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Metellus Macedonicus


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Son of Quintus Caecilius Metellus, fought under Paullus and was on an embassy sent to announce the victory of Pydna to the senate. He was probably tribune in the late 150s bc, setting up a special court (Val. Max. 6. 9. 10). As praetor 148, he was sent to Macedonia, probably with proconsular status, and remained until 146, defeating Andriscus and perhaps another pretender (Zonar. 9. 28. 8) and at least beginning the provincial organization of Macedonia. Called away to deal with the rebellion by the Achaean Confederacy, he won some successes, but had to hand over to Lucius Mummius and returned to Rome. Although he triumphed and was awarded the victor's additional name (agnomen), an honour unprecedented for a praetorian, he became consul only in 143, after two unsuccessful attempts. Sent to Hither Spain, he defeated a Celtiberian rebellion, but was said to have handed his army over in bad shape to his successor and enemy Quintus Pompeius. In 133 both of them were forced by the consul Lucius Furius Philus to go to Hither Spain as his legati (staff officers). In 133 he helped to suppress a slave rising and, although an enemy of Scipio Aemilianus, fiercely opposed Tiberius Gracchus. In 131 he and Pompeius were the first plebeian pair of censors. In that office (probably) he built a portico enclosing temples of Jupiter Stator and Juno Regina, the first temples in Rome faced with marble. A speech urging citizens to marry and raise children, assigned to Numidicus (below) by Gellius, is thought (probably correctly) to be one of his censorial speeches on account of a statement in a Livian Periocha (summary): ORF4 p. 107. He was augur for at least 25 years and died in 115, leaving four sons, all of whom became consuls and two (Baliaricus and Caprarius) censors, as well as three daughters, all of whom married leading aristocrats. He thus, with Calvus (above), founded a dynasty that dominated Roman politics for over a generation.

Ernst Badian

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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