’s friendship, have similar intellectual interests, or have helped and obliged him in various ways. The relationships may be old and may go back several generations. Often the friend has given Cicero hospitality or has visited him in Rome. Affection is often claimed. Both sides perform services (officia), the social superior in particular confers benefits (beneficia).50 The language of a formal admission of a man into a relationship of trust is occasionally mentioned: ‘I ask … you to … take … this man … into (p.225) your protection’,51 ‘we press you to take Lyso into your protection and connexion’.52 Such clients could be loosely described as mei and tui (‘my people’, ‘your people’, ‘mine’, or ‘yours’.53

A relationship between patron and client was supposed to be characterized by officium, duty.54 Metella was exemplary in her acceptance of this duty.55 It was similar to the duty between friends or between family members.56 Good faith was implicit in a relationship of fides. Vergil put wrong done to a client on a level with striking a parent. The Twelve Tables in the fifth century had set the severest penalty for a patron who wronged his client.57 The correct result of such a patronal relationship is gratia.

Gratitude, Influence, Power, and Authority

Gratia signifies not only a favour done to others, and especially a favour done in return for those received, and the gratitude evinced in such a requital, but also the influence that accrues to men with a claim on the gratitude of others.58

The beneficiary should be gratus or gratissimus (grateful, very grateful); he will feel gratitude (gratia) and give thanks (gratias). The favour is particularly or most welcome to a third party, such as Cicero (mihi pergratum or gratissimum), who will therefore also owe gratitude.59 Gratia (influence, popularity, and esteem) accrues to the benefactor.

The scope of the word gratia is large.60 It may be glossed by such words as ‘good will, favour, gratitude, popularity, esteem’. It may sometimes be (p.226) rendered ‘influence’, especially when coupled, as it often is, with potentia (power), or auctoritas (authority), or dignitas (status).61 Defending counsel will often attack the gratia of the prosecution side.62 Cicero detects the malign influence of Clodia behind the acquittal of Sex. Cloelius and the prosecution of Caelius.63 Gratia in this last sense normally springs from acquaintance with individuals, though great men may earn it from their reputation. The energetic advocate gained influence from the good will and gratitude of the friends he had defended.64 It enables a man to get things done: posse, ‘to be able (to)’.65 People who possess such gratia are gratiosi.66

Instead of gratia one might speak, often pejoratively, of potentia, power.67 Potentia may be paired with gratia,68 or linked with opes, resources,69 or divitiae, riches.70 I have not found republican texts which attribute potentia to a woman.71 But Clodia is said to be powerful, potens.72 Suetonius tells us that Antony charged young Caesar with having dismissed Scribonia because (p.227) she had too openly criticized the potentia which his mistress wielded. This probably refers to Livia before her marriage to him.73 Perhaps it means Livia’s power over Caesar. But the word is commonly used of political power.

Influence sometimes stems from auctoritas (authority), a quality inherent particularly in experienced, judicious, and knowledgeable senators, magistrates, and priests.74 Cato’s authority could sway the People.75 Q. Metellus Celer, consul designate for 60 but a private citizen, could stop a tribune in his tracks just by his auctoritas, not by the official power (potestas) of a magistracy, which he did not yet possess.76 Augustus also makes it clear that auctoritas may be separate from any constitutional office: after he was given the title Augustus, he excelled everyone in auctoritas, but had no more potestas than his colleagues in each magistracy.77 Auctoritas also belonged especially to the Senate itself (hundreds of examples), and, in occasional mentions, to the Roman People, towns, the whole of Italy.78 It goes with old age.79 The young, of course, did not really possess it.80 It might operate within the family as well as in public life, for Cicero speaks of paternal and fraternal auctoritas.81 It is also potent with friends.82 I have not found republican texts which attribute it to a woman.83 But it would be appropriate if a woman had any power at all, for she was specifically excluded from the potestas of public office. Soon after our period it is employed. Asconius uses it of Servilia’s quasi-maternal authority over Cato.84 Livy describes how Aebutius, thrown out by his mother, acts on (p.228) the authority of his paternal aunt.85 According to Seneca, Marcia’s authority over her son was like her father’s over her.86 Quintilian claims that Sassia’s authority weighed on her son.87 Suetonius takes for granted Vespasia Polla’s auctoritas over her son Vespasian.88 Tacitus writes even more strongly of Livia’s restraining influence over Tiberius: ‘…because his compliance towards his mother was habitual, nor did Sejanus dare to oppose the authority of a parent’.89

Imperium, the right to give orders, clearly belonged to the master of the house, the father, and the husband. But it may also be exercised by a mother over a child.90 Orders from a wife to a husband might be disliked. But they are pictured as occurring in the topsy-turvy world of comedy.91 The mistresses of elegy also bully their lovers. Dominance of wife over husband might happen.

We must look at how relations founded on gratia and auctoritas and so on worked in practice. Cicero’s networking was clearly intense in the years of Caesar’s dictatorship, as we see from his letters of recommendation, although his political influence was not great. He still remained a consular. He was still worth cultivating because of his oratorical powers; he was still determined to protect and support his friends as far as he could and he could dispense advice and persuasion. He knew whom he could ask for help. He could still pull strings. We might see his influence as a patron as comparable with that of a well-placed and intelligent senatorial woman.

It will be clear that many connexions are forged because of propinquity. Cicero knew neighbours in Arpinum,92 or in places where he had villas,93 or places to which he travelled on private or public business.94 Although a woman’s travels were often confined to Italy, she could make similar contacts. Senators held a formal reception (salutatio), often every day, when strangers might present letters of introduction or be brought in by friends; friends and clients might call and then form an escort; others might present petitions or ask for advice. It is not until the time of Tiberius that a female member of the imperial family started to hold an official salutatio.95 But women in the late Republic could receive many visitors, no doubt using the grand spaces frequented by the men’s crowds of visitors earlier in the day. It was, moreover, (p.229) easier and more appropriate for a woman petitioner to approach a politician’s wife than to approach the politician directly.96 It may be taken for granted that many of a woman’s callers were women, not only friends making a social visit, but women of lower rank seeking favours for themselves or for their husbands and sons. The child Servilia must have observed the importance her uncle Drusus attached to having the right sort of house to receive hordes of clients, his relationship with Italians, and his system of organizing his receptions. Although his clients might in theory have been inherited by Drusus Claudianus and then Livia Drusilla (and one wonders if this was part of her attraction for the future Augustus), they might also have had contact with Drusus’s mother, widow, and niece. Clients could have several patrons, energetic or useful on varied occasions.

Clients and friends were not made only in formal calls. Women went shopping, attended sacrifices and festivals, and dined out or invited guests to dinner.97

Some clients were called amici (friends) but not all amici were clients. The language of amicitia (friendship) is appropriate between near equals.98 Courtesy demanded that in public life many would be accorded the title who were not intimate personal friends. We have already seen that Cicero would insist on the existence of strong intimacy and affection between himself and people whom he wished particularly to recommend. (We need not believe that this was true in all instances.) Clientela and amicitia shaded into each other.

Servilia’s Friends, Clients, and Contacts

Servilia might inherit clients and friends from her father, mother, and husbands and pass them on to her children. She might also make new clients, by freeing slaves or supporting people who needed help, and she might make new friends among people of her own order—Caesar, most obviously. As far as I know, no-one so far has tried to put names to her contacts. We do not have the wealth of information which enabled Syme to illuminate the circles of Pompey, Caesar, or Augustus. But something may be attempted.

Different degrees of acquaintance must be assumed. Individuals known to her would run the gamut from intimate friends and confidant(e)s—if not the ideal equal friends of philosophic theory—through humbler friends and dependants, to ex-slaves or tenants. There might be a mass of clients (p.230) (including ex-slaves, tenants, or petitioners) whose names she did not know or need to know.

Servilia’s place in society was based first of all on her patrician family. ‘Servilia belonged.’99 Suzanne Dixon points out that all women of leading families automatically had influence: ‘the argument is not that, say, Servilia and Fulvia had political power, but that the social and economic position of a Claudia or Aemilia was such that she was implicated, by means of family and patronage, in actions which a modern commentator would term political’.100 Despite the disadvantage of an exiled grandfather and short-lived father, Servilia was well connected with several noble families, especially the Cornelii, Caecilii Metelli, the Livii Drusi, Porcii Catones. Syme in The Roman revolution described three groups as the core of the ruling class in the 70s: the Caecilii Metelli, the Claudii, and the kin of the famous Cato. ‘With these three groups were linked almost all the chief members of the government.…’101 More recent scholarship has modified this view, which Syme never applied mechanically. As Wiseman puts it, ‘…all the great politicians were linked by family ties of one sort or another.…If every family tie entailed a political imperative, the Roman politicians would have been paralysed.’102 But our concern for the moment is with the social, not the political. In Servilia’s own generation, there were adfinitates (connexions by marriage) with Iunii Bruti and Silani, Atilii, Marcii, Domitii, Hortensii. In the next, she was related by marriage to the Claudii Pulchri, Servilii Vatiae, Aemilii Lepidi, Cassii Longini, Licinii Luculli, Calpurnii Bibuli, and others. Policies and political measures often cut across such ties, but at the very least they gave Servilia the entrée as a kinswoman into many noble houses and introduced her into wider social circles. Even when Cato and Bibulus took an optimate line opposed to Caesar or threw in their weight behind Pompey, she could demand their family loyalty. Just as she would rally support for the protection of Lepidus’s children, so she could expect some protection and support from him when he was triumvir.

What of Servilia’s circle of friends? We have seen that Cicero belonged to it, at least after the Ides and although he found her caustic and impatient.103 She will have known him for many years and perhaps had contact with him when he was working closely with the absent Caesar in the later 50s.104 That might imply that she knew his wife and daughter too. Atticus clearly was on more (p.231) intimate terms with her. His biographer’s summing-up is: ‘He cultivated the friendship of Servilia no less after Brutus’s death than before it.’105 To some extent, Servilia was worth cultivating because she was Brutus’s mother. Atticus’s relationship with Brutus was close and had been so since at least 51.106 We do not know which friendship came first. Atticus probably valued her for herself as well as for her son’s sake, and for the varied and numerous contacts which her age and position in the family gave her. Atticus had a genius for friendship with people of all political complexions. Nepos’s statement comes in the context of a long passage on Atticus’s political neutrality and his friendships. In the civil war he remained on good terms with both Pompey and Caesar.107 After the Ides he was daily in Brutus’s company—which will mean he saw a great deal of Servilia—and gave him a generous subsidy when he left Italy.108 Then, when Antony was declared a public enemy (22 April 43), he protected Antony’s wife, children, and friends.109 When Antony was again in the ascendant, he protected the proscribed, and continued to frequent Servilia, in accordance with his habit of succouring the afflicted.110 The conjunction in this list of Servilia and Antony’s wife Fulvia—the only women specifically mentioned—is interesting. They are Syme’s two great examples of powerful women.

Friends and Acquaintances Shared with Caesar

Some of Servilia’s contacts may come from her association with Caesar.111 Of Caesar’s supporters in 49, Syme says,

Caesar’s following was heterogeneous in composition—at its kernel a small group of men paramount in social distinction, not merely nobiles but patrician; on the outer fringe, many excellent Roman knights, ‘the flower of Italy’.112

(p.232) We can take it for granted that from her youth onwards Servilia knew all the patricians and probably all the men of consular descent. I am interested here in people whom she might know at least partly through their connexion with Caesar.

Among Caesar’s intimates and supporters we know that Caesar’s agent L. Cornelius Balbus was her confidential friend. She must have known his other great equestrian agent Oppius, the senators Hirtius and Pansa, who had been with Caesar in Gaul, and the banker Curtius Postumus. Matius, who lamented Caesar’s death and was a friend of Lepidus, might have been on friendly terms with her, though not, after the Ides, with Brutus and Cassius.


