Caecilia Metella (daughter of Celer)

Caecilia Metella was daughter of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer and Clodia. She was an infamous woman in Rome during the late Republic and a celebrity of sorts.[1]


Early lifeEdit

She was the daughter of the consul Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer, while her mother Clodia was a notorious adulterer and possibly the inspiration for the figure of Lesbia in poetry.[2] Caecilia seems to have taken after her mother.[3]

Marriage and scandalsEdit

In 53 BC, Metella Celer was married to Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther, a conservative politician, allied to her father's family. Like her mother, Metella did not content herself with a simple married life. Briefly after the wedding she started an affair with Publius Cornelius Dolabella, a man of the opposite political spectrum. Spinther divorced her in 45 BC in the midst of a huge scandal.[a] Cicero bitterly discusses the affair in his letters, because at the time, his daughter Tullia was Dolabella's wife.

Metella went back to her family in absolute disgrace. She was still in her twenties and very beautiful. Her cousins did not hesitate in using her for political conspiracies. Metella seduced several of Julius Caesar's intimate friends, in order to get the family name cleared after the defeat of the Optimates in the battles of Pharsalus and Munda. Amongst her non-political lovers is the poet Ticida, who wrote about Metella, giving her the name of Perilla. Her last known lover was one Aesopo, a wealthy member of the equites, who supported the Caecilii Metelli for a few years.[1] Her date of death is unknown.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ In the past it was believed by some that she was the wife of Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther the Younger,[4] the son of her husband, but this is not generally supported today.


  •   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William (1870). "Caecilia or Metella.6". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. 2. p. 526.
  1. ^ a b Juster, A. M.; Braund, Susanna (2012). The Satires of Horace. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 139. ISBN 9780812222098.
  2. ^ Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association. University of California: American Philological Association. 1939. p. 215.
  3. ^ Churchill, Laurie J.; Brown, Phyllis R.; Jeffrey, Jane E. (2013). Women Writing Latin: Women Writing Latin in Roman Antiquity, Late Antiquity, and the Early Christian Era. Women Writers of the World. Routledge. ISBN 9781136742910.
  4. ^ "A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology: By various writers. Ed. By William Smith. Illustr. By numerous engravings on wood. In 3 vols". 1872.