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Popilia and laudationes funebres for women

  • T.W. Hillard (a1)


This paper falls into two parts. The first explores the nature of the honour (if not unprecedented, outstanding) paid to Popilia circa 100 B.C.; the second speculates about the content of the panegyric pronounced on that occasion.

In 390 B.C., according to Livy, the Roman senate, in recognition of female generosity during the preceding Gallic siege, declared that women were to share with men the rights to funeral laudationes: matronis gratiae actae honosque additus ut earum sicut virorum post mortem sollemnis laudatio esset. The record is straightforward but the item is suspect because of the variant traditions which parallel it.



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1 Liv. 5.50.7; cf. Plutarch Mor. 242F [= Mul.virt. praef.] where the custom (), undated, is highly approved.

2 The discrepancy is registered by Vollmer, F., ‘Laudationum funebrium Romanorum historia et reliquiarum editioJahrbücher für classische Philologie Suppl.-Bd 18 (Leipzig 1891) 445-528, esp. 453–4.

Diodorus Siculus 14.116.9 records rather that women, because they had contributed their gold ornaments to the common safety on that occasion, received the right of passage through the city in chariots (). The tradition which Plutarch followed on the other hand effectively backdated the honour of laudationes funebres to 395 B.C. and has the women recognized, again by senatorial decree, because of their spontaneous generosity in making good the shortfall in the delayed tithe from the Veientene booty due to Delphic Apollo (Camillus 8.3): ‘For it was not customary before that time, when a woman died, that a public encomium should be pronounced’ (trans. Petrin) ().

Livy had also alluded to that occasion (5.25.9), but defined the honour allotted to womanhood as the right to ride to festivals and games in carriages (carpentis)—an echo, though not a precise one, of the honours registered by Diodorus for 390. This (Livy's) was the tradition followed by Festus (s.v. Pilentis, 282L). Carriage rights seem indeed to have been ancient, and explained in various manners. See Ovid Fasti 1.617-28; Plut. Mor. 278B [= RQ 56]. They were rescinded during the second Punic war by the lex Oppia, for references to which see G. Rotondi, Leges publicae populi romani (Milano 1912; Hildesheim 1966) 254; and restored in 195 B.C. by the lex Valeria Fundania (ibid., 267-8).

3 No ancient evidence explicitly contradicts the understanding of Livy and Plutarch that the right of public encomium was archaic. Aetiological speculation, such as Ogilvie posits [see the preceding note], customarily seeks to explain practices of some antiquity, rather than a custom with an obvious historical precedent. Yet, while Ogilvie allows the right of matrons to ride in carriages to have been ‘long standing’, he asserts that ‘funeral panegyrics of women were of recent date’ (loc.cit.), based on the thin evidence to be questioned below. His assertion that Livy's source for the latter must, then, have been a first century one sits oddly with his willingness to explore ‘a connexion perhaps invented for propaganda purposes in the Punic Wars (cf. [Livy] 26.36.11) to stimulate donations’—and although a consistent reasoning can be extracted from his convoluted note, the argument remains weak because of its many unsubstantiated assumptions.

4 Suetonius (Div.Iul. 6), with regard to Caesar's laudationes to his aunt lulia and his wife Cornelia in 69, refers to the practice as customary: laudavit e more pro rostris. Plutarch, with reference to the panegyric to lulia, refers to it as customary (Caes. 5). Plutarch (loc.cit.) records the fact that Caesar's delivery of an oration in honour of the relatively young Cornelia won him great popularity with the people, having marked him out as an individual of tenderness (on the date, MRR 2, 136, n.7; and MRR 3, 105-6.). If Plutarch's observation is an accurate reflection of the contemporary reaction, it offers an interesting window onto popular sentiment in the late Republic and the qualities considered desirable by the late republican populace. The item offers the impression of novelty (with regard to funeral orations in honour of younger women). But was the impact of the speech the product of its contentor its novelty?

5 Balsdon, J.P.V.D., Roman Women. Their History and Habits (London 1962) 46.

6 In more recent scholarship, Popilia's ‘historical’ obscurity has meant that she has too often slipped through the net. She will not be found in the indices of Pomeroy's, S.B. watershed work Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves. Women in Classical Antiquity (New York, 1975); Cantarella, E., Pandora's Daughters (1981; Eng. trans. Baltimore, MA. 1987); Dixon, S., The Roman Mother (London & Sydney 1988); or Bauman, R.A., Women and Politics in Ancient Rome (London & New York 1992).