Servilia knew L. Cornelius Balbus well enough to confide in him.113 This fascinating character was a Spaniard from Gades enfranchised by Pompey in 72 for his military service.114 From being a familiaris of Pompey, while still young he got to know Caesar and served on his staff in 62 and 59, acting as his partner in many undertakings.115 He is described as very close to Caesar (his familiaris and carissimus [very dear] to him).116 His enormous workload as Caesar’s most trusted agent (from at least 48,117 along with Oppius) is particularly attested when he was directly involved in Cicero’s affairs and enjoying great influence over Caesar while looking after his multifarious business and public administration in Italy.118 After Caesar’s murder, we find him close to the consul designate Hirtius and dealing with young Caesar.119 He rose to a consulship in 40. The perfect intermediary, he was a useful man to know. Servilia presumably had to do with him at least since 62 and probably before, when she was involved with Caesar. He took an apparently kindly interest in what happened to Brutus and Cassius in 44.120

The political importance of an eques like Atticus, Balbus, or Oppius was normally wielded behind the scenes. It is similar in this to the influence of (p.233) women121 or of exceptionally important freedmen like Pompey’s Demetrius or Q. Cicero’s Statius.122 But, unlike women or freedmen, equites could hold military offices, serve as judges, and rise to the Senate. The status this gave enabled the exceptional few, like Balbus and Oppius, to act as Caesar’s overt agents even in public matters.123


Although this is not directly attested, Servilia will have known Oppius, the other great equestrian agent of Caesar. In 54, he was acting as Caesar’s agent on his building projects in Rome and dealing with the despatch and receipt of letters to and from Caesar and his legates.124 When he and Balbus were running Caesar’s affairs in Rome in the 40s, he mediated between Caesar and Pompeians such as Cicero. He will have had dealings with Brutus, Cassius, and Servilia. After Caesar’s death, he was diplomatic in not advertising his grief and he helped young Caesar.125 He wrote a memoir of Caesar and another, presumably hostile, of Cassius.126

In 46, Cicero listed Caesar’s friends with whom he was popular and had influence as the senators Hirtius, Pansa, and Postumus and the equites Balbus, Oppius, and Matius.127 We can confidently add Hirtius, Pansa, Matius, and Postumus to Servilia’s acquaintance.


C. Vibius Pansa Caetronianus served in Gaul under Caesar and entered the Senate, holding the tribunate in 51.128 He could be called a common friend of (p.234) Cassius and Cicero in 45.129 As we have seen, he was apparently in contact with Cassius’s mother and brother in 43 and Servilia did not want to offend him in 43, which implies that she knew him too and hoped he might serve her interests. Cicero in the Brutus, addressing Atticus and Brutus, calls him ‘our Pansa’.130 After the Ides, despite being the son-in-law of Q. Fufius Calenus (cos. 47), he took a moderate line131 and Cicero thought him very friendly to Brutus and Cassius, as long as it was expedient.132 This clearly implies outward cordiality and contact while they were all in Rome after the assassination. That Pansa’s doctor (Glyco, who failed to save him when he was wounded at Forum Gallorum)133 was married to the sister of a client of Brutus may suggest a further connexion between the two patrons.


A. Hirtius had acted as Caesar’s secretary in Gaul, probably as legatus alongside Q. Cicero, and wrote the last book of the Gallic War and the whole of the Alexandrine War, as well as a pamphlet against Cato, which may not have endeared him to Servilia.134 He acted as an intermediary for Caesar135 and was close to Balbus and Oppius.136 He mediated for Pompeians after Pharsalus.137 (p.235) Soon after the Ides, he was negotiating between Antony and the assassins.138 Cicero did not trust him, especially after the Ides, because of his affection for Caesar.139 Brutus and Cassius hoped Cicero could make Hirtius take their side, but Cicero thought this a hopeless plan.140 Hirtius, however, wanted the ‘Liberators’ to stay in Italy.141 When he was consul in 43, moving against Antony and to the rescue of D. Brutus, he could be called a friend of Cicero, D. Brutus, and Cassius.142 Both as Caesar’s close friend and as a practised mediator, this highly cultivated man can hardly have neglected Servilia either before or after Caesar’s death.143 It is not clear that he could have counted as a friend to Servilia, but they moved in the same circles. She could have attempted to use him, as she did Pansa.


The eques C. Matius was a moderate Caesarian in 49, when he had expressed criticism of some of Caesar’s other followers, and was employed by Caesar as a go-between to wavering senators.144 He continued to mediate between Caesar and Cicero (and perhaps other Pompeians) after Pharsalus.145 He claimed to have disapproved of the civil war and to have taken no advantage of his friendship with Caesar (thus contrasting with Servilia and Rabirius Postumus).146 But he disapproved violently of the murder of Caesar, in part because he could now see no issue out of Rome’s difficulties.147 He protested strongly against the self-styled ‘authors of freedom’, who bullied those who mourned Caesar. He hoped they would be sorry.148 At this point, despite the probability that they had known each other for years, it is hard to see how any contact with Servilia would have gone smoothly. (If we knew for sure that Servilia too mourned (p.236) Caesar and thought the assassination a political blunder, there would be more to be said.) Matius was sufficiently interested in Brutus to recollect and relay a remark of Caesar’s in Bithynia, after Brutus had spoken vehemently on behalf of King Deiotarus, a remark which Caesar used to repeat: ‘It’s hard to know what this man wants, but what he wants he wants very much.’149 Cicero regarded him as hostile to Brutus, though Matius disliked Brutus’s suspicion of him.150 He was on good terms with another member of Servilia’s family, Lepidus, the only person he had visited between 15 March and 7 April.151 Servilia may be presumed to have known him, though her feelings about him may have been mixed after the Ides.


C. Curtius Postumus, later C. Rabirius Postumus, was an eminent financier, who was involved in Caesar’s plans for Egypt in the 50s, strongly supported him when the civil war broke out, and was promoted to the Senate. He went on to back the young Caesar and may have survived long enough to be the addressee of a Horatian Ode (2.14).152 Again, his importance to Caesar must mean that Servilia knew him.

Trebatius and Others

We might conjecturally add C. Trebatius Testa, another protégé of Caesar’s, who would become eminent as a jurist under Augustus.153 Servilia surely knew Caesar’s nominee to the suffect consulship of 44, Dolabella. These men are only ‘the tip of the iceberg’. When Caesar visited Servilia or she visited him she (p.237) would come across not only his senatorial and equestrian friends, supporters, and contacts, but his closest attendants, freedmen, and slaves.

Friends and Acquaintances Shared with Cato

Servilia will have known well various associates of Cato. Although we cannot establish that she was close to any of them, it will still be of some interest to collect a list of the men of varied status who were close to her half-brother. He is portrayed by Plutarch as living on terms of intimacy with his slaves, freedmen, and humbler friends, as well as those of his own status. We find him chatting to them, embracing them on meeting and parting, and saying goodnight.154 Cato had a network of friends, informants, and supporters.155


His devoted disciple156 the senator M. Favonius is an obvious example. Favonius was a new man.157 Pushy,158 impulsive,159 and tactless, he was much disliked.160 But he staunchly followed Cato,161 sometimes taking an even harder line.162

Scribonius Curio (cos. 76) was an intimate, but critical, older friend.163 Q. Lutatius Catulus (cos. 78, died c.61 or soon after), and Q. Hortensius Hortalus (cos. 69, died 49) were consistent friends and allies.164 Catulus was stepson of a Servilia, perhaps our Servilia’s aunt. Hortensius had married this elder Servilia’s daughter, Lutatia. Cicero counted as someone whom Cato (p.238) sometimes consulted, advised, and supported.165 A Marcellus was Cato’s friend from boyhood, probably M. Claudius Marcellus, the bitterly anti-Caesarian consul of 51.166 A certain Canidius went ahead of Cato to Cyprus to act on his behalf and may have been there as quaestor, but Cato dismissed him abruptly, which presumably led to a breach.167 If a quaestor, he was a new man.168 The senator L. Postumius seems also to be an associate of Cato. He died in Caesar’s civil war.169 Although Servilia will have been acquainted with such men, she need not have seen much of them, except for Favonius, Cato’s close ally, and Catulus and Hortensius, her kinsmen.


Others were presumably equites. Munatius Rufus was a confidential friend, who wrote a memoir of Cato.170 He too had been in Cyprus.171 He was present, along with Servilia, at the family council which considered a marriage alliance with Pompey and was close to Atilia and Marcia.172 He was entrusted with Cato’s younger son in 49.173

Statilius was a young man who was in Africa with Cato in 46. He refused to leave when Cato was sending his friends away from Utica, although as a ‘hater of Caesar’ he was particularly at risk. The philosophers Apollonides and Demetrius, to whom Cato relinquished the task of persuading him to join the evacuees, failed to get him on to the ship but later succeeded in persuading him not to follow Cato in death.174 We are told that a brother of M. Vipsanius Agrippa was also among the young men present.175 We would expect such (p.239) young men to pay courtesy calls on Servilia after they returned to Rome. Agrippa’s brother would have been useful to her as a channel to young Caesar, if he cultivated her.


Deiotarus, the king of Galatia, was a guest-friend whom Cato inherited from his father and who entertained Cato in the East.176 He was in Rome in 45 and was accused before Caesar. He is likely to have sought help from Servilia.

Cato, like other wealthy Romans, picked up a number of educated companions, usually Greeks. He particularly liked to attach philosophers to himself. When military tribune, Cato had persuaded the aged Stoic Athenodorus Cordylion of Tarsus to live with him in the camp and to come back to Rome with him. He stayed with Cato for the rest of his life.177 The Stoic Antipater of Tyre was a companion from the early days, but we do not know how long he spent in Italy.178 In 63 Cato took philosophers with him on what was expected to be a long holiday in Lucania.179 The philosopher Philostratus was with him in Sicily in 49.180 Several Greek friends and aides were with him in Africa in 46. Apollonides the Stoic181 and Demetrius the Peripatetic182 were there on his last evening until he retired to read and rest, after even his son had been sent away.


That evening, Cato summoned his freedman, the doctor Cleanthes, to dress a minor injury.183 Another freedman, Butas, was sent twice to the port to check that the evacuees had left safely.184 After Butas had reported the second time, Cato stabbed himself in the stomach and fell from his bed, making such a noise that his son and others rushed in to help him. Cleanthes replaced Cato’s (p.240) bowels and sewed up the wound, but Cato ripped up his handiwork and so died.185 This Butas, according to Plutarch, acted as a political agent.186

Servilia can hardly have avoided contact with some of these, at least Deiotarus, Athenodorus, Butas, Cleanthes, and probably Apollonides and Demetrius. Contact with Cato’s learned entourage makes us wonder how interested she may have been in Greek culture and the philosophical discussions of the day.

Friends and Acquaintances Shared with Brutus

Servilia will have known a number of other men who were friends of Brutus.

Former Friends of Cato


Some of Brutus’s friends had previously been friends of Cato. The most important was Favonius, who was an ex-Pompeian like Brutus and one of his inner circle. He may have got to know Brutus partly through Cato. Brutus tolerated his rough manners.187 He sounded out his views about Caesar and found that he held civil war to be worse than illegal monarchy. So he did not invite him to join the assassins.188 But Favonius advertised his solidarity with them and followed Brutus abroad.189 After the second battle of Philippi, when he was a prisoner, he saluted Antony as imperator, but abused young Caesar.190 He was executed. Then there was Canidius, of whom Brutus thought well at the time of their service with Cato in Cyprus. He may have been later connected with Lepidus and it is not clear that he was still a friend of Brutus at that time.191 Another, younger friend of Cato, Statilius, probably a new man and fellow senator, was passed over for the conspiracy because, as an Epicurean, he held that a wise man should not disturb himself for the sake of the lower classes.192 But he later supported the tyrannicides and was killed at Philippi.193

(p.241) We have found the senators Labeo and Casca in Servilia’s consilium (council) in July 43.194 Pacuvius Labeo was a distinguished jurist,195 a new man in the Senate,196 and joined the conspiracy because Brutus was leading it.197 He was recognized as being close to Brutus and had a few weeks earlier confidently disavowed as a forgery a letter written to the Senate in Brutus’s name.198 He was to serve as lieutenant to Brutus the following year199 and commit suicide.200

P. Servilius Casca Longus, a plebeian Servilius but one who apparently claimed kinship with Servilius Ahala, as Servilia did, was allegedly supporting Cassius when he picked up the diadem which Antony had laid at Caesar’s feet at the Lupercalia and put it on Caesar’s lap. This move was supposedly meant to embarrass or discredit Caesar, but the source is probably Augustus’s autobiography and the story is suspect.201 On the Ides of March he was the first to stab Caesar.202 He held the tribunate in 43.203 He would be deposed afterwards by the triumvirs. In 42 he served under Brutus, was with him at Philippi, and committed suicide with his brother, a fellow assassin.204

(p.242) Plutarch claims that C. Ligarius was a close friend of Brutus.205 If he means Q. Ligarius, Cicero’s client, this is the one who, after a quaestorship c.54, had served as legatus in Africa in 50, sided with the Pompeians, and been exiled and recalled by Caesar, before joining the conspiracy. Or, if Brutus’s friend was really Gaius, he may be a brother who was proscribed with T. Ligarius in 43.206 Appian ranked Q. Ligarius as a close friend of Brutus.207 Probably all three brothers could count as friends.

