Metellus(mētĕl`əs), ancient Roman family of the plebeian gens Caecilia. Lucius Caecilius Metellus, d. c.221 B.C., consul (251 B.C.), fought in the First Punic War. He was pontifex maximus (from 243) and was said to have been blinded (241) in rescuing the Palladium from the burning temple of Vesta.
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus, d. 115 B.C., the grandson of Lucius Caecilius Metellus, was an important general in the final conquest of Greece (146). He was consul in 143 and defeated the Celtiberians in N Spain. As censor (131) he proposed that marriage be made compulsory for Roman men, to increase the birthrate.
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus, d. 91? B.C., nephew of Macedonicus, was a leader of the senatorial party. As consul (109 B.C.) he conducted the Numidian War against Jugurtha. He antagonized his legate, MariusMarius, Caius
, c.157 B.C.–86 B.C., Roman general. A plebeian, he became tribune (119 B.C.) and praetor (115 B.C.) and was seven times consul. He served under Scipio Africanus Minor at Numantia and under Quintus Metellus against Jugurtha.
..... Click the link for more information. , who later received his command. While serving as censor (102), Numidicus tried to remove Lucius Appuleius Saturninus, of the popular party, from the senate. In 100 B.C., Saturninus and Marius took revenge by passing a law requiring senators to swear acceptance of an agrarian law; they tricked Numidicus into refusing to swear and succeeded in having him exiled for it.
Numidicus's son, Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius, d. c.63 B.C., named Pius because of his filial devotion during his father's exile, continued his father's opposition to Marius. As praetor (89 B.C.) he fought in the Social War; in the civil war that followed he was called to Rome by the senate to defend the city against Marius and Lucius Cornelius CinnaCinna
(Lucius Cornelius Cinna) , d. 84 B.C., Roman politician, consul (87 B.C.–84 B.C.), and leader of the popular party. Shortly after Cinna's first election, Sulla left Rome to fight against Mithradates VI of Pontus, having received from Cinna and Cinna's colleague
..... Click the link for more information. . Foreseeing its capitulation, he fled to Africa, but he returned (83 B.C.) to join SullaSulla, Lucius Cornelius
, 138 B.C.–78 B.C., Roman general. At the height of his career he assumed the name Felix. He served under Marius in Africa and became consul in 88 B.C., when Mithradates VI of Pontus was overrunning Roman territory in the east.
..... Click the link for more information. . He defeated the Marians in Umbria and Cisalpine Gaul and became (80 B.C.) consul with Sulla. In his proconsulship in Spain (79 B.C.) he began an eight-year war with SertoriusSertorius, Quintus
, d. 72 B.C., Roman general. He was a general under Marius but did not take part in Marius' proscriptions. Sertorius was appointed governor of Farther Spain in 83 B.C. but fled to Africa to escape the reprisals of Sulla. He later was summoned (80 B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. , in which he was continually unsuccessful, in spite of aid provided by PompeyPompey
(Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus) , 106 B.C.–48 B.C., Roman general, the rival of Julius Caesar. Sometimes called Pompey the Great, he was the son of Cnaeus Pompeius Strabo (consul in 89 B.C.), a commander of equivocal reputation.
..... Click the link for more information. . After the murder of Sertorius (72 B.C.), Metellus won battles at Italica and Segovia. For his adopted son, Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio, see under ScipioScipio
, ancient Roman family of the Cornelian gens. They were patricians. During the 3d and 2d cent. B.C. they were distinguished by their love of Greek culture and learning.
..... Click the link for more information. .
A great-grandson of Metellus Macedonicus was Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer, d. 59 B.C. He fought in Asia under Pompey and was praetor (63 B.C.) in CiceroCicero
(Marcus Tullius Cicero) or Tully,
106 B.C.–43 B.C., greatest Roman orator, famous also as a politician and a philosopher. Life
Cicero studied law and philosophy at Rome, Athens, and Rhodes.
..... Click the link for more information. 's consulship. He was consul in 60 B.C. Celer was a leader in the stubborn defense of every senatorial prerogative. This policy led him to oppose Pompey in every detail, thus driving Pompey into the fateful alliance with Julius CaesarCaesar, Julius
(Caius Julius Caesar), 100? B.C.–44 B.C., Roman statesman and general. Rise to Power
Although he was born into the Julian gens, one of the oldest patrician families in Rome, Caesar was always a member of the democratic or popular party.
..... Click the link for more information. . Celer's wife, ClodiaClodia
, fl. 1st cent. B.C., Roman matron, famous among the ancient Romans for her beauty; sister of Publius Clodius. She was suspected of murdering her husband, Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer (see Metellus, family), and she accused her lover, Marcus Caelius Rufus, of trying
..... Click the link for more information. , was said to have poisoned him.
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Nepos, d. c.55 B.C., brother of Celer, served with Pompey (67–64 B.C.). He supported Pompey against the senatorial party and was (63 B.C.) his candidate for the tribunate. He was elected with CatoCato the Younger
or Cato of Utica,
95 B.C.–46 B.C., Roman statesman, whose full name was Marcus Porcius Cato; great-grandson of Cato the Elder. Reared by his uncle Marcus Livius Drusus, he showed an intense devotion to the principles of the early republic.
..... Click the link for more information. but had to flee Rome temporarily to escape senatorial hatred. During his consulship (57 B.C.), chiefly to curry favor with Julius Caesar, he allowed his sworn enemy, Cicero, to return from exile. His proconsulship (56 B.C.) was in Hither Spain.
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Creticus, d. c.55 B.C., grandson of Macedonicus, was consul with Quintus Hortensius (69 B.C.). Crete was his proconsular assignment, and he set out to subjugate the pirate-infested island. When he had conquered most of the island, the pirates sent a message to Pompey (Creticus' superior officer) offering to surrender to him, hoping for easy terms. Creticus disregarded the surrender offer and captured the rest of Crete.