7 With regard to date, our source merely informs us that the oration was remembered vividly in 91 (the dramatic date of the De Oratore).

8 Baisdon ([n.5] 294, n.5) knows of contrary evidence to this statement of precedence, but, like others, believes it ‘unlikely to be true.’

9 Vollmer (n.2) 479; cf. RE 12.993, followed by Volkmann (RE ‘Popillia’ 32); Lafaye, G., ‘Laudatio’, in Daremberg, C. and Saglio, E. (eds), Dictionnaire des antiquités grecques et romaines 3 (Paris 1896) 995-8, esp. 997; cf. Malcovati, H., Oratorum Romanorum Fragmenta (Torino 1953) 220 (following Vollmer). Much of the relevant material is caught up in Kierdorf's, WilhelmLaudatio funebris. Interpretationen und Untersuchungen zur Entwicklung der römischen Leichenrede (Meisenheim am Glan 1980), though cf. N. Horsfall (CR 32 [1982] 36-8). With regard to Popilia, Kierdorf follows Vollmer on all essentials (51 n.7, 111 n. 63, 137[no. 9]).

10 Cf., for example, Wilkins, A.S., M. Tulli Ciceronis de Oratore ad Quintum fratrem (Oxford 1881) 223, note on 1.19; and Flory, M.B., ‘Livia and the History of Public Honorific Statues for Women in Rome’, TAPA 123 (1993) 287-308, esp. 291 n.9.

11 Vollmer (n.2) 454; Balsdon (n.5) loc.cit. Likewise, Georges Lafaye ([n.9] 997): ‘son témoignage (sc. the evidence of Cicero) est sur ce point en désaccord avec d'autres; mais il paraît plus digne de créance.’ Ditto, Ogilvie (n.2) loc.cit.: ‘… [the item is] to be regarded as mere aetiological speculation’, and Piccirilli (n.2) loc.cit. Scepticism with regard to precise incidents in Roman antiquity is understandable, though I would not see the necessity of extending this to the memory of ancient custom more generally. See, however, by way of contrast, Bodel, J., ‘Death on Display: Looking at Roman Funerals’, in Bergmann, B. and Kondoleon, C. (eds) The Art of Ancient Spectacle (New Haven 1999) 259-81, esp. 261.

12 Peter, H., Historicorum Romanorum Reliquiae 12 (Leipzig 1914) xxxii n.2, suggests the award was made only to those women who specifically assisted during the Gallic crisis. Vollmer ([n.2] 454 n.4) has his doubts.

13 Crawford, O.C., ‘Laudatio funebris’, CJ 37 (1941) 17-27, see esp. 21: ‘… the new privilege seems not to have become the general practice until long after that time’ (an inference based on Cie. De Oral. 2.44 [the Popilia item]).

14 On the issue of the ius contionandi, see Vollmer RE 12.992.63-993.3; cf. Crawford (n.13) 19 n.17. See Dion.Hal. 9.54.5 for the ‘usual’ procedure (i.e. an application via the consuls and tribunes). Notice, that in 51, C. Octavius (later Augustus) at the age of twelve delivered a laudatio in honour of his grandmother Julia (the wife of M. Atius Balbus) pro contiene (Suet. Aug. 8.1).

On the question of funerals and the right to address the public, see the highly useful monograph of Flower, H.I., Ancestor Masks and Aristocratic Power in Roman Culture (Oxford 1996) 91158. See also, on the public context, Lindsay, H., ‘Death-pollution and Funerals in the City of Rome’, in Hope, V.M. and Marshall, E. (eds), Death and Disease in the Ancient City (London & New York 2000) 152-73, esp. 163–6.

15 This was not an option taken up by Vollmer (‘De Funere Publico Romanorum’, Jahrbücher für classische Philologie Suppl.-Bd 19 [Leipzig 1892] 340–41; cf. Crawford [n.13] 21 n.38), who reported that public funerals for women do not seem to have occurred before the time of Caesar (340 f.). Antonius’ reference to ‘all those present’ at the occasion on which Popilia was honoured might, but need not, refer to a public venue.

The term ‘public’ is used here loosely. On a more precise usage—and its ramifications, see below, n.40 (and Appendix 1).