The L. Sestius who contributed ships to Brutus was probably quaestor in 44.208 He was son of Cicero’s client, the praetorian P. Sestius (tr. 57), and of Albania, daughter of a senator called C. Albanius.209 Always a devoted follower of Brutus, he fought for him in the civil war and was proscribed. After Philippi he was restored and became a friend of young Caesar, but kept alive the memory of Brutus, produced eulogies, and kept portraits of him.210 He would go on to become suffect consul in 23, after Augustus resigned the consulship. His old comrade Horace would honour him with an ode (1.4) at that time. He must surely have called on Brutus’s mother, at the very least.

Among the younger officers, recruited from the lecture rooms of Athens, who survived Philippi, was the cultivated patrician M. Valerius Messalla Corvinus (cos. suff. 31), whom Servilia will have known well from his childhood.211 His father was the consul of 61 and his mother was Hortensia, the orator’s sister and the aunt of Brutus’s adoptive father’s wife. He may conceivably have been married to Calpurnia, daughter of Bibulus and Porcia.212 His half-brother L. Gellius Poplicola (cos. 36) was called a friend of both Brutus and Cassius. Gellius allegedly plotted against Brutus in 42 and was forgiven, which did not stop him making a further plot against Cassius. He subsequently joined Antony and, later, Caesar.213 Messalla’s sister was married to the younger Ser. Sulpicius and was the mother of the poetess Sulpicia. Cicero warmly recommended Messalla to Brutus when he joined him in the East in the summer of 43. He praises him for his eloquence and good sense, integrity, and patriotism.214 Messalla, though close to Brutus, forever spoke (p.243) of Cassius as his general.215 Despite his juniority, he ranked as a legate, commanded Cassius’s right wing in the first battle of Philippi, and was offered the command when his generals died.216 After Philippi, Messalla joined Antony and then eventually left him for Caesar. He went on to distinguish himself as triumphator, orator, and patron of poets. He left reminiscences of Brutus in a historical work of some sort about his own times.217 He shared with Brutus the affectation of writing ‘simus’ for ‘sumus’ (‘we are’).218 As a survivor of the civil war, he is likely to have had contact with Servilia.

Appian lists eight men as friends of both Brutus and Cassius, who sounded them out as possible members of the conspiracy against Caesar.219 These are shadowy characters and no clear reason to link them with Servilia emerges.


Plutarch mentions a number of friends who will have been of equestrian status. There is Atilius (who could be a connexion of Cato’s first wife, Atilia).220 P. Volumnius, a philosopher and fellow student had accompanied Brutus on campaign from the beginning and was with him at the end, but refused to help him commit suicide, and later wrote about him.221 On the field of Philippi, Lucilius saw barbarian cavalry intent on capturing Brutus, so he surrendered and claimed that he was Brutus. He was spared by Antony for his gallantry and became his faithful companion.222 There is also a certain Flavius, (p.244) attested as a distinguished eques and probably a banker.223 Cn. Lucceius of Cumae saw a good deal of Brutus: he will have been a local aristocrat.224 In 44 The ‘Liberators’ had supporters from the country towns, whom they formally sent away.225

I am tempted to add the louche P. Vedius, who like Brutus had interests in the East and who took too personal an interest in his sister, the wife of Lepidus. Servilia may also have known Vedius’s possible connexion, Nicias of Cos, perhaps a friend of Cassius, and certainly of Brutus, Atticus, Cicero, and Dolabella.226 Atticus himself was, of course, a close friend of Brutus, from at least 51.

The Scaptius who was part of Servilia’s consilium in 43 is another disreputable figure. He carried news to her from Brutus in 44 and organized the sending of letters to Brutus in 43.227 He is probably the same as the better attested of the two, M. Scaptii, who were both financial agents of Brutus in the East in 51–50.228 Scaptius worked in Cilicia, under the governorship of Ap. Claudius Pulcher, Brutus’s father-in-law, who had allowed him special facilities to collect debts. He was a familiaris of Brutus, who had recommended him to Cicero, the new governor.229 Cicero discovered that he was unscrupulous and oppressive in his methods and charged the provincials illegal rates of interest. It then emerged that Scaptius was only an agent, and Brutus himself (p.245) the real creditor.230 It seems likely that the man was of equestrian standing.231 After he had caught him out in a blatant attempt to pull the wool over his eyes, Cicero had told Atticus he was shameless and a bad lot.232 But even in 51 Cicero’s main concern had been not to offend Brutus. So he was able to have a working relationship with the dishonest and tricky Scaptius in 44–43 and to engage with him in Servilia’s council. Servilia clearly had to use him. It may be doubted whether she shared the abhorrence of modern scholars. She had not been overscrupulous about profiting from Caesar’s confiscations.


Like Cato, Brutus had Greek clients. The rhetorician Empylus is probably to be identified with Empylus of Rhodes.233 Strato was a Greek from Macedonia or Epirus who had studied rhetoric along with Brutus and who helped with his suicide. His patron after Brutus’s death was Messalla, who later introduced him to young Caesar. They were both in Caesar’s train in the Actium campaign.234

We do not know how much interest Servilia took in philosophy or poetry or history. But the circles of Caesar, Cato, and Brutus gave her the opportunity to participate in literary life. I like to imagine the surviving friends of Brutus, such as Messalla and even the freedman’s son Horace, paying their respects to Servilia in the 30s.

Servilia’s Entourage

Servilia, of course, met new people through other relations and friends. Looking at contacts Servilia may have had through her lover or kinsmen threatens to obscure her individuality and her opportunities for making friends and acquaintances for herself. But here more guesswork is necessary.

(p.246) Direct attestation of Servilia’s own friends, apart from Atticus and Cicero, is predictably sparse. We can guess that she counted Sulpicius, his wife Postumia, and their young son as friends, since she pushed the son’s candidacy as a husband for Tullia.

Flaminia and Triarius

One text is telling for Servilia’s influence within the family and the expected effect of personal affection on the result of a court case. When M. Aemilius Scaurus was prosecuted for extortion in 54, a remarkable group of counsel came to his aid, including Hortensius. But Scaurus, we are told, was particularly apprehensive about the presiding praetor Cato and P. Valerius Triarius, one of the prosecutors.

He was very much afraid of M. Cato, who was presiding…over that court, because of the friendship which existed between him and Triarius, for Triarius’s mother Flaminia and Triarius himself were fond of Servilia the sister of Cato, who was the mother of M. Brutus, and on intimate terms with her, and she furthermore held the authority of a mother over Cato.235

Triarius was presumably about the same age as Brutus and Flaminia a contemporary of Servilia, but both of rather lower rank. If Servilia had chosen to influence Cato, it would have been a major beneficium. What is important for us is that she was thought capable of such intervention, in the interests of friendship and in a trial when a varied collection of nobiles took the other side. It is also of some interest that Asconius presumes that a friend of Servilia would be a friend of Cato.

It is disappointing that Flaminia is the only woman friend directly attested. In an earlier chapter we looked at kinswomen, some of whom survived into Servilia’s adulthood. There must have been a number of women’s circles in (p.247) which she participated frequently, for instance the group of high-born women who went to the annual rite in honour of the Bona Dea. She and they would pay calls on each other, attend sacrifices and festivals, and dine in each other’s houses.


A woman of Servilia’s standing could not do without a large staff of slaves and freed slaves, on her estates and in domestic service. Confidential freedmen were vital agents in all sorts of business and built up their own networks. Of her no doubt considerable household of slaves and freed slaves, one freedman is attested in an epitaph: a certain Stephanus, ‘freedman of Servilia wife of Silanus’.236 We know also a freedman of Silanus, who will have been inherited as a dependant by the Iuniae and probably as a client by Servilia. He was married to a freedwoman of one of the two Porciae.237 It is conjectured that a certain Servilia Nais, mistress of Servilia’s half-nephew Ahenobarbus, was a freedwoman of Servilia.238 The contacts of slaves and freedmen mirror those of their owners.

Our scattered information on Servilia’s contacts suggests, at the least, that she had relationships of varying degrees of closeness with a wide variety of people, from men and women of her own aristocratic status to more ordinary senatorial families, equites, the hangers-on of noble families who frequented their houses and were supported by them in return for services, and trusted servants.


Servilia will have made enemies, but I find no certain attestation. It has been held that she inherited family enmities too. Hinard claimed that she inherited a ‘vendetta’ against M. Aemilius Scaurus, because her father had prosecuted his father back in the late 90s, and that she was behind Scaurus’s trial in 54.239 The evidence does not support this. More importantly, the sources do not reflect any malicious gossip which might have come from personal enemies.

(p.248) Property

We know little about Servilia’s wealth, except for the pearl and the estates which came from Caesar. It was probably considerable.240 She would have inherited something from both parents. Her father (who died after her mother) had only two children, who will have shared the bulk of his estate. Her brother Caepio’s fortune seems to have been large. Quite probably her dowry and inheritance together amounted to nearly half her father’s estate.241

Her mother, Livia, had had a second family with Cato, so she had a total of four children. They should have had a substantial inheritance. If Livia died before her second husband, she would surely have provided for Servilia and her son Caepio. The rest of her fortune could go to Cato to provide for her other two children. If Cato died first, she will have inherited something from him and augmented what she could leave to his children. She will previously have had her own fortune from the Drusi and her mother, Cornelia. Since her brother Drusus was exceptionally well off, it is likely that her inheritance from her father was considerable. The inheritance from Cato should have been transmitted to his children by their mother and perhaps the rest of her estate divided between all four.

We know a little of what Servilia’s half-brother the younger Cato possessed. He inherited a moderate fortune of 120 talents (?720,000 denarii = 2,880,000 sesterces) as his share of his father’s property.242 He inherited from his half-brother, as co-heir with his niece.243 He got 100 talents (?600,000 denarii = 2,400,000 sesterces) from a cousin called Cato.244 There was an inheritance from his friend Lucullus.245 It is striking, but not surprising, that Plutarch neglects to mention any inheritance from the wealthy Livia. There were estates in Lucania, with a villa or villas suitable for a period of philosophical leisure.246 He was unusually frugal in his expenses, though he could not maintain the standards of the Elder Cato. He ostentatiously limited himself to an entourage of fifteen slaves, two freedmen, and four friends (all mounted while he went on (p.249) foot) when he was military tribune in Macedonia in 67–66. The servants included a baker and a cook.247 More surprisingly, only twelve slaves, we are told, attended him and his son in the civil war.248 There was no reason for his half-sister to parade such restraint.

