Text #9592"Mucia Tertia", in .
Mucia Tertia was a Roman matrona who lived in the 1st century BC. She was the daughter of Quintus Mucius Scaevola, the pontifex maximus, consul in 95 BC. Her mother was a Licinia that divorced her father to marry Quintus Caecilius Metellus Nepos, in a scandal mentioned by several sources. Her name, Mucia Tertia, would suggest that she was a third daughter, according to the Roman naming convention for women, though it is believed that this was instead to differentiate her from her two aunts. Mucia had also two younger brothers from her mother’s second marriage (see Caecilius Metellus family tree), and she was a cousin (soror) of Q. Metellus Celer, consul in 60 BC, and of Q. Metellus Nepos, consul in 57 BC.
Mucia’s first husband was the short-lived and unlucky Gaius Marius the Younger. His death at the hands of Lucius Cornelius Sulla left her a pawn of the victors.
Sulla, as dictator, needed to secure Pompey’s loyalty and to do that, he arranged the latter’s marriage to Mucia around 79 BC. This marriage resulted in three children: elder son Gnaeus Pompeius (Pompey the Younger), daughter Pompeia Magna (married to Faustus Cornelius Sulla) and younger son Sextus Pompey. She had the misfortune to outlive all three of her children.
Between 76 and 61 BC, Pompey spent most of the time away from Rome, campaigning in Hispania against Sertorius, in the Mediterranean Sea against the pirates and in the East, and fighting king Mithridates VI of Pontus. On his final return, in 61 BC, Pompey sent Mucia a letter of divorce. According to Cicero’s personal correspondence, the motive was adultery (it is said that she was one of Julius Caesar’s many affairs, although Pompey’s friendship and alliance with Caesar at the time would tend to suggest that Pompey himself either did not regard this rumour as true or did not consider it important). Mucia next married Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, a stepson of the dictator Sulla, with whom she had an other son named Marcus. In 39 BC, Mucia, at the earnest request of the Roman people, went to Sicily to mediate between her son Sextus Pompey and Augustus. She was living at the time of the battle of Actium, 31 BC. Augustus treated her with great respect.
Asconius, Pro Scauro, p. 19, Orelli-Baiter (ed.) (1845).
Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, v, 2.
Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, i. 12.
Dio Cassius, xxxvii. 49, xlviii, 16, li. 2, lvi. 38.
Appian, Bellum Civile v. 69, 72.
Suetonius, Life of Julius Caesar, 50.
Plutarch, Life of Pompey, 42.
Zonaras, x. 5.
Hieronymus, Adversus Jovinianum, i. 48.