16 Loc.cit. (n.2); cf. Mul.Virt. intro. [=Mor. 242F]

17 On the death and its date, Polyb. 31.26.1-2, 27.3-4, 28.1.

18 Polyb. 31.26.3-5; cf. Diod.Sic. 31.27.4

19 Gran. Lie. Rel. 28, 14-16

20 Already on her pyre, she was awoken by the playing of the flautists. The reference to a nobilis femina Aemilia and the context (c.163) surely secures the identification; cf. Scardigli, B., Grani Liciniani Reliquiae (Florence 1983) 32.

21 For a full discussion, with text, see Lintott, A.W., ‘Acta antiquissima. A Week in the History of the Roman RepublicPBSR 14 (1986) 213–28.

22 Perhaps a particularly worrying date within a suspect document!

23 Though the two sons will have been (or will have been intended to be recognized as) Q. Metellus (later Macedonicus) and L. Metellus (Calvus), as Lintott (n.21) observes (220).

24 The authenticity or otherwise of this document (as regards the authorship of Cornelia) is not to the point here. But see Stem, E. von, ‘Zur Beurteilung der politischen Wirksamkeit des Tiberius und Gaius Gracchus’, Hermes 56 (1921) 229-301, esp. 273–4 n.l, and Instinsky, H.U., ‘Zur Echtheitsfrage der Brieffragmente der Cornelia, Mutter der Gracchen’, Chiron 1 (1971) 177–89, which provide excellent bibliographies and appraisals of prior discussions; and Horsfall's, N. stimulating contribution ‘The “letter of Cornelia”: yet more problems’, Athenaeum 65 (1987) 231–4 (glossed in Cornelius Nepos. A Selection, including the Lives of Cato and Atticus [Oxford 1989] 41–2). For a recent discussion (arguing for authenticity), Hemelrijk, E. A., Matrona docta. Educated Women in the Roman Elite from Cornelia to Julia Domna (London & New York 1999) 193–7; and 349-52 nn.37-53.

25 Epist. Corneliae = Nepos fr. 15 Peter.

26 While the reference to a deus parens may be to a tutelary family god, or something like the genius, it has been suggested that Cornelia may have expected that she would be revered in private cult as the family's deus parens (Weinstock, S.Divus Julius [Oxford 1971] 294-5 [and 295 n.l]; cf. Horsfall, , Cornelius Nepos. A Selection, including the Lives of Cato and Atticus [Oxford 1989] 126). See further on the general context within which the grand dame's expectations may have resided, Lindsay, H., ‘The Romans and Ancestor Worship’, in Dillon, M. (ed.) Religion in the Ancient World: New Themes and Approaches (Amsterdam 1996) 271–85; and H.I. Flower (n.14) 209-11 (with references to the standard literature in nn.l 17-19).

27 It is unfortunate that we cannot more precisely date M. Iunius Brutus’ prosecution of Cn. Plancius, during which one of Plancius’ advocates, L. Licinius Crassus, made great play of the simultaneous passage through the forum of the funeral cortège of a certain Iunia. The procession was replete with imagines and quite clearly a very public event (Cie. De Orai. 2.224). It can be dated to around the time that Popilia was receiving her honour, or a little later. Alexander, M.C., Trials in the Late Roman Republic, 149 B.C. to 50 B.C. (Toronto 1990) 52 (no. 98) dates it ‘after 101? and before 91. Gruen, E.S. (‘Political Prosecutions in the 90s’, Historia 15 [1966] 32-64, esp. 5960) would date it any time between 104 and 92, arguing against the proposal of F. Münzer (RE ‘Junius’ 50 [19.972]) that it was to be dated to 91. Gruen finds a late date unlikely.

28 The context has often been thought to have been the senatorial speech by M. Licinius Crassus reported at An. 1.14 (cf. Fam. 5.2.3 for a similar occasion), but it need not be so.

29 The senate house was probably often the scene of panegyrical exercises (see the previous note). Cicero referred to the younger Cato's speech in his honour there as a laudatio (Fam. 15.6.1). Cf. the undesirable laudatio by Piso at Cie. Pis. 72.

30 Cie. De Parl.orat. 70: ex quapartitione tria genera causarum exstiterunt, unum quod a meliori parte laudationis est appellatum, deliberationis allerum, tertium iudiciorum.

The threefold division approximates to the Aristotelian categorization of rhetoric into symbouleutikon, dikanikon and epideiktikon (rhet. 1.3.1-3 [1358b]; cf. 1.9.1 ff, 1.9.38 ff.), the third equating to the demonstratiuum genus (cf. Cousin, J.Etudes sur Quintilien 2 ‘Vocabulaire grec de la terminologie rhétorique dans l'Institution Oratoire’ [Paris 1936] 80).