We know for certain that Servilia acquired amplissima praedia (distinguished estates) when Caesar had the property of Pompeians put up for auction. These included at least one expensive farm, sold, it is alleged, for two-thirds of its value. There was also a Neapolitan town house or villa which had belonged to a certain Pontius. Cicero was disgusted that she, the mother of the tyrant-slayer, possessed this. Presumably he found it repugnant that she benefited from Caesar’s generosity when she later had the distinction of being mother to his killer.249

The house at Antium usually ascribed to Servilia’s son may well have been hers. It is impossible to decide if the house at Circeii which Cicero mentions belonged to her rather than Brutus.250 We would expect her to have villas in the countryside or on the coast. (Her half-sister Porcia might have been the owner of a property at Naples where her son went to find her.)251 It may also be wondered, as Münzer suggests, whether the horti Serviliani (a suburban park or gardens on the outskirts of Rome, usually with buildings which could be used for leisure and entertaining) belonged to Servilia.252 This property is attested from the period when it had been taken over by the emperor (Nero or a predecessor). Servilia’s brother has been proposed as the original owner.253 But Servilia by 59 was probably richer than he ever was. Nothing prevents the conjecture that she was able to satisfy a taste for rus in urbe, as Valeria Messallina later did, and as did her contemporaries Clodia, Lucullus, Pompey, Caesar, Drusus Claudianus, and Sallust.254

She had had a chance to inherit substantial property from her father, mother, brother, and both husbands.255 The vicissitudes of her grandfather (p.250) and first husband have no observable effect. She might have had legacies from others: her grandmother, aunt, half-brother and half-sister, friends, freedmen. As the only survivor of her generation of siblings and half-siblings, she must have found a good deal of the family property, and consequently authority, concentrated in her hands.

When a man needed liquid capital, he might turn among others to his mother, as young Caesar did in order to pay the bequests of the elder Caesar.256 Seneca’s mother similarly deployed her wealth to support her sons’ careers.257 While men’s wealth was often tied up in land and houses, women had jewels, plate, rich stuffs, luxurious furniture, and cash as liquefiable or liquid assets.258 We know Servilia had a remarkably valuable pearl. Possibly she had a taste for jewellery. She subsidized Brutus, when he needed to hold games and probably when he needed to fight a civil war.

Wealth gave a woman the ability to display herself in public, her hair and face carefully groomed by expert maids, dressed in fine stuffs and adorned with jewels, attended by male and female slaves, often carried in a litter by matched porters or riding in a carriage with fine horses.259 It meant she could own and furnish luxurious houses to entertain her friends and receive her clients. She could educate her children, subsidize her sons, and dower her daughters. Subject to a guardian’s consent, which she could easily obtain, she could make a will and use it in her lifetime to influence her heirs and legatees. Wealth secured her status and allowed her to act. Influence went hand in hand with property.


(1) See e.g. DG 4.20–1, OCD4 (Badian, Cadoux): ‘for a short time, at least [sc. 44–43], she was the most powerful woman of her generation’, Balsdon, RW 51: ‘her importance in the world of Roman politics’, MacMullen, Enemies 2: ‘powerful in politics’, Dixon, Roman family 76: ‘women such as Caecilia Metella, Servilia, Clodia and Fulvia seem to be characteristic of the political elite, prominent for their wealth, their patronage, and, to an extent, their public activity and image’, Brennan, ‘Women’s power’ 361, who finds Servilia successfully parlayed influence over Cato and Brutus into something wider.

(2) RR 23, 414.

(3) Syme, RR 12.

(4) Syme, Sallust 25.

(5) Münzer, RAA 372, 426–7 = RAPF 341, 362. It would be interesting to know what personal feelings influenced this scholarly claim.

(6) On Sempronia see e.g. Syme, Sallust 133–5.

(7) On Fulvia see e.g. Syme, RR 384–5, Sallust 25, 134–5 (‘Fulvia, virile and ambitious, did all that a woman could to retrieve the prestige of her family’), RP 3.1371. Cf. p. xi. See also Charles L. Babcock, ‘The early career of Fulvia’, AJP 86 (1965) 1–32 (arguing that Fulvia had strong political influence through all her three husbands, Clodius, Curio, and Antony), Diana Delia, ‘Fulvia reconsidered’ in S. B. Pomeroy ed., Women’s history and ancient history (Chapel Hill, 1991) 197–217 (arguing against Babcock that her impact on politics occurred only during her third marriage), Kathryn E. Welch, ‘Antony, Fulvia, and the ghost of Clodius in 47 B.C’, G&R 42 (1995) 182–201. She is also discussed by Bauman, Women and politics 83–90 and, with the other triumviral wives, by Christ, ‘Die Frauen der Triumvirn’.

(8) P. xi.

(9) Cf. Syme, Sallust 25, RP 3.1242, Shackleton Bailey, ‘Roman nobility’ 267. Kristina Milnor, Gender, domesticity, and the age of Augustus (Oxford, 2005) 213 compares the pressure Fulvia (and her mother-in-law and son) tried to bring to bear on the senators (App. BC 3.51, 58). But that was an unsuccessful protest, not an effective manipulation.

(10) Dixon, ‘Family business’ 108: ‘the visible tip of the historical iceberg’, cf. 109.

(11) Syme, Sallust 25. For overviews see e.g. MacMullen, ‘Women in public in the Roman Empire’, Hist. 29 (1980) 208–18, Levick, ‘Roman women in a corporate state’, Ktema 19 (1994) 259–67, M.-T. Raepsaet-Charlier, ‘Les activités publiques des femmes sénatoriales et équestres sous le Haut-Empire romain’ in W. Eck and M. Heil eds., Senatores Populi Romani (Stuttgart, 2005) 169–212, F. Cenerini and F. Rohr Vio eds., Matronae in domo et in re publica agentes (Trieste, 2016), esp. the essays by Francesca Rohr Vio, ‘Matronae nella tarda repubblica: un nuovo profilo al femminile’ 1–22 (which helpfully categorizes, with ample documentation, the types of action women took in the late Republic), Alfredo Buonopane, ‘Terenzia, una matrona in domo et in re publica agens’ 51–64.

(12) ‘Materna auctoritas’ 10.

(13) Women 264–5. Hillard, ‘Materna auctoritas’ 11 and ‘Republican politics’ 175, emphasizes the fact that allegations of a woman’s influence were often invented or exaggerated in order to denigrate a man. Milnor, Gender, 213 n. 43 similarly warns us that the ‘great republican matron’ is also ‘a historiographical trope’. Both allegations and tropes, however, had to be convincing to contemporaries.

(14) Women and politics 73, 74. I think he meant ‘woman strategist’.

(15) Cornelia esp. 15–32.

(16) Plut. Pomp. 51.2, cf. Caes. 20. 2, 21.2. For liberality to Cicero see Thomas N. Mitchell, Cicero the senior statesman (New Haven, 1991) 191.

(17) Hor. Odes 3.1.10–14 sums it up: hic generosior/descendat in Campum petitor,/moribus hic meliorque fama/contendat, illi turba clientium/sit maior (This man may come down to the Campus as a candidate with nobler blood, this one may compete with his character and better reputation, another may have a bigger crowd of clients).

(18) Cf. e.g. Sall. BJ 85.4, 38 (speech of Marius, on the nobility): vetus nobilitas, maiorum fortia facta, cognatorum et adfinium opes, multae clientelae.…maiores eorum omnia quae licebat illis reliquere, divitias, imagines, memoriam suam praeclaram…(ancient nobility, the gallant deeds of ancestors, the resources of relations by blood and marriage, many clientelae.…their ancestors left them everything they were allowed: riches, portraits, their brilliant memory…), Rhet. Her. 1.8: nobilitatem, clientelas, hospitium, sodalitatem, adfinitates (nobility, clientelae, guest-friends, clubs, relations by marriage). Brunt, ‘Clientela’, FRR 382–442 corrects exaggerated views of the political importance of hereditary Italian clients other than freedmen, tenants, and such dependants. Although politicians might count whole towns as in their clientela (as Cicero did ‘Arpinum, Capua, Reate, Atella, Cales, Volaterrae, Arretium and all the towns from Vibo to Brundisium’ [Brunt, FRR 397]), the bond was loose and informal. Clients might have several patrons. Hereditary patrons might neglect the connexion and lose their supporters. See in general Richard P. Saller, Personal patronage under the early Empire (Cambridge, 1982), ‘Patronage and friendship’ in A. Wallace-Hadrill ed., Patronage in ancient society (London, 1989) 49–62, Brunt, FRR 382–442, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, ‘Patronage in Roman society: from Republic to Empire’ in Wallace-Hadrill, Patronage in ancient society 63–87, Elizabeth Deniaux, ‘Patronage’ in N. Rosenstein and R. Morstein-Marx eds., A companion to the Roman Republic (Chichester, 2006) 401–20. Dixon perceptively analyses economic and other patronage by women in Republic and Empire (Reading Roman women 89–112). Anne Bielman, ‘Female patronage in the Greek, Hellenistic and Roman Republican periods’ in S. L. James and S. A. Dillon eds., A Companion to women in the ancient world (Chichester, 2015) 238–48 treats only ‘public patronage’ (benefactions to communities). For inheriting clients see Tansey, ‘Prosopographical study’ 19–22. Cf. for modern Mediterranean societies Jeremy Boissevain, Friends of friends. Networks, manipulators and coalitions (Oxford, 1974).

(19) Office meant that a man could make appointments, grant requests, smooth the way through a court case, etc. Commanding an army might turn troops into clients. Making conquests or governing a province secured individual clients, or whole communities, or provinces. For the exclusion of women cf. e.g. Livy 34.7.8 (speech of L. Valerius): ‘non magistratus nec sacerdotia nec triumphi nec insignia nec dona aut spolia bellica iis contingere possunt’ (‘neither magistracies, nor priesthoods, nor triumphs, nor insignia, nor gifts, nor spoils of war can fall to their lot’).

(20) Mary T. Boatwright, ‘Women and gender in the Forum Romanum’, TAPA 141 (2011) 105–41.

(21) Dixon, ‘Family business’ 94. Tansey, ‘Prosopographical study’ 20–2 finds this too sweeping.

(22) BAfr. 22.3–5.

(23) F 138/13.64.2 to Silius for Nero, ?Laodicea Apr. 50. Cf. E. Rawson, Roman culture 110–11.

(24) Tansey, ‘Prosopographical study’ 20–2.

(25) ‘Antony, Fulvia’.

(26) As hospes, he was both guest and host, but Cicero stresses the former (SRosc. 15, 27).

(27) SRosc. 27:…in qua muliere…etiam nunc, id quod omnes semper existimaverunt, quasi exempli causa vestigia antiqui offici remanent.…ea Sex. Roscium inopem, eiectum domo atque expulsum ex suis bonis, fugientem latronum tela et minas recepit domum hospitique oppresso iam desperatoque ab omnibus opitulata est. eius virtute, fide, diligentia factum est ut hic potius vivus in reos quam occisus in proscriptos referretur (In this woman…even nowadays, as everyone has always believed, there remain as if for an example traces of old-fashioned duty.…She received Sex. Roscius into her house when he was helpless, thrown out of his house and driven from his property, fleeing from the missiles and threats of brigands, and she aided him when he was overwhelmed and despaired of by everybody. By her courage, faithfulness, diligence she has brought it about that he is alive to be put on the list of the accused rather than murdered on the proscription list), 149: Quae domi gerenda sunt, ea per Caeciliam transiguntur, fori iudicique rationem M. Messallla…suscepit (The things which need to be done at home are managed by Caecilia, M. Messalla…has undertaken matters belonging to the forum and the trial). Messalla may be the future consul of 53, though Dyck ad loc. prefers Messalla Niger, cos. 61.

(28) SRosc. 147: quasi vero nescias hunc et ali et vestiri a Caecilia Balearici filia, Nepotis sorore, spectatissima femina, quae cum patrem clarissimum, amplissimos patruos [L. Metellus Diadematus cos. 117, M. Metellus cos 115, C. Caprarius cos. 113] ornatissimum fratrem haberet, tamen, cum esset mulier, virtute perfecit ut, quanto honore ipsa ex illorum dignitate adficeretur, non minora illis ornamenta ex sua laude redderet (As if you do not know that my client is fed and clothed by Caecilia daughter of Balearicus, sister of Nepos, a most respected woman, who, though she had a brilliant father, distinguished paternal uncles, an eminent brother, yet, although she is a woman, has brought it about by her virtue that the distinctions which she brings to them from her praise are as great as the honour she derives from their dignity).

