Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius

Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius
Coin of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius
Quintus Metellus from Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum

Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius (ca 130 BC or 127 BC – 63 BC) was a pro-Sullan politician and general. He was named Pius because of his 99 BC petition to return his father from exile[1] and was true to his cognomen for the constance and inflexibility with which he always fought for his father's rehabilitation and return to Rome.

He was elected Quaestor in 97 BC, Tribune in 92 and Pontifex Maximus in 81, Praetor in 89 BC, Consul in 80.[2] He withdrew from Rome during the civil war between Marius and Sulla, returning afterward with the latter.

As a military figure, he had his first commands in the war in 109-107 BC, when he accompanied his father Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus in Numidia during Jugurthine War, where his father took him as a simple cadet.[3] He was later revealed to be one of the best subordinates of Sulla, but without any other objective than fighting the demagogy with which Marius threatened Rome, never participating in the atrocious violence that marked such a troubled phase of the history of Rome. He was also one of the Roman commanders in the Social War of 90 - 89 BC. A Propraetor at that time, Pius stormed Venusia and killed the general of the Marsi, Quintus Poppaedius Silo.[4] In 87 BC Pius by the order of Senate tried to make peace with the Samnites.


Sertorian War

Made a Consul in 80 BC, he was then sent to Spain to combat Quintus Sertorius, where Sertorius and Marcus Perpenna Vento faced the Roman power, establishing his bases in Metellinum (today Medellín) Castra Caecilia (today Cáceres), Viccus Caecilius, at the Sierra de Gredos, and at Caeciliana, near Setúbal. During eight years of resistance he was unable to conclusively defeat Sertorius, and it was only after Sertorius' assassination by his own men that the rebels were forced to cede to the military ability of Metellus Pius. Metellus fought along with Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus with whom he shared the glories of the Triumph which was held at the end of 71 BC.[5]

Family relations

He married Licinia Crassa Secunda or Minor, daughter of Lucius Licinius Crassus Orator, and wife Mucia Secunda, from whom he had no children. For this reason he adopted his nephew by marriage and son of his second cousin Publius Cornelius Scipio, renamed Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio Nasica. He was the son of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius's wife's sister Licinia Crassa Prima or Major and Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio, who was in turn the son of Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio and Caecilia Metella, daughter of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus.

See also

  • Caecilia (gens)


  1. ^ Cic. P. Red. 37; Ad Quir. 6; Arch. 6; Vell. II 15, 3
  2. ^ Cic. Arch. 6—7, 9, 31
  3. ^ Sall. Iug. 64, 4; Plut. Mar. 8, 4
  4. ^ Diod. XXXVII 2, 9—11; App. BC I 53; Auc. Vir. Ill. 63, 1
  5. ^ Sallust Hist. I 110—121; II 28, 59, 68—70; III 45 M; IV 49 M; Liv. Per. 91—93; Strabo III 4, 13; Valerius Maximus VIII 15, 8; IX 1, 5; Vell. II 30, 2; Plut. Sert. 12—13; 19—22; 27; Pomp. 18—19; App. BC I 108—112, 115, 121; Ib. 101; Auc. Vir. Ill. 63, 2; Florus II 10; Eutrop. VI 1, 3; 5, 2; Oros. V 23; Frontinus Stratagemata I 1, 12; II 1, 2—34 3, 5; 7, 5

Further reading

  • Manuel Dejante Pinto de Magalhães Arnao Metello and João Carlos Metello de Nápoles, "Metellos de Portugal, Brasil e Roma", Torres Novas, 1998

See also

  • Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio
Religious titles
Preceded by
Quintus Mucius Scaevola
Pontifex Maximus of Roman polytheism
81 BC – 63 BC
Succeeded by
Gaius Julius Caesar
Political offices
Preceded by
Marcus Tullius Decula, Gnaeus Cornelius Dolabella
80 BC
with Lucius Cornelius Sulla
Succeeded by
Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus, Appius Claudius Pulcher

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