31 Indeed M. Durry (‘“Laudatio funebris” et rhétorique’, Rev. Phil, [ser.3] 16 [1942] 105-14) wishes to see it as uniquely vernacular (autochthone).

32 True, Cicero at Att. 1.3.1 writes to his friend with what seems discomforting levity with news of the death of the latter's grandmother and the prospect of a (written) consolatio from a certain L. Saufeius. But any reader of that letter must assume personal circumstances unknown to us such as cannot be assumed for the expectations of those attending a public funeral. (In his later years, at least, Cicero did not take grief lightly; cf. Erskine, A., ‘Cicero and the Expression of Grief’ in Braund, S.M. and Gill, C.J. [eds], The Passions in Roman Thought and Literature [Cambridge 1997] 3647.) A more common mood is perhaps found at Cie. 3.8.5: Serrani Domestici filii funus perluctuosum fuit a.d. VIII kal. Decembr. laudavit pater scripto meo. (In so far as the event had been a pretty dismal affair, it is clear that Cicero is not talking about the quality of the laudatio's, composition!)

33 Cic. Orator 37, De Part.orat. 72; Quintil. 3.7.1.

34 Quintilian is of the opinion that the recitation of illustrious deeds might be gratiora audientibus (Quintil. 3.7.16; cf. Antonius at Cie. De Orai. 2.344), but that hardly affects the point here.

35 Cf. Vollmer (n.2) 478.

36 True, it must be acknowledged that Cicero (Brutus 61) speaks of the possibility of readers finding pleasure in such old funeral orations as survived—though he doesn't seem to entertain that prospect optimistically (nisi … non nullae mortuorum laudationes forte délectant).

True, it would be foolhardy to argue that rhetorical skill was altogether absent from laudationes fúnebres (though see the interesting argument of M. Durry [n.31] that funeral orations lay outside the field of rhetoric proper: A travers la longue histoire de Rome [la laudatio funebris] est restée autochthone, c'est-à-dire hors de la rhétorique [105]; cf., at length, W. Kierdorf [n.9] 49-93). Granted, as Kierdorf says (54), ‘Die Leichenrede ist nicht a priori kunstlos’ (even if, unfortunately, he chooses to note here, by way of argument, the polished form [according to Cicero/Antonius] of the laudatio Popiliaé)—though it largely is from two surviving epigraphical examples of laudationes to women: cf. Horsfall, N., ‘Some Problems in the “Laudatio Turiae”’, BICS 30 (1983) 85-98, esp. 90; ‘… neither the [laudatio Turiae] nor the laudatio Murdiae betrays a flicker of rhetorical splendour. Very evidently, neither is the work of an experienced orator.’ That should perhaps only in part be put down to want of skill (though I have no wish to appear careless of Horsfall's authority in this matter).

Horsfall is, of course, aware of ‘Cicero's remark’ (i.e. Antonius’ comment above), though he thinks it ‘potentially misleading’. Horsfall points to the string of distinguished orators to be found in the ranks of known laudatores, to the elegance of the surviving lines of Caesar's laudatio Iuliae and to ‘the simple yet thunderous eloquence’ of the laudatio Metelli at Plin. NH 7. 139-140. But, none of this necessarily contradicts the demand for a melancholy and subdued speech or for the strict control of adornment (and Horsfall is not arguing differently). Skilled orators might provide eloquence and elegance in simplicity. The point remains that Antonius is unlikely to be a man known to have found ‘delight’ in a funeral speech.

37 I quote the words of Evans, Richard, LCM 17.3 (March 1992), 35; cf. Ogilvie, loc.cit. (n.2) (‘Cicero … says that Q. Lutatius Catulus … was the first to deliver one’); and H.I. Flower (n.14) 122 (‘The first woman who is firmly attested as having received this honour [sc. ‘a procession and funeral eulogy’] is Popilia, who was publicly eulogized by her son Q. Lutatius Catulus, probably during his consulship in 102’), citing Cicero.