(29) P. 261, Skinner, Clodia 105–12.

(30) Off. 2.69.

(31) Eun. 887.

(32) Scaur. 10, 11.

(33) Div. Caec. 65, De or. 2.199.

(34) Mart. 7.72.14.

(35) Patroni of freed slaves far outnumber patronae libertorum (patronesses of freedmen) or, even less often, libertarum (of freedwomen). But the masculine patroni (patrons) will frequently subsume women.

(36) SRosc. 5, 28, 30, 58.

(37) SRosc. 106.

(38) SRosc. 130 has Sulla as Chrysogonus’s patron, i.e. manumitter.

(39) E.g. 2Verr. 4.41, Livy 42.14.7. Clientes are also paired with hospites, together with amici (A 20/1.20.7, Rome after 12 May 60 [Atticus’s], Sen. 32).

(40) E.g. 2Verr. 2.154, 3.45, 4.6, Phil. 2.107, Off. 1.35.

(41) F 264/7.29, Patrae 29 Oct. 45. The vocative patrone was normal in conversation from a markedly inferior client, to judge from Hor. Epp. 1.7.92.

(42) A 125/7.2.3, Brundisium ?25 Nov. 50, 126/7.3.9, near Trebula 9 Dec. 50, F 283/13.17 to Ser. Sulpicius, 46, 266/13.50 to Acilius, Rome early Jan. 44.

(43) F 123/16.4.2, 124/16.5, both Leucas 7 Nov. 50, 127/16.9.3–4, Brundisium 28 Nov. 50, all to Tiro, A 125/7.2.3, 126.12, F 143/16.11.1 to Tiro, outside Rome 12 Jan. 49, A 154/8.6.5, 20 Feb. 49, 157/8.5.2, 22 Feb. 49, 186/9.17.2, 27 Mar. 49, all Formiae. (Note that Atticus often facilitated communication between Cicero and Curius.)

(44) OLD.

(45) E.g. Phil. 7.3, 12.6; De or. 3.63.

(46) Rosc. com. 30: confugit in huius domum, disciplinam, patrocinium, nomen (He fled to my client’s house, training, protection, and name).

(47) Maesia of Sentinum and Afrania spoke in defence. See Anthony J. Marshall, ‘Ladies at law: the role of women in the Roman civil courts’ in C. Deroux ed., Studies in Latin literature and Roman history 5 (Brussels, 1989) 35–54, ‘Roman ladies on trial: the case of Maesia of Sentinum’, Phoenix 44 (1990) 46–59.

(48) Ten in Plautus, two in Terence, one in Afranius.

(49) The bulk of them (eighty) are collected in F 13. They date especially from Cicero’s time in Cilicia, 51–50, and after his return to Rome after the civil war, 46–44. Élizabeth Deniaux, Clientèles et pouvoir à l’époque de Cicéron (Rome, 1993) catalogues addressees and persons or groups recommended. Note that the letters we have represent a selection.

(50) Bradley, ‘Publilius Syrus’ collects references to beneficia which give a good idea of the popular understanding of them in this period. See also M. T. Griffin, Seneca on society esp. 30–61.

(51) F 313/13.49 to Curius for Q. Pompeius: a te…peto ut…hunc…in tuam fidem recipias.

(52) F 285/13.19.2 to Ser. Sulpicius for Lyso of Patrae 46/5: contendimus ut Lysonem in fidem necessitudinemque tuam recipias.

(53) P. 24.

(54) Saller, Personal patronage index s.v. beneficium, officium, reciprocity, M. T. Griffin, Seneca on society 30–45.

(55) P. 221.

(56) Pp. 177, 206, 265.

(57) Aen. 6.609 with Serv. ad loc., Alan Watson, Rome of the Twelve Tables. Persons and property (Princeton, 1975) 98–104, M. H. Crawford ed., Roman statutes (London, 1996) 2.689–90. Brunt FRR 409–10 doubts Servius’s ascription to the Twelve Tables.

(58) Brunt, FRR 389.

(59) E.g. F 278/13.11.3 to Brutus for the Arpinates, 46: municipiumque gratissimum beneficio tuo devinxeris, mihi vero eo etiam gratius feceris quod cum semper tueri municipes meos consuevi tum hic annus praecipue ad meam curam officiumque pertinet (you will have bound to yourself by your benefaction a most grateful township and you will have done something which to me is even more welcome because I have always been accustomed to looking after my fellow townsmen and this year in particular concerns my care and duty), 318/13.4.1, 2 to Q. Valerius Orca for the Volaterrans, ?Nov. 46–July 45: magno…meo beneficio adfecti cumulatissime mihi gratiam rettulerunt…tam honestum municipium tibi tuo summo beneficio in perpetuum obligari velis (when they were given my…great benefaction they showed me gratitude most profusely…you might wish such an honourable township to be tied to you for ever by your important benefaction).

(60) Hellegouarc’h, Vocabulaire 202–8.

(61) E.g. Quinct. 9, Caec. 72, 73, Planc. 24, Caes. BG 6.15.2; F 234/6.6.13 to Caecina, Rome ?Oct. 46, Arch. 6, Flacc. 14, Planc. 32; A 172A/9.6a from Caesar, between Arpi and Brundisium c.5 Mar. 49, Planc. 32, De or. 1.198, Caes. BC 3.83.1.

(62) E.g. SRosc. 28, 60, 122.

(63) Cael. 78: illum absolutum muliebri gratia (him acquitted by a woman’s influence [Austin renders it ‘favour’]), cf. 19:…tanta gratia et tantis opibus accusatio vestra nitatur…(…your accusation depends on such great influence and such great resources…). Cf. Skinner, Clodia 69.

(64) Cael. 74: [Caelius] nemini umquam concessit aequalium plus ut in foro, plus ut in negotiis versaretur causisque amicorum, plus ut valeret inter suos gratia ([Caelius] never allowed anyone of his contemporaries to spend more time in the forum, or in business and the cases of his friends, or to be more powerful among his people because of gratia). For gratia valere (to be strong in gratia) cf. Caes. BC 2.44.

(65) SRosc 35: Chrysogonus…is qui plurimum potest, potentia pugnat (Chrysogonus…the man who can [do] most, fights with power), Mil. 21: non enim mea gratia familiaritatibus continetur, quae late patere non possunt, propterea quod consuetudines victus non possunt esse cum multis; sed, si quid possumus, ex eo possumus quod res publica nos coniunxit cum bonis (For my influence is not limited by intimate friendships, which cannot extend widely, because the habit of living together cannot exist with many people at once; but, if I can [do] anything, I can because of the fact that the commonwealth has joined us with the good men).

(66) E.g. 2Verr. 3.30, Cael. 21: hominibus potentibus, gratiosis (powerful, influential men), Comm. Pet. 19, 24 and esp. Planc. 46–7. The word is not used only of the upper classes: even a freedman could be gratiosus with his patron (QF 2/1.2.3, Rome between 25 Oct. and 10 Dec. 59) or among the voters (Comm. Pet. 29). But I do not find it used of a woman in the Republic.

(67) Hellegouarc’h, Vocabulaire 238–2, with pollere, posse, and valere. For the pejorative sense cf. e.g. Rhet. Her. 1.8, Inv. 1.22.

(68) E.g. Quinct. 9, SRosc. 60, Caec. 72. Also potentes with gratiosi: Cael. 21.

(69) E.g. Sest. 134, with gratia just before, Phil. 5.50, Off. 1.9, 86.

(70) Inv. 1.22.

(71) Imperial texts are another matter. Tac. uses the word in connexion with Urgulania, Agrippina the Elder, Livia, Messallina, Claudius’s two mistresses, Agrippina the Younger (Ann. 2.34.8, 72.1, 4.12.6, 21.1, 11.26.4, 29.3, 12.3.1: potentia uxoria (wifely power), 13.12.1: potentia matris (power of a mother), 19.1, 14.1.5, 2.1). The SCPP 116–18 stresses the fact that Livia by conferring benefits on people of all ranks had deservedly acquired great power in making a request to the Senate: plurumum posse in eo quod a senatu peteret (can [ do] very much in what she asked of the Senate), but had used it sparingly.

(72) Cael. 62, 63. She is also hinted at in 22: periculosas hominum potentias (people’s dangerous powers, ‘abstract for concrete’), which Austin translates ‘dangerous, powerful personages’.

(73) Suet. DA. 69.1: dimissam Scriboniam, quia liberius doluisset nimiam potentiam paelicis (Scribonia dismissed because she expressed her hurt too freely about the excessive power of a mistress), Barrett, Livia 21–2. Vell. 2.130.4 uses the word of Livia, in a eulogy. For Livia’s power as wife see Barrett, Livia 133–4.

(74) Clu. 154; Vat. 16; Har. resp. 14. Cf. Hellegouarc’h, Vocabulaire 295–320, Karl Galinsky, Augustan culture. An interpretive introduction (Princeton, 1996) 10–16.

(75) Mil. 58.

(76) Pis. 8:…Q. Metellus…designatus consul, cum quidam tribunus plebis suo auxilio magistros ludos contra senatus consultum facere iussisset, privatus fieri vetuit atque id quod nondum potestate poterat obtinuit auctoritate (When a certain tribune of the plebs by his constitutional power of giving aid ordered magistrates to hold games in defiance of a senatorial decree…Q. Metellus as consul designate, although he was only a private citizen, forbade them to take place and secured by his authority what he could not yet secure by power), Asc. 7C.

(77) RG 34.3: post id tem[pus a]uctoritate [omnibus praestiti, potest]atis au[tem n]ihilo ampliu[s habu]i quam cet[eri, qui m]ihi quoque in ma[gis]tra[t]u conlegae f[uerunt] (After that time I excelled everyone in auctoritas, but had no more potestas than the others who were my colleagues in each magistracy).

(78) E.g. 2Verr. 4.60, Rab. Perd. 2, Cat. 1.32; Imp. 63; Arch. 31; Dom. 90, Caes. BC 1.35.1.

(79) Sen. 61–2.

(80) Dom. 118.

(81) Cael. 37: auctoritatem patriam severitatemque (the authority and strictness of a father); Sulla 62: fratris (of [an elder half-]brother), cf. Phil. 6.10. Cicero hoped to have auctoritas with his brother (QF 2/1.2.7, Rome between 25 Oct. and 10 Dec. 59).

(82) A 276/12.37.3, Astura 4 May 45: Apud Terentiam <tam> gratia opus est nobis tua quam auctoritate (With Terentia we need your gratia as much as your auctoritas).

(83) But see Dixon, Roman mother index s.v. maternal authority for a mother’s scope in practice.

(84) 19C, p. 49.

(85) 39.11.3.

(86) Cons. Marc. 26.1:…patrem tuum,…cui tantum apud te auctoritatis erat quantum tibi apud filium tuum (…your father…who had as much auctoritas over you as you have over your son).

(87) IO 6.5.9.

(88) Vesp. 2.2.

(89) Ann. 5.3.1: quia Tiberio inveteratum erga matrem obsequium, neque Seianus audebat auctoritati parentis antire.

(90) OLD s.v. 2a.

(91) Plaut. Aul. 168, Cas. 409.

(92) E.g. F 278/13.11 to Brutus, 46.

(93) E.g. A 34/2.14.2, Formiae c.26 Apr. 59.

(94) E.g. F 266/13.50 to (?M.) Acilius (?Caninus) for Curius, Rome early Jan. 44, 285/13.19 to Ser. Sulpicius leg./procos. of Achaea for Lyso, 46/45, 286/13.20 to Sulpicius for Asclapo, 46/45.

(95) Dio 57.12.2, Barrett, Livia 164–5.

