Servilia (mother of Brutus)
Servilia was the mistress of Julius Caesar, mother of one of Caesars assassins, mother-in-law of another assassin and half-sister of Cato the Younger. Little is known of Servilias early life and she was a patrician who could trace her line back to Gaius Servilius Ahala, and was the eldest child of Livia Drusa and Quintus Servilius Caepio the Younger. Her parents had two children, a younger Servilia and a younger Quintus Servilius Caepio. They divorced when she was young and her mother married Marcus Porcius Cato Following her parents divorce both her mother and stepfather died and her younger siblings were brought up in the house of their maternal uncle, Marcus Livius Drusus, who was the tribune. He too, died when she was 16, prior to 85 BC, she was married to Marcus Junius Brutus the Elder, who became tribune of the plebs in 83 BC, and was founder of the colony in Capua. They had only one child, Marcus Junius Brutus, born around 85 BC. Following the death of Sulla, who had been dictator in 79 BC but had resigned a year later, the elder Brutus was killed by Pompey after the surrender of Mutina, where he had fought him in 77 BC.
Servilias second marriage was with Decimus Junius Silanus, with whom she had three daughters, Junia Prima, Junia Secunda, and Junia Tertia, before 64 BC she became the mistress of Julius Caesar, and remained so until the dictators death in 44 BC. Caesar was very fond of her and, years later, when he returned to a chaotic Rome after the Gallic Wars and it is said that she offered him her youngest daughter Junia Tertia once his interests began to wane. Cicero wittily referenced this in remarking of a real deal, Its a better bargain than you think. There was gossip that Junia Tertia was Caesars daughter, after Pompeys defeat in the Battle of Pharsalus, Caesar gave orders to his officers not to harm Brutus if they saw him in battle, probably out of respect for Servilia. As well as this she was jealous of the affection that Brutus had for Porcia, the marriage resulted in a rift between mother and son. After the assassination of Caesar by her son Brutus and her son-in-law Cassius, apart from Servilia the only other women in attendance were Porcia and Junia Tertia.
Despite this, she escaped the purges of the second triumvirate unscathed. After Brutus death, she lived out the remainder of her life in relative comfort and her sons ashes were sent to her from Philippi and she died naturally, like Junia Tertia. An even more fictionalised Servilia makes an appearance in the 2005 six-part mini series Empire, played by Trudie Styler. A very fictionalized, Servilia appears in The Gates of Rome, by Conn Iggulden, who for reasons unknown has portrayed her as a courtesan, Servilia appears in Colleen McCulloughs Masters of Rome Series
Cato the Younger
A noted orator, he is remembered for his stubbornness and tenacity, as well as his immunity to bribes, his moral integrity, and his famous distaste for the ubiquitous corruption of the period. Cato was born in 95 BC in Rome, the son of Marcus Porcius Cato, drusus was murdered when Cato was 4 years old. Catos stubbornness began in his early years, his teacher, reports a very obedient and questioning child, although slow in being persuaded of things and sometimes very difficult to retrain. In a playful mood, he asked the support for his cause. All of them nodded and smiled except Cato, who stared at the guest suspiciously, silo demanded an answer from him and, seeing no response, took Cato and hung him by the feet out of the window. Even then, Cato would not say anything, Plutarch recounts a few other stories as well. One night, as children were playing a game in a side room of a house during a social event, they were having a mock trial with judges. One of the children, supposedly a good-natured and pleasant child, was convicted by the accusers and was being carried out of the room when he cried out desperately for Cato.
Cato became very angry at the children and, saying nothing, grabbed the child away from the guards. When Sulla asked them whom they would have, they all cried Cato, Sullas daughter Cornelia Sulla was married to the boys uncle Mamercus Aemilius Lepidus Livianus. Sarpedons answer was thus, They fear him, my child, Cato replied to this, Give me a sword, that I might free my country from slavery. After this, Sarpedon was careful not to leave the boy unattended around the capital, after receiving his inheritance, Cato moved from his uncles house and began to study Stoic philosophy and politics. He began to live in a very modest way, as his great-grandfather Marcus Porcius Cato the Elder had famously done, Cato subjected himself to violent exercise, and learned to endure cold and rain with a minimum of clothes. He ate only what was necessary and drank the cheapest wine on the market and this was entirely for philosophical reasons, his inheritance would have permitted him to live comfortably. He remained in private life for a time, rarely seen in public.
But when he did appear in the forum, his speeches, Cato was first engaged to Aemilia Lepida, a patrician woman, but she was married instead to Quintus Caecilius Metellus Scipio, to whom she had been betrothed. Incensed, Cato threatened to sue for her hand, but his friends mollified him, Cato was married to a woman called Atilia. By her, he had a son, Marcus Porcius Cato, and a daughter, Cato divorced Atilia for unseemly behavior
Gaius Julius Caesar, known as Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician and notable author of Latin prose. He played a role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic. In 60 BC, Caesar and Pompey formed an alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate. Caesars victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC, extended Romes territory to the English Channel, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the Channel and the Rhine, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, with the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused the order, and instead marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, leaving his province, Civil war resulted, and Caesars victory in the war put him in an unrivalled position of power and influence.