38 Brutus 139.

39 Ibid. In this dialogue, Cicero stresses verisimilitude (2.9). Historically, Antonius may not have been as intellectually strong. Cicero may be seen to protest too much in his characterization of his interlocutors (Dyck, A.R., ‘Cicero the Dramaturge: Verisimilitude and Consistency of Characterization in Some of his Dialogues’, in Schmeling, G. and Mikalson, J.D. [eds], Qui miscuil utile dulci. Festschrift Essays for Paul Lachlan MacKendrick [Wauconda, Ill. 1998] 151-64, esp. 156–7). It is possible that Cicero is attempting to replicate Antonius’ affectation of appearing to speak imparatus and of avoiding all suspicion of meditatio. This might be in keeping with the diffidence with which Antonius is allowed by Cicero (at De Orat. 1.80-81 ) to introduce his opinions on the skills which it is practicable for an active statesman to attain and with the general modesty he is made to display (ibid. 94; 207-8); and echo the apparent caution with which he offers opinions elsewhere (e.g. ibid. 89: quantum auguror coniectura). But Cicero had no interest in displaying any weakness on the part of Antonius. Indeed, he probably created both Antonius and Crassus in his own image (Dyck, loc.cit.)

40 Before we move away entirely from the funereal context, which many will feel uncomfortable abandoning, we might consider such an occasion that would, in its celebratory nature, distance itself so far as was possible from a funus perluctuosum. For the reasons outlined above I am not at all convinced that a public funeral with laudatio pro rostris would have been unprecedented; and for other reasons outlined above I see an occasion where celebration exceeded mourning. Could this have been the first occasion on which a woman, for reasons unknown, was awarded a state-funded funeral? That is, we may distinguish between the funus indictivum and the funus publicum, technically speaking. That would indeed have been an occasion for Catulus and the Popilii to celebrate (despite a sense of personal loss). It has been argued that such funerals are not attested (and are therefore doubtful) before the time of Sulla; but I would see no impediment to the suggestion that a funus publicum might have been awarded c. 100 B.C. See Appendix 1 below.

The principal reservation I would have in accepting that proposition would be the less than certain way in which the Ciceronian testimony alludes to the occasion and the inference that might follow from Livy's epitomator not having seen fit to register such a precedent in his coverage of the relevant books, while registering, for example, within the same approximate period, the first parricide (or matricide) to receive the poena cullei (68). (The riposte to the second point might be that the parricide-item secured a place because it was seen as literally ominous.)

Moreover, the Ciceronian evidence points to the speech itself as the unprecedented honour. What is required is an oration made in novel circumstances (and therefore a new kind of honos.) Unless Popilia's was the first public funeral of all, the Ciceronian evidence (which is all there is) does not fit the speculation.

41 At probably around this time, a statue was erected to the honour of Cornelia Africani f. mater Gracchorum (Plut. CG 4.3). For further references and discussion, see Chioffi, L., ‘Statua: Cornelia’, in Steinby, E.M. (ed.), Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae 4 (Rome 1999) 357–9; and n.57 below. Plutarch may imply that it was set up by public decree; cf. M.B. Flory (n. 10) 287 & 292. That is implicitly thought not to be the case by Richardson, L. jr, A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome (Baltimore 1992) in omitting its registration.

Its date is uncertain (except for Plutarch's indication that it postdated 123). A. Viscogliosi allows it to have been the prima statua ritratto femminile esposta in pubblico a Roma, ‘Porticus Metelli’, in Steinby, 130-32, esp. 132. But was it the first? M. Kajava (‘Cornelia Africani f. Gracchorum’, Arctos l'i [1989] 119-31, see esp. 121) argues that the statue appeared shortly after C. Gracchus’ death in 121. F. Coarelli would date it to circa 100 (‘La statue de Comélie, mère des Gracques, et la crise politique à Rome au temps de Satuminus’, in Le dernier siècle de la république romaine et l'époque augustéene. Journées d'étude Strasbourg, ¡5-16 février 1978 [AECR Strasbourg 1978] 13-28; followed by M.B. Flory [n. 10] 290). E. A. Hemelrijk ([n.24] 66 & 266-7 nn.45-6), although acknowledging Pliny's evidence to the contrary (locating the statue in the Portico of Metellus) which she holds ‘not above suspicion’, doubts that such a statue would have appeared before the Augustan period.

42 If the Romans were beginning to explore this avenue of social self-advertisement in the second century B.C., the inspiration will have come from the Hellenistic East, a milieu in which some sections of the Roman aristocracy will have found much that recommended itself. Again, a second paper would be required to do justice to the scholarship which has appeared on this subject.