(96) E.g. Livy 39.11.4–14.3 (Aebutia and Hispala Fecenia invited to approach a consul’s mother-in-law), Treggiari, Terentia 46 (a woman gives information to Terentia).

(97) P. 62.

(98) The classic study is Brunt, FRR 351–81.

(99) Radin, Brutus 34.

(100) ‘Family business’ 91.

(101) RR 20–1. On Syme’s Catonian group see Brunt, FRR 495–6.

(102) RS 84–5. Cf. Brunt FRR 495 for a similar point.

(103) The relationship no doubt goes back earlier. Cicero was on polite terms with Iunia Tertia by 46 (F 185/16.22.1 to Tiro, Tusculum ?July 46).

(104) E.g. F 26/7.5 to Caesar, Rome Apr. 54, A 89/4.16.7, Rome c.1 July 54, 93/4.19.2, Rome end of Nov. 54, 124/7.1.2–3, Athens 16 Oct. 50. See further Brunt, FRR 364–5, Mitchell, Cicero the senior statesman 189–92.

(105) Nep. Att. 11.4 qui quidem Serviliam, Bruti matrem, non minus post mortem eius quam florentem coluerit (for he indeed cultivated Servilia the mother of Brutus as much after his death as when she was flourishing). It is interesting that Servilia’s flourishing depends for Nepos on the survival of her only son.

(106) Nep. Att. 8, 9.3: amicissimus…Bruto (very friendly to Brutus), 10.1: intimam familiaritatem Ciceronis et Bruti (his intimate friendship with Cicero and Brutus), 16.1: fuit iucundissimus senex adulescenti M. Bruto (as an old man he was delightful to the young Brutus). Cf. A 364/14.10.1, Cumae 19 Apr. 44: meus et tuus Brutus (my Brutus and yours). He was already Brutus tuus (your Brutus) in A 114/5.21.10, Laodicea 13 Feb. 50.

(107) Nep. Att. 7. Cf. Brunt, FRR 371: ‘Atticus’s lifelong generosity in befriending mutual enemies was remarkable, but he only carried further what was accepted…’. Welch, ‘Atticus’ stresses financial dealings and self-interest. I accept both.

(108) Nep. Att. 8.

(109) Nep. Att. 9.

(110) Nep. Att. 11.4. Cf. Horsfall, Nepos 80: ‘Atticus had taken out insurance, by helping both Fulvia…and Brutus’ mother.…’

(111) A similar point is made by Grattarola, I cesariani 157–8 n. 173, in connexion with Servilia’s attitude in spring 43.

(112) RR 51.

(113) A 386/15.6.4, p. 187 n. 33.

(114) Wiseman, NMRS 226, Claude Nicolet, L’ordre équestre à l’époque républicaine (312–43 av. J.-C.) 2 Prosopographie des chevaliers romains (Paris, 1974) 853–5.

(115) Balb. 63. Balbus was praefectus fabrum, ‘chief of engineers’, which at this period means he was on the general’s staff. His closeness to Pompey and Caesar explains why he was prosecuted in 56 (Gruen, LGRR 312–13).

(116) Balb. 64, A 23/2.3.3, ?Rome late 62, Suet. DJ 81.2.

(117) A 217/11.6.3, Brundisium 27 Nov. 48.

(118) 50–44. See esp. A 126/7.3.11, nr. Trebula 9 Dec. 50, 219/11.8.1, Brundisium ?23 Dec. 48, F 226/6.12.2 to Ampius, Rome ?Aug./Sept. 46, 235/6.8.1 to Caecina, Rome Dec. 46. He often wrote to Cicero or visited him. Cf. Tac. Ann. 12.60.5: C. Oppius et Cornelius Balbus primi Caesaris opibus potuere condiciones pacis et arbitria belli tractare (C. Oppius and Cornelius Balbus were the first [sc. equites] because of Caesar’s resources to be able to manage peace conditions and decisions to make war).

(119) A 374/14.20.4, Puteoli 11 May 44: [Hirtius] vivit habitatque cum Balbo ([Hirtius] lives and resides with Balbus), 364/14.10.3, Cumae 19 Apr. 44.

(120) A 383/15.5.2, 27/28 May 44, 387/15.9.1, 2/3 June 44, both Tusculum. Cf. p. 188.

(121) Cf. Milnor, Gender 213–14 on Atticus. Syme saved from obscurity a number of lesser senators and equites.

(122) E.g. Plut. Pomp. 40, Pliny NH 35.200; QF 2/1.2.1, 3, Rome between 25 Oct. and 10 Dec. 59, Treggiari, RFLR index s.vv. Pompeius and Tullius.

(123) Both equites and liberti were commonly employed as procuratores, who managed a person’s private affairs.

(124) A 89/4.16.8, Rome c.1 July 54, QF 21/3.1.8, 13, 17–18, Arpinum Sept. 54.

(125) A 355/14.1.1, Matius’s house near Rome 7 Apr. 44: o prudentem Oppium! qui nihilo minus illum desiderat, sed loquitur nihil quod quemquam bonum offendat (o prudent Oppius! He nonetheless misses him [Caesar] but says nothing which would offend any of the good men), 426/16.15.3, Arpinum after 12 Nov. 44.

(126) FRH no. 40 F4, E. Rawson, Intellectual life 229, Pelling, ‘The first biographers’ 252–3.

(127) F 226/6.12.2 to Ampius, Rome ?Aug./Sept. 46: hoc Pansa, Hirtius, Balbus, Oppius, Matius, Postum[i]us plane ita faciunt ut me unice diligant (Pansa, Hirtius, Balbus, Oppius, Matius, Postum[i]us really act as if they are fonder of me than of anyone). Cf. Tac. Ann. 12.60: Matios…et Vedios et cetera equitum Romanorum praevalida nomina…(the Matii…and Vedii [= men like Matius and Vedius] and the rest of the mighty names of Roman equites…).

(128) Son of a proscribed (so anti-Sullan) father (if we can trust Dio 45.17.1). Not a new man (pace Syme, RR index; for his probable adoptive father see MRR 3.220, Wiseman, NMRS 274).

(129) F 214/15.17.3 to Cassius, Rome early 45: Pansa noster (our Pansa), 216/15.19.2 from Cassius, Brundisium late Jan. 45: Pansam nostrum (our Pansa).

(130) Brut. 218. He is Pansa meus (my Pansa) to Cicero from 53 (F 35/7.12.1 to Trebatius, Rome Feb. 53) and known to him from at latest 54 (QF 25/3.5.5, Tusculum end of Oct./early Nov. 54). Cicero was on intimate terms with him (A 365/14.11.2, ?Puteoli 21 Apr. 44, 374/14.20.4, Puteoli 11 May 44, Suet. gr. 25.3 with Kaster, gr. et. rhet. 275–6 for Pansa practising declamation with Cicero) and he was a friend of Atticus (A 217/11.6.3, Brundisium 27 Nov. 48, 419/16.9, Puteoli 4 Nov. 44). Q. Cicero, however, was highly critical of both Pansa and Hirtius (F 352/16.27.1 from Q. Cicero to Tiro, ?Dec. 44).

(131) A 374/14.20.4.

(132) A 399/15.22: Pansam bene loqui credo, semper enim coniunctum esse cum Hirtio scio; amicissimum Bruto et Cassio puto, si expediet (sed quando illos videbit?), inimicum Antonio quando aut cur? quousque ludemur? (I believe Pansa speaks fairly, for I know he has always been linked with Hirtius; I think he is very friendly to Brutus and Cassius, if it will be expedient [but when will he see them?]. When or why would he be an enemy to Antony? How long are we going to be fooled?). Cf. F 346/12.22.2 to Cornificius, Rome not long after 19 Sept. 44.

(133) He died 23 April 43.

(134) When he came to Rome in December 50 and failed to call on Pompey, though Balbus had arranged a meeting at the house of Scipio (Pompey’s father-in-law), Pompey took this as proof that he (Pompey) and Caesar were estranged (A 127/7.4.2, ?Cumae c.13 Dec. 50). Nine books of his correspondence with Cicero were extant in antiquity. His pamphlet: A 281/12.40.1, 9 May 45, 283/12.41.4, 11 May 45, 285/12.44.1,13 May 45, all Astura, 289/12.48.1, Lanuvium 17 May 45, 290/12.45.2, Tusculum 17 May 45. Career: Wiseman, NMRS 235, Nicolet, Ordre équestre 2.912–913.

(135) With people in Rome (A 127/7.4.2), young Q. Cicero (A 195/10.4.6, Cumae 14 Apr. 49, 235/11.20.1, Brundisium 15 Aug. 47), Cicero (with Pansa, A 225/11.14.3, Brundisium Apr. 47, 273/12.34.3, Astura 3 Mar. 45).

(136) F 181/9.6.1 to Varro, Rome latter half of June 46, A 365/14.11.2, ?Puteoli 21 Apr. 44.

(137) F 181/9.6.1 to Varro, 191/9.18.1 to Paetus, Tusculum c.23 July 46.

(138) F 325/11.1.1, 4–6 from D. Brutus to M. Brutus and Cassius, Rome c.22 Mar. 44 (after Hirtius had come to D. Brutus’s house to clarify Antony’s position), A 374/14.20.4, Puteoli 11 May 44, 399/15.22, Tusculum 22/23 June 44.

(139) A 376/14.22.1: valde amat illum quem Brutus noster sauciavit (he deeply loves the man whom our Brutus wounded). But the affectionate relationship, developed when Hirtius practised declamation with Cicero (e.g. F 190/9.16.7 to Paetus, ?Tusculum mid-July 46), allowed Cicero to cast him as an interlocutor in the De fato soon after the Ides (Fat. 2).

(140) A 374/14.20.4, 383/15.5.1–2, 27/28 May 44, 386/15.6.1, ?2 June 44, both Tusculum.

(141) A 386/15.6.2–3.

(142) F 360/11.8.2 to D. Brutus, Rome end of Jan. 43: noster Hirtius (our Hirtius), 365/12.5.2 to Cassius, Rome early Feb. 43: noster Hirtius (our Hirtius).

(143) He fell in the battle at Mutina 21 Apr. 43.

(144) A 178/9.11.2, 20 Mar. 49, 179/9.12.1, 20/21 Mar. 49, 180/9.13.4, 23 Mar. 49, 184/9.15a, 25 Mar. 49, 186/9.17.1, 27 Mar. 49, all from Formiae, F 348/11.27.3 to Matius, Tusculum ?mid-Oct. 44.

(145) F 348/11.27.4–5.

(146) F 349/11.28.2 from Matius, ?mid-Oct. 44.

(147) A 355/14.1.1–2, Matius’s house near Rome 7 Apr. 44, 356/14.2.3, ?Matius’s house 8 Apr. 44, 357/14.3.1, Tusculum 9 Apr. 44, 358/14.4.1, Lanuvium 10 Apr. 44, 363/14.9.3, Puteoli 17 Apr. 44, F 349/11.28.2 from Matius.

(148) F 349/11.28.3–4.

(149) A 355/14.1.2: de quo [Bruto] quidem ille ad quem deverti Caesarem solitum dicere, ‘magni refert hic quid velit, sed quicquid vult valde vult’; idque eum animadvertisse cum pro Deiotaro Nicaeae dixerit; valde vehementer eum visum et libere dicere (the man I am staying with says that Caesar was in the habit of saying about him [Brutus], ‘It’s a big question what he wants, but when he wants something, he wants it badly.’ Caesar, he says, noticed this when Brutus spoke on behalf of Deiotarus at Nicaea, for he thought he spoke very forcefully and freely).

(150) A 356/14.2.3: habes igitur φαλάκρωμα‎ inimicissimum oti, id est Bruti (so there you have a baldhead extremely hostile to peace, that is to Brutus), 359/14.5.1, Astura 11 Apr. 44: signa bella, quod Calvenna [Matius] moleste fert se suspectum esse Bruto (fine signs, that Baldy [Matius] takes it hard that he is suspected by Brutus).

(151) A 355/14.1.1.