After assuming control of government, Caesar began a programme of social and governmental reforms and he centralised the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed dictator in perpetuity, giving him additional authority. But the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved, and on the Ides of March 44 BC, a new series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never fully restored. Caesars adopted heir Octavian, known as Augustus, rose to power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, and the era of the Roman Empire began, much of Caesars life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are major sources, Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history. Caesar was born into a family, the gens Julia.
The cognomen Caesar originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor who was born by Caesarean section. The Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations, that the first Caesar had a head of hair, that he had bright grey eyes. Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name, despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not especially politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC. Caesars father, called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia and his mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesars childhood, in 85 BC, Caesars father died suddenly, so Caesar was the head of the family at 16
International Standard Book Number
The International Standard Book Number is a unique numeric commercial book identifier. An ISBN is assigned to each edition and variation of a book, for example, an e-book, a paperback and a hardcover edition of the same book would each have a different ISBN. The ISBN is 13 digits long if assigned on or after 1 January 2007, the method of assigning an ISBN is nation-based and varies from country to country, often depending on how large the publishing industry is within a country. The initial ISBN configuration of recognition was generated in 1967 based upon the 9-digit Standard Book Numbering created in 1966, the 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the International Organization for Standardization and was published in 1970 as international standard ISO2108. Occasionally, a book may appear without a printed ISBN if it is printed privately or the author does not follow the usual ISBN procedure, this can be rectified later. Another identifier, the International Standard Serial Number, identifies periodical publications such as magazines, the ISBN configuration of recognition was generated in 1967 in the United Kingdom by David Whitaker and in 1968 in the US by Emery Koltay.
The 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the International Organization for Standardization and was published in 1970 as international standard ISO2108, the United Kingdom continued to use the 9-digit SBN code until 1974. The ISO on-line facility only refers back to 1978, an SBN may be converted to an ISBN by prefixing the digit 0. For example, the edition of Mr. J. G. Reeder Returns, published by Hodder in 1965, has SBN340013818 -340 indicating the publisher,01381 their serial number. This can be converted to ISBN 0-340-01381-8, the check digit does not need to be re-calculated, since 1 January 2007, ISBNs have contained 13 digits, a format that is compatible with Bookland European Article Number EAN-13s. An ISBN is assigned to each edition and variation of a book, for example, an ebook, a paperback, and a hardcover edition of the same book would each have a different ISBN. The ISBN is 13 digits long if assigned on or after 1 January 2007, a 13-digit ISBN can be separated into its parts, and when this is done it is customary to separate the parts with hyphens or spaces.
Separating the parts of a 10-digit ISBN is done with either hyphens or spaces, figuring out how to correctly separate a given ISBN number is complicated, because most of the parts do not use a fixed number of digits. ISBN issuance is country-specific, in that ISBNs are issued by the ISBN registration agency that is responsible for country or territory regardless of the publication language. Some ISBN registration agencies are based in national libraries or within ministries of culture, in other cases, the ISBN registration service is provided by organisations such as bibliographic data providers that are not government funded. In Canada, ISBNs are issued at no cost with the purpose of encouraging Canadian culture. In the United Kingdom, United States, and some countries, where the service is provided by non-government-funded organisations. Australia, ISBNs are issued by the library services agency Thorpe-Bowker
Gaius Cassius Longinus
Gaius Cassius Longinus was a Roman senator, a leading instigator of the plot to kill Julius Caesar, and the brother in-law of Marcus Junius Brutus. He was elected Tribune of the Plebs in 49 B. C and he opposed Caesar, and he commanded a fleet against him during Caesars Civil War, after Caesar defeated Pompey in the Battle of Pharsalus, Caesar overtook Cassius and forced him to surrender. After Caesars death, Cassius fled to the East, where he amassed an army of twelve legions and he was supported and made Governor by the Senate. Though he and Brutus marched west against the allies of the Second Triumvirate, Cassius was defeated at the Battle of Phillippi and he followed the teachings of the philosopher Epicurus, although scholars debate whether or not these beliefs affected his political life. Cassius is a character in Shakespeares play Julius Caesar that depicts the assassination of Caesar. He is shown in the lowest circle of Hell in Dantes The Inferno as punishment for killing Caesar. Little is known of Gaius Cassius early life, apart from a story that he showed his dislike of despots while still at school and he studied philosophy at Rhodes under Archelaus and became fluent in Greek.