43 Dr Beness draws my attention to the fact that amongst the occasions the Catuli would have been celebrating around 100 B.C. were the dedications of the Porticus Catuli and the aedes of Fortuna Huiusce Diet (on which, see Richardson [n.4I], 156 & 312; E. Papi, ‘Porticus [monumentum] Catuli’ in Steinby [n.41] 119; Gros, P., ‘Fortuna Huiusce Diei, Aedes’ in Steinby LTUR 2 [Rome 1995] 269–70). To suggest that these occasions were specifically relevant to the present discussion (which Beness does not) would be an excess of unsubstantiated speculation—but the items are worth noting. The constructions were manubial (erected from the spoils of the Ombrie campaign [Cie. Dom. 102 (cf. Val. Max. 6.3.1c) for the portico; similar funding for the temple might be inferred from Plut. Mar. 26.2])—but they contained Greek art (cf. Pape, M., Griechische Kunstwerke aus Kriegsbeute und ihre öffentliche Aufstellung in Rom von der Eroberung von Syrakus bis in augusteische Zeit [Diss. Hamburg 1975] 161-2 [on the temple], 179–80 [on the ‘Monumentum Catuli’]).

Another celebratory occasion for the extended clan around 100 B.C.—if we assume, tentatively, the propinquity of homonymous individuals—may have been the inauguration as Vestalis of an otherwise unknown Popillia (RE 34). She is noted, within a company of priestly banqueters circa 70-68, at Macrob. Sat. 3.13.10-11. If the Vestals are registered in order of seniority, Popillia was the oldest (Fr. Münzer, Römische Adelsparteien und Adelsfamilien [Stuttgart 1920/63] 96-7 n.l [= Roman Aristocratic Parties and Families (Eng.trans. T. Ridley, Baltimore 1999) 408-9 n.l74]; Philologus 92 [1937] 50), ahead of a Perpennia thought by Münzer (97 [= Eng.trans. 93]) to have been inaugurated circa 92. Broughton, T.R.S. (Magistrates of the Roman Republic [Atlanta, 1952] 2.137 n.14) suggests that Perpennia may have begun her service even earlier than 100 B.C. P.A. Tansey, who meticulously explores the evidence for the date of the banquet reported by Macrobius (The Inauguration of Lentulus Niger’, AJPh 121 [2000] 237–58), is more reticent (251 n.56).

44 It is worth remembering that, despite Plutarch's inference, we do not know the reason that Cornelia's statue was erected (or the arguments put forward in its justification).

45 Patronage of the latter would have been celebrated in a more private fashion. Patronage of a community would have more likely been commemorated outside Rome; cf. Forbis, E.P., ‘Women's Public Image in Italian Honorary Inscriptions’, AJPh 111 (1990) 493512.

On women as patrons, the oft-cited reference point is Dixon, S., ‘A Family Business: Women's Role in Patronage and Politics at Rome, 80-44 B.C.’, C&M 34 (1983) 91112.

It is noteworthy that the women who are attached to Roman magistrates in the Greek east (and who are commemorated) are not celebrated as benefactors; M. Kajava, and Augustan Period’, in H. Solin and Kajava (eds), Roman Eastern Policy and Other Studies in Roman History (Comm.Hum.Litt. 91, 1990) 59-124, esp. 65.

46 Moreover, such celebration outstripped the domestic constraints witnessed in the East. ‘Instead of blending public and private, as do the Greeks in public inscriptions to their benefactresses, the Italians either ignore or minimize the importance of a benefactress’ domestic duties. In fact, the language applied to aristocratic Italian women in honorary inscriptions greatly resembles that in honorary inscriptions commemorating aristocratic Italian men.’ (Forbis [n.61 ] 497).

47 See, for example, the recognition of Sulpicia Paterculi f. and her special role in the honouring of Venus Verticordia (Val. Max. 8.15.12; Plin. NH 7.35.120; Solinus 1.126); or the services to Juno Sospita (and the pax deorum) of Caecilia Metella Baliatici f. (Cie. De Div. 1.2.4; Obseq. 55). It is not difficult to envisage gratitude having been publicly articulated on those occasions, especially the latter.

48 Above (n.37).

49 We recall Cornelia's proud boast with regard to her sons (Val. Max. 4.4 praef.).

50 Münzer RE Tulius’ 141; Volkmann (n.9) et al.

51 Evans (n.37) plausibly enough—if the second marriage to Caesar is accepted—adds the possibility of a fourth child: a lulia who does not appear in any MS but who might be conjectured, as a conflation and emendation of Ilia and Aelia at Plut. Sull. 6, to be the first wife of Sulla (cf. H. Mattingly apud A. Keaveney RFIC 108 [1980] 169).