(152) Nicolet, Ordre équestre 2.1000–2, MRR 2.612, 3.181. For a full recent account see Mary Siani-Davies, Cicero’s speech pro Rabirio Postumo (Oxford, 2001) 38–65. The identification of the Curtius Postumus of Cicero’s letters (whom Cicero had apparently defended [A 172/9.6.2, Formiae 11 Mar. 49]) and Rabirius Postumus of the Rab. Post. is widely accepted. He appears to have been praetor ?48. (He is not in Wiseman, NMRS, I suppose because his adoptive father was a senator.)

(153) P. 157, Dig., Nicolet, Ordre équestre. 2.1043–4.

(154) Plut. Cato min. 9.2, 37.5, 65.4, 68.1.

(155) Plut. Cato min. 19.2, 21.1–2.

(156) Plut. Cato min. 32.6, 46.1.

(157) From Tarracina, aedile 53, pr. 49, Pompeian, pardoned by Caesar after Pharsalus; MRR 3.90–1, Joseph Geiger, ‘M. Favonius: three notes’, Riv. stor. ant. 4 (1974) 161–70, Wiseman, NMRS 231, Linderski, Roman questions 231–50, Syme, RP 6.60–3. For his presumed daughter see Syme, RP 6.63 n. 56.

(158) He pushed himself forward as leader of the consulars when he was at most an ex-tribune in 57: A 73/4.1.7, Rome c.10 Sept. 57. Cf. A 14/1.14.5, Rome 13 Feb. 61 (siding with Cato and Hortensius).

(159) Plut. Cato min. 46.1.

(160) A 21/2.1.9, ?Antium c.3 June 60, F 82/8.9.5 from Caelius, Rome 2 Sept. 51 (his rejection in the elections for the praetorship).

(161) He was the last to swear to obey Caesar’s land law in 59, even after Cato (Plut. Cato min. 32.6). We find him attacking Pompey in a senatorial debate, in conjunction with Bibulus, Curio, and Isauricus (QF 7/2.3.2, Rome 12 Feb. 56). He acted with Cicero, Bibulus, and Calidius (QF 14/2.10.2, Rome Feb. 54). For his familiarity with Cato cf. Mil. 44, VM 2.10.8. Cicero calls him a familiaris of his own, although he voted with Cato against a supplicatio (public thanksgiving) for Cicero (A 91/4.17.4, Rome 1 Oct. 54, 124/7.1.7, Athens 16 Oct. 50, F 91/8.11.2 from Caelius, Rome ?mid-Apr. 50).

(162) A 139/7.15.2, Capua 26 Jan. 49.

(163) Plut. Cato min. 14.3–4. He had served Sulla in Greece and as consul defended the Sullan reform of the tribunate (MRR 2.56, 92–3). His son, C. Curio tr. 50, went over to Caesar.

(164) E.g. Plut. Cato min. 16.4–5, 25.2, 4.

(165) E.g. Plut. Cato min. 32.4–5, 34.2, 35.1, 40.2, Cic. 34.2.

(166) Plut. Cato min. 18.3–4, MRR 2.162.

(167) Plut. Cato min. 35.2, 36.1, 37.1–3, Wiseman, RS 16, MRR 3.49. Some think him identical with P. Canidius Crassus who later served as an officer of Lepidus (F 391/10.21.4 from Plancus, camp on Isara ?13 May 43) and then became phenomenally important as a general under Antony and cos. suff. 40 (Syme, RR see index, RP 2.583 [no clue to his origin], 3.1095–6 [his death]).

(168) Wiseman NMRS 221, tentatively identifying him with the legate of Lepidus. If so, Servilia should have known him.

(169) A 139/7.15.2, Capua 26 Jan. 49, Ps.-Sall. Ep. 9.4, probably the same as the orator T. Postumius (Brut. 269). Cf. Syme, RP 6.61–2, SBA 4.310–11, Gruen, LGRR 207, listing him as a new man.

(170) VM 4.3.2, Plut. Cato min. 37.1–3, Geiger, Munatius Rufus and Thrasea’ 49–61, E. Rawson, Intellectual life 229, Pelling, Plutarch and History (Swansea, 2002) 13.

(171) Plut. Cato min. 9.1–2, 27.5, 36.3–37 (quarrel in Cyprus, made up in Rome).

(172) Plut. Cato min. 30.2–4, 9.1–3, 37.4–5; cf. Geiger, ‘Munatius Rufus and Thrasea’ 48–72 esp. 49–57 (noting his close relationship with the women of Cato’s family).

(173) Cato min. 52.3.

(174) Plut. Cato min. 65.4–5, 66.4, 73.4. Cf. Jones, ‘Cicero’s Cato’ 190–1 for a possible reference. He was later a friend of Brutus. He might have been a source on Cato for Thrasea and so for Plutarch (Geiger, Munatius Rufus and Thrasea’ 66).

(175) Nic. Dam. Aug. 16.

(176) Plut. Cato min. 12.2, 15.1–3.

(177) Strabo 14.5.14: ‘The following men were natives of Tarsus:…the two Athenodori, one of whom, called Cordylion, lived with Marcus Cato and died at his house.’

(178) Plut. Cato min. 4.1. He died in Athens shortly before 43 (Off. 2.86). See E. Rawson, Intellectual life 82, 83, 295.

(179) Plut. Cato min. 20.1.

(180) Plut. Cato min. 57.2; E. Rawson, Intellectual life 36 n. 90 (he was later with Cleopatra), 82.

(181) Plut. Cato min. 65.5, 66.4, 69.1–70.1.

(182) Plut. Cato min. 65.5, 66.4, 67.2, 69.1–70.1. Geiger (Munatius Rufus and Thrasea’ 65–6) plausibly suggests he was the ultimate source for Cato’s suicide. He conjectures he may be the same as the Peripatetic Demetrius of Byzantium, but his tentative suggestion that he is the Demetrius about whom Cicero wrote to Tiro in 46 (F 184/16.19, 185/16.22.2, 186/16.17.2) is implausible: the name is common.

(183) Plut. Cato min. 70.2; Geiger, Munatius Rufus and Thrasea’ 67.

(184) Plut. Cato min. 70.2–4.

(185) Plut. Cato min. 70.4–6.

(186) He appears to have been a freedman of Cato’s own and may have been the Butas who wrote in Greek verse on Roman cults (Plut. Rom. 21.6, Arnob. Adv. nat. 5.18.3 [on women’s rite for Bona Dea]: sicut suis scribit in causalibus Butas [as Butas writes in his Causalia (On the causes of things)]). Cf. Wiseman, Cinna 136, 137, E. Rawson, Intellectual life 233 n. 2, 249. Would he not have consulted the women of Cato’s family about the Bona Dea?

(187) Plut. Brut. 34.4–8.

(188) Plut. Brut. 12.3, App. BC 2.119.

(189) Syme, RR 198, in a useful list of prominent men who sided with Brutus.

(190) Suet. DA 13.2.

(191) Plut. Brut. 3.3. p. 238.

(192) Plut. Brut. 12.3, with M. Griffin, ‘Philosophy, politics, and politicians’ 28–31, Sedley, ‘Ethics of Brutus’ 44–7; Wiseman, NMRS 263.

(193) Plut. Brut. 51.5–6.

(194) P. 209.

(195) Dig., calling him Pacuvius Labeo Antistius. He was the recipient of a letter of Sinnius Capito on a point of Latinity (Gell. 5.21.10, calling him Pacuvius Labeo).

(196) Wiseman, NMRS 213. For his name, Pacuvius Labeo (praenomen unknown), see Badian, ‘The attempt to try Caesar’ in J. A. S. Evans ed., Polis and imperium (Toronto, 1974) 145–66 at 152–4, followed by SB, Studies 103. His son was Antistius Labeo, the jurist (App. BC 4.135). The names Antistius, Labeo, and Pacuvius are all Oscan (M. W. Frederiksen, ‘Republican Capua: a social and economic study’, PBSR 14 [1959] 80–130 at 111).

(197) Plut. Brut. 12.4, 6.

(198) Ad Brut. 5/5.4, Rome ?19 Apr. 43. He knew Brutus had not sent letters to his own people, as was his custom. Cicero too was familiar with him, if he is the Labeo of QF 1/1.1.14, late 60 or early 59, 21/3.1.21, Sept. 54, 26/3.6.1, late Nov. 54, all Rome. He must have been one of the staff of Q. Cicero in Asia 60–59 and perhaps again in 54 when Quintus was in Gaul, though he was then shuttling back and forth. Or he may have been a legal specialist working for Caesar, like Trebatius.

(199) Plut. Brut. 51.2, MRR 3.18.

(200) App. BC 4.135 for his methodical death: he had a trench dug in his tent, gave orders to his slaves, sent letters to his household, made arrangements for his wife and children, and informally freed the man who cut his throat. Brutus is said to have lamented his death before he himself died (Plut. Brut. 51.2).

(201) Nic. Dam. Aug. 72. Mark Toher, ‘Julius Caesar and Octavian in Nicolaus’ in F. Cairns and R. E. Fantham eds., Caesar against liberty? 132–56 at 141–2 thinks this might be a mistake for C. Casca, the tribune of 44, but this is unconvincing.

(202) A 426/16.15.3, Arpinum after 12 Nov. 44, Nic. Dam. Aug. 89, Suet. DJ 82.2, Plut. Caes. 66.4, App. BC 2.117. Cf. Phil. 13.31. In Phil. 2.26–7 Cicero says that the conspirators did not need him to inspire them. He lists the Bruti, Cassius, Cn. Domitius (Ahenobarbus, nephew of Cato), C. Trebonius, L. Tillius Cimber, quid duo ServiliiCascas dicam an Ahalas? (what of the two Servilii—shall I call them Cascae or Ahalae?). There were three Cascae at this date, two of them conspirators. The third was tribune 44 and denied that he had anything in common with the others except his cognomen, so was probably not a Servilius or a brother. See MRR 3.194–5, OCD4 s.v. (Cornell, Badian), contra SB Onom. speeches 88.

(203) A 426/16.15.3: Cascae nostri tribunatum (our Casca’s tribunate).

(204) Plut. Brut. 45.8–9, Anth. Lat. 1.1 no. 457: Occidere simul Cascae, simul occubuere,/dextra quisque sua, qua scelus ausus erat./castra eadem fovere, locus quoque vulneris idem;/partibus afflictis victus uterque iacet…(The Cascae died together, they fell together, each by his own right hand with which he had dared the crime [sc. the murder of Caesar], they supported the same camp, the wound was in the same place, when their side was dashed down each lies conquered…).

(205) Brut. 11.

(206) Wiseman, NMRS 237, citing App. BC 4.22.

(207) BC 2.113.

(208) MRR 2.326.

(209) Kaster, Sest. 124–5.

(210) App. BC 4.51, Dio 53.32.4.

(211) For his career see Syme, AA 200–16, putting his date of birth c.64. For his studying see A 271/12.32.2, 28 Mar. 45, the earliest mention of him, 394/15.17.2, 14 June 44 (a visit to Brutus and Cassius at Lanuvium in an interval from Athens), both Astura.

(212) P. 177 n. 145.

(213) Dio 47.24.3–6 (calling the mother [Sempronia] by the nickname, Polla, the alternative pronunciation and spelling for Paulla, ‘little’), Syme, RR 269. A further attempt to kill Cassius was allegedly thwarted by ‘Polla’.

(214) Ad Brut. 23/23.1, Rome July 43.

(215) Tac. Ann. 4.34.6.

(216) MRR 2.367.

(217) Plut. Brut. 40.1–4 (FRH no. 61 F1), 42.5 (FRH no. 61 F2), 45.1 (FRH no. 61 F3), Suet. DA 74 (FRH no. 61 F4) might come from a historical work. The item that Messalla called Dellius the circus-rider of the civil wars (Sen. Suas. 1.7, FRH no. 61 F6) might derive from conversation. But his naming Cassius his commander (Tac. Ann. 4.34.6, FRH no. 61 T1) seems to come from a book as well, since Cremutius Cordus is specifically talking of literature. See K. Welch, ‘Alternative memoirs: tales from the “other side” of the civil war’ in C. J. Smith and A. Powell eds., The lost memoirs of Augustus and the development of Roman autobiography (Swansea, 2009) 195–223 at 200–9, FRH 1.466–71.