52 In an earlier study which has yet to appear I and two colleagues (M. Taverne and C. Zawawi) have suggested that a similar problem may exist in the reconstruction of the Metellan and Claudian family trees. (The substance of that suggestion has been reported by Wiseman, T.P., The World of Catullus [Cambridge 1985] 18, n.4; 19, n.11; and Tatum, W. J., The Patrician Tribune [Chapel Hill 1999] 3436; cf. Tatum, , ‘The lex Clodia de censoria notione’, Classical Philology 85 [1990] 40, n.34; and Klio 73 [1991] 124, n.29; 126, n.38). The problem in that case was highlighted in a short note by Bailey, D.R. Shackleton (‘Brothers or cousins?’, AJAH 2 [1977] 148–50). He had in fact proposed a reverse solution, suggesting that individuals traditionally thought to be cousins were actually half-brothers. It was his paper, however, which underlined the problems of definition— and perhaps opened up a can of worms with regard to a number of earlier reconstructions of Roman stemmata.

53 Any reconstruction of family links which might follow an alternative hypothesis would in no way affect the plausible speculation of close political ties between the Caesares (and Marius) and Catulus c.103; cf. Badin, E., Studies in Greek and Roman History (Oxford 1964) 38.

54 Cic. Plane. 12; cf. Broughton, T.R.S., Candidates Defeated in Roman Elections: Some Ancient Roman ‘Also-Rans’ TAPA 81.4 (Philadelphia 1991) 13-14 [no. 23] for references and discussion.

55 On which strong possibility, see the arguments of Badián (n.53) 37-8.

56 Ibid. 39

57 Ibid, and 65, n.49; cf. Judge, E.A., ‘The Literature of Roman Political Self-Advertisement’, Proceedings of the Seventh Congress of AULLA (Christchurch 1961) 24, noting that all the writers of commentarii rerum a se gestarum in late republican Rome ‘have two things in common, they are all launching their family's career or re-launching it after long obscurity, and they all saw their fortunes in jeopardy at some stage.’

58 This is too obvious to require validation, but see Polyb. 6.54.1 (in the context of a funeral); cf. Quintil. 3.7.10 f. Caesar also took advantage of the laudatio funebris of his aunt lulia to recite his genealogy (Suet. Iul. 6).

59 Especially if Popilia was not directly connected to the Caesares who had probably (as Badián [n.53] argued) served as the intermediaries beween Catulus and Marius c. 103.

If, on the other hand, Popilia did marry another time (to a Caesar), we might need to look to a different explanation of Catulus’ use of the heritage. Did the connection provide an excuse for aberrant political behaviour—on the grounds of adfinitas?

60 On Popilia's putative membership of the Laenates and her name-form, see initial note. For the expected spelling within the Laenates, see Paulla Popillia M.f. (RE 33), IG 7.268.

P. Popillius Laenas and P. Rupilius had jointly conducted the savage repression of surviving Gracchani in 132 (Veil. Pat. 2.7.4; Val.Max. 4.7.1; Plut. CG 3.3-4), but it was Laenas who was remembered for it.

In the absence of the consuls, the praetor C. Popillius Cf. (almost certainly a brother of the former) presided over the curial session which wrested back senatorial control of foreign policy in Asia—or, at least, provides our earliest surviving documentary record of that reclamation (OGIS 435, IGRRP 4.301. On the date, Badián, JRS 70 [1980] 202. See also the discussion by D. Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor 1.33; 2.1033-34).

At the outset of his tribunate, C. Gracchus launched a sustained attack on P. Laenas; the sources record at least two, perhaps three, speeches against him (Malcovati, ORF, 184-185 [C. Sempronius Gracchus VIII - X] for the fragments and discussion). Exile followed the lex Sempronio de P. Popillio Laenate (on which, Rotondi, G., Leges publicae populi romani [Milan 1922] 309). It was an exile by which Popillius entered, in the eyes of some, a roll of honour (Cie. Rep. 1.6).

Painful as the banishment may have been, it was a temporary setback. On his triumphant recall by virtue of the lex Calpurnia de P. Popillio Laenate revocando, Cie. Brut. 128; cf. Rotondi, Leges publicae, 317 for further references.