(218) GL 6.9 = FRH no. 61 F7.

(219) BC 2.113.

(220) Plut. Brut. 39.10–11, with Syme, RP 6.196, suggesting that he was related to a son (d. 54 [QF 26/3.6.5]) of Domitius Ahenobarbus cos. 54, who had been adopted by an Atilius Serranus.

(221) Plut. Brut. 48.2–5, 51.1, 3–4, 52.2–3. For Volumnius’s writings Plut. Brut. 51.3–4, FRH no. 47. Syme, RP 2.524 thought of identifying him with the eques Volumnius Eutrapelus, but reneged in a footnote because this Volumnius was philosophical. (I see no reason why Eutrapelus should not have been philosophical, but it is less plausible that he was at Philippi.) Wiseman, NMRS 277 suggests he might be Eutrapelus or Volumnius Flaccus, envoy from D. Brutus to the Senate 43 (MRR 3.224), so presumably then a senator (cf. RE Volumnius 8 [H. Gundel]). There is a possible connexion between Brutus and Eutrapelus if Vir. ill. 82 is correct in saying Brutus had an affair with Volumnia Cytheris, his freedwoman. Eutrapelus was certainly a friend of Cassius, sharing intellectual interests with him and Cicero (F 192/7.33.2 to Volumnius, Rome ?late July 46, Syme, RP 2.523, p. 142). I take P. Volumnius and Eutrapelus to be two people.

(222) Plut. Brut. 50, Ant. 69.1, App. BC 4.129, Moles, Plutarch’s Brutus 373.

(223) Ad Brut. 12/14.4 from Brutus, camp in Lower Candavia 19 May 43, asking Cicero to help Flavius in a dispute with Dyrrhachium: Flavius noster…necessario meo (our Flavius…to my connexion). (Cf. the probably spurious Ad Brut. 26/25.3 from Brutus to Atticus: ex Flavio nostro [from our Flavius]), frr. epp. 7.12 = TP 6.8.8 = Quint. IO 9.4.41.) C. Flavius, Bruti familiaris (an intimate of Brutus), asked Atticus to lead a scheme for equites to fund the tyrannicides; Atticus refused to join in and the scheme was aborted (Nep. Att. 8.3–4 with Horsfall, Syme, RR 102, 198). Cicero recommended him as honestus et ornatus eques Romanus (an honourable and distinguished eques Romanus) to the proconsul of Sicily (F 302/13.31 to Acilius, 46/45). Cicero probably mentions this Flavius in connexion with a business matter in 45 (A 255/12.17, Astura 12 Mar. 45). Cf. Nicolet, Ordre équestre 2.880–1. He had a brother L. Flavius (F 302/13.31.1). He died at Philippi as a staff officer to Brutus (Plut. Brut. 51.2). He is not to be identified with a C. Flavius Hemic(?illus), legatus pro praetore (lieutenant of praetorian standing) to Brutus (MRR 3.91), who is presumably not an eques but a senator (SBF 2.451–2, Nicolet, Ordre équestre 2.880–1).

(224) A 410/16.5.3, Puteoli 9 July 44. Cf. 378/15.1a.1, Sinuessa 18 May 44.

(225) F 329/11.2.1, from Brutus and Cassius to Antony, Lanuvium late May 44.

(226) Vedius?: F 217/9.10.1 to Dolabella, Rome beginning of 45 with Syme, RP 2.521–522, contra SB ad loc. Cassius: p. 142. Brutus: A 317/13.9.2, ?17 June 45. Cicero and Atticus: A 296/13.1.3, 23 May 45. Dolabella: A 299/13.28.3, 26 May 45, all Tusculum.

(227) A 416/15.13.4, ?Puteoli 25 Oct. 44, Ad Brut. 4/4.1, Rome 12 Apr. 43.

(228) Pp. 158–9. For the other, the M. Scaptius who worked in Cappadocia, see A 115/6.1.4, Laodicea 20 Feb. 50, 117/6.3.5, en route to Tarsus May or early June 50. Münzer (RE Scaptius 2) thinks the Scaptius in Cappadocia may be the son of the one in Cilicia. TP 6.22 and SBA 6.296 take the Scaptius of 44–43 to be the one who was in Cilicia. Münzer leaves the matter open. Cf. GL I 130.15: Brutus ad Caesarem: a Scaptio familiari meo (Brutus to Caesar: from/by my intimate Scaptius).

(229) A 114/5.21.10, Laodicea 13 Feb. 50, 115/6.1.5.

(230) A 114/5.21.10–13, 115/6.1.5–7, 116/6.2.7–8, Laodicea ?latter part of Apr. 50, 117/6.3.5.

(231) Nicolet, Ordre équestre 2.1014–15 has doubts about the equestrian status of the Scaptius in Cilicia, even though he had been praefectus equitum (commander of cavalry, Ordre équestre 1 Définitions juridiques et structures sociales 282), and thinks the one in Cappadocia may be an eques because he was praefectus and a procurator (1.427) and offered a military tribunate (1.276).

(232) A 114/5.21.12: impudens magis quam stultus (shameless rather than stupid), 117/6.3.5, en route to Tarsus, May/early June 50: amicos habet meras nugas, Ma<ti>nium, Scaptium (he has friends who are mere nothings, Ma<ti>nius, Scaptius).

(233) Plut. Brut. 2.4, cf. Quint. IO 10.6.4. Brutus had studied rhetoric at Rhodes (Vir. ill. 82). Cf. E. Rawson, Intellectual life 10, 77, 229. The philosopher Aristus was Brutus’s companion, but probably in Athens, not Rome (Plut. Brut. 2.3, A 103/5.10.5, Athens ?27 June 51, Ac. 2.12, Tusc. 5.21–22, Brut. 332: hospes et familiaris meus [my guest/host and intimate]). He was the head of the Academy.

(234) Vell. 2.70.4, Plut. Brut. 52.6–53.2, Caes. 69.8, App. BC 4.131, E. Rawson, Intellectual life 77 n. 45.

(235) Asc. 19C: M. Catonem autem qui id iudicium…exercebat [Scaurus] metuebat admodum propter amicitiam quae erat illi cum Triario: nam Flaminia, Triarii mater, et ipse Triarius sororem Catonis Serviliam, quae mater M. Bruti fuit, familiariter diligebat; ea porro apud Catonem maternam obtinebat auctoritatem. Hortensius and the elder Isauricus were witnesses to character and Lepidus’s brother L. Paullus supplicated the judges (Alexander, TLRR no. 295, Gruen, LGRR 332–7). Triarius’s father, as propraetor in 77, had fought against Lepidus and served under L. Lucullus in the East (Asc. 19C). Flaminia is not otherwise known (Lewis, Asc. 220). A couple of senatorial Flaminii are known in the first century (MRR 2.565). Triarius and the other prosecutors were subsequently charged with calumnia (bringing a false accusation), but the judges under Cato’s presidency acquitted them (Asc. 29C). Nevertheless, Triarius apparently did not manage a senatorial career. I am not convinced by the argument of Edward Courtney, ‘The prosecution of Scaurus in 54 BC’, Philologus 105 (1961) 151–6, that Servilia was a chief mover in the prosecution, on which see Bruce A. Marshall, A historical commentary on Asconius (Columbia, 1985) 155. I do not follow Hillard, ‘Materna auctoritas’ 11, ‘Republican politics’ 175, ‘On the stage’ 53–4, who thinks Servilia’s influence a topos, possibly invented by Cicero as an attack on Cato.

(236) CIL 12.1389 = 6.26848, found in the Moroni vineyard, Via Appia, now in the Vatican: VIVIT/STEPHANI/SERVILIAI/SILAni L(ibertus) (He is alive./[Tomb] of Stephanus, freedman of Servilia wife of Silanus). It might be suspected that freed slaves or descendants of freed slaves of Servilia lie concealed under various Q. Servilii attested in inscriptions from Rome (CIL 6.2201, 26410, 26431). Her liberti would take their praenomen from her father.

(237) CIL 6.35619: D. IVNIUS D. L. BASILIDES/PO(r)CIA Ↄ. L. ELEUTHERIS/D. IVNIVS D. L. RUFIO (D. Iunius, freedman of Decimus, Basilides. Po[r]cia, freedwoman of a woman, Eleutheris. D. Iunius, freedman of Decimus, Rufio). The marriage is conjectural.

(238) P. 212 n. 175.

(239) ‘Paternus inimicus’ 205, citing Courtney, ‘Prosecution of Scaurus’.

(240) It would have been affected if her first husband had been proscribed, but I do not believe that he was (p. 82).

(241) The estate would have included anything Caepio, because of the divorce, had retained for their children from Livia’s dowry.

(242) Plut. Cato min. 4.1, VM 2.10.8: exiguum…patrimonium (a small paternal inheritance). I follow Shatzman, Senatorial wealth 393–4 for the equivalence in Roman currency. See further Tansey, ‘Prosopographical study’ 201 n. 854, who adds Sen. Vita beata 21.3–4 (4 million sesterces as Cato’s total fortune).

(243) Plut. Cato min. 11.4.

(244) Plut. Cato min. 6.4.

(245) Macr. Sat. 3.15.6: M. Varro in libro de agri cultura refert M. Catonem qui post Uticae periit, cum heres testamento Luculli esset relictus, pisces de piscina eius quadraginta milibus vendidisse (M. Varro in his book on agriculture relates that M. Cato who later died at Utica, when left as heir by the will of Lucullus, sold the fish from his fishpond for 40,000 sesterces).

(246) Plut. Cato min. 20.1–3.

(247) Plut. Cato min. 9.2, 12.2.

(248) VM 4.3.12.

(249) P. 110 n. 147.

(250) Pp. 149–50, 190.

(251) A 169/9.3.1, Formiae 9 Mar. 49. Wiseman lists five women property-holders (NMRS 191 n. 1), but not Servilia.

(252) RAA 362–3 n. 1 = RAPF 451 n. 114.

(253) LTUR 3.84 (L. Chioffi). He excludes, without argument, M. Servilius Nonianus cos. AD 35, whom L. Richardson suggested (A new topographical dictionary of ancient Rome [Baltimore, 1992] 204). It is apparent that scholars often fail to consider women.

(254) Mary T. Boatwright, ‘Luxuriant gardens and extravagant women: the horti of Rome between Republic and Empire’ in M. Cima and E. La Rocca, Horti romani (Rome, 1998) 71–82 discusses how under the Principate horti are disproportionately associated with women and effeminate men. She does not mention the Servilian property.

(255) Because of the Voconian law of 169 she would not have been heres (heir and executor) or allowed to take a legacy worth more than what the heres took. Her father and mother could have made her brother heres and left her a legacy. For her brother’s estate see p. 96. Her husband Brutus’s obvious beneficiaries were his son and widow. His will would have been affected if he had been proscribed, but I do not believe that he was (p. 82). Her husband Silanus will have wanted to benefit his widow and three daughters: he will have had to nominate a male heres (perhaps a kinsman, his stepson Brutus, or a son-in-law). Whether her son Brutus could transmit any property by will is doubtful: if he did, his mother was the obvious recipient. The Voconian law could be circumvented by trusts (fideicommissa).

(256) App. BC 3.23. He also used his patrimony from Octavius, and the fortune of his stepfather Philippus, and Caesar’s bequests to Pinarius and Pedius.

(257) Cons. Helv. 14.2–3.

(258) Cf. A 231/11.25.3, Brundisium 5 July 47. This liquidity helps explain the triumvirs’ special tax on women.

(259) For display see Emily A. Hemelrijk, ‘Women’s demonstrations in republican Rome’ in J. Blok and P. Mason eds., Sexual asymmetry (Amsterdam, 1987) 217–40 at 222–4.