If the notorious Polla inscription (CIL 1.638), which addressed itself so a(nta)gonistically to Gracchan claims in the Tanagro valley (Wiseman, PBSR 37 [1969] 91 ), was certainly an expression of P. Popillius Laenas, it would document a propaganda war between Laenas and Gaius Gracchus, or between Laenas and the spiritual survivors of the Gracchi. The author is often identified with Laenas (Th. Mommsen, CIL 1 pp. 1545; H. Volkmann, RE ‘Popillius’ 28; Degrassi, A., ‘Un nuovo miliario Calabro della Via Popilia e la Via Annia del Veneto’, Philologus 99 [1955] 259–65; ‘La via Annia e la data della sua costruzione’, Atti del convegno perii retroterra veneziano [1956] 35-40; cf. Hinrichs, F.T., ‘Der römische Strassenbau zur Zeit der Gracchen’, Historia 16 [1967] 162–76, and the blithe addition of a convenient line [unbracketed] to the top of the acephalous inscription). But too many problems hang over the identification (see, e.g., Wiseman, T.P., ‘Viae Anniae’, PBSR 32 [1964] 2137; ‘Viae Anniae Again’, PBSR 37 [1969] 82-91; ‘Roman Republican Road-Building’, PBSR 38 [1970] 122-52 [all reprinted in Roman Studies (Liverpool 1987) 99-156, with updating notes, 377-9]; and ‘La Via Annia: dogma ed ipotesi’, Athenaeum 67 [1989] 417-26) for it to be admitted as evidence here; cf. the argument of Verbrugghe, G.P., ‘The Elogium from Polla and the First Slave War’, CPh 68 (1973) 2335 that the inscription relates to Ap. Claudius Pulcher (cos. 143)—favoured by A.E. Gordon, Illustrated Introduction to Latin Epigraphy (Berkeley 1983) 87-9, and rejected by Gárgola, D.J., Lands, Laws and Gods. Magistrates and Ceremony in the Regulation of Public Lands in Republican Rome (Chapel Hill & London 1995) 242 n.61.

61 She would have been married by, and given birth to Catulus, c.149.

62 On the debate over Cornelia's role, Plut. CG 13; cf. J.L. Beness and T.W. Hillard, ‘Insulting Cornelia’ (forthcoming). The discussion was neither all academic nor all retrospective. As evidence that her role was a matter of public debate before 121, C. Gracchus frs 65-66 Male. [= Senec. Dial. 12.16.6; Plut. CG 4.5]; cf., on the early debate, Nagle, D.B., A Historiographie Study of Plutarch's ‘Tiberius Gracchus’ (University of Southern California Diss. 1968 [Ann Arbor Univ. Microfilms]) 457; Stockton, D., The Gracchi (Oxford 1969) 224; and Burckhardt, L. and Ungem-Stemberg, J. von, ‘Cornelia, Mutter der Gracchen’, in Dettenhofer, M.H. (ed.) Reine Männersache? (Köln 1994) 97-132, esp. 116–17 (arguing that Cornelia's prominence was in no little part due to the propaganda of Gaius GTacchus himself).

63 Cic. Brut. 104; 210-11; Quintil. 1.1.6.

64 Plut. CG 19.

66 Coarelli (n.41). The placement of the statue in the Metellan portico is in fact known from Plin. NH 34.31 (though see Hemelrijk's doubts registered in n.41).

67 Cf. on the statue of Cornelia, Lewis, R.G., ‘Some Mothers Athenaeum 66 (1988) 198200 (positing an Augustan date, with no hard evidence), and Kajava (n.41) (querying Lewis). For a summary and appraisal of the arguments, see also M.B. Flory (n.10) 29093; and Burckhardt and von Ungern-Sternberg [n.62] 126-32.

68 It is also interesting to note that the image of Cornelia, the tragically stoic widow bereft of her sons, has been thought to have been the stuff of theatrical treatment (i.e. that it had been played out on the stage); Meiser, K., Ueber historische Dramen der Römer (München 1887) 32–6; cf. Wiseman, T.P., Roman Drama and Roman History (Exeter 1998) 529 (which does not go that far). I refer here, again, to Flory ([n.10] 291) and Flower ([n.14] 122 n.143) drawing attention to the context.

69 Plut. CG 4.2-3.

70 This is a suggestion only. It would be foolhardy to second guess the social philosophy of Catulus. One might be tempted to prejudge him a conservative—but Catulus had been educated in the modem mode (non antiquo ilio more, sed hoc nostro … eruditus; Cie. Brut. 132). On the extent to which we are ill-equipped to pronounce upon his social philosophy, see also Appendix 2.

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