He was married to Junia Tertia, who was the daughter of Servilia and they had one son, who was born in about 60 BC. In 53 BC he took part in the Battle of Carrhae lost by Marcus Licinius Crassus against the Parthians, Cassius returned to Rome in 50 BC, when civil war was about to break out between Julius Caesar and Pompey. Cassius was elected tribune of the Plebs for 49 BC, and threw in his lot with the Optimates, Cassius left Italy shortly after Caesar crossed the Rubicon. He met Pompey in Greece, and was appointed to command part of his fleet, in 48 BC, Cassius sailed his ships to Sicily, where he attacked and burned a large part of Caesars navy. He proceeded to harass ships off the Italian coast, news of Pompeys defeat at the Battle of Pharsalus caused Cassius to head for the Hellespont, with hopes of allying with the king of Pontus, Pharnaces II. Cassius was overtaken by Caesar en route, and was forced to surrender unconditionally, Caesar made Cassius a legate, employing him in the Alexandrian War against the very same Pharnaces whom Cassius had hoped to join after Pompeys defeat at Pharsalus.
However, Cassius refused to join in the fight against Cato and Scipio in Africa, Cassius spent the next two years in office, and apparently tightened his friendship with Cicero. In 44 BC, he became praetor peregrinus with the promise of the Syrian province for the ensuing year, the appointment of his junior and brother-in-law, Marcus Brutus, as praetor urbanus deeply offended him. Although Cassius was the spirit in the plot against Caesar, winning over the chief assassins to the cause of tyrannicide. On the Ides of March,44 BC, Cassius urged on his fellow liberators, though they succeeded in assassinating Caesar, the celebration was short-lived, as Mark Antony seized power and turned the public against them. In letters written during 44 BC, Cicero frequently complains that Rome was still subjected to tyranny, according to some accounts, Cassius had wanted to kill Antony at the same time as Caesar, but Brutus dissuaded him
A triumvirate is a political regime ruled or dominated by three powerful individuals known as triumvirs. The arrangement can be formal or informal, though the three are notionally equal, this is rarely the case in reality. The term can be used to describe a state with three different military leaders who all claim to be the sole leader, in the context of the Soviet Union and Russia, the term troika is used for triumvirate. Originally, triumviri were special commissions of three men appointed for specific administrative tasks apart from the duties of Roman magistrates. The capitales were first established around 290–287 BCE and they were supervised by the praetor urbanus. These triumviri, or the tresviri nocturni, may have some responsibility for fire control. The triumviri or tresviri aere argento auro flando feriundo supervised the issuing of Roman coins, three-man commissions were appointed for purposes such as establishing colonies or distributing land. Triumviri mensarii served as bankers, the full range of their financial functions in 216 BCE.
Another form of commission was the tresviri epulones, who were in charge of organizing public feasts on holidays. This commission was created in 196 BCE by a law on behalf of the people. The arrangement had no status, and its purpose was to consolidate the political power of the three and their supporters against the senatorial elite. After the death of Crassus in 53 BCE, the two fought a civil war, during which Pompey was killed and Caesar established his sole rule as perpetual dictator. The Second Triumvirate was recognized as a triumvirate at the time, a Lex Titia formalized the rule of Octavian, Mark Antony, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. The legal language makes reference to the traditional tresviri, although the constitutional machinery of the Republic was not irrevocably dismantled by the Lex Titia, in the event it never recovered. Lepidus was sidelined early in the triumvirate, and Antony was eliminated in civil war, in various municipalities under the Principate, the chief magistracy was a college of three, styled triumviri.
In the Bible triumvirates occurred at some events in both the Old Testament and New Testament. In the Book of Exodus Moses, his brother Aaron and, according to some views their nephew or brother-in-law, Hur acted this way during Battle of Rephidim against the Amalekites. In the Gospels as a leading trio among the Twelve apostles at three occasions during public ministry of Jesus acted Peter, son of Zebedee
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman philosopher, lawyer, political theorist and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy family of the Roman equestrian order. According to Michael Grant, the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature, Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary distinguishing himself as a translator and philosopher. Though he was an orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement. During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars, following Julius Caesars death, Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. His severed hands and head were then, as a revenge of Mark Antony. Petrarchs rediscovery of Ciceros letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs, according to Polish historian Tadeusz Zieliński, the Renaissance was above all things a revival of Cicero, and only after him and through him of the rest of Classical antiquity.
Cicero was born in 106 BC in Arpinum, a hill town 100 kilometers southeast of Rome and his father was a well-to-do member of the equestrian order and possessed good connections in Rome. However, being a semi-invalid, he could not enter public life, although little is known about Ciceros mother, Helvia, it was common for the wives of important Roman citizens to be responsible for the management of the household. Ciceros brother Quintus wrote in a letter that she was a thrifty housewife, Ciceros cognomen, or personal surname, comes from the Latin for chickpea, cicer. Plutarch explains that the name was given to one of Ciceros ancestors who had a cleft in the tip of his nose resembling a chickpea. However, it is likely that Ciceros ancestors prospered through the cultivation. Romans often chose down-to-earth personal surnames, the family names of Fabius and Piso come from the Latin names of beans, lentils. Plutarch writes that Cicero was urged to change this name when he entered politics. During this period in Roman history, cultured meant being able to speak both Latin and Greek, Cicero used his knowledge of Greek to translate many of the theoretical concepts of Greek philosophy into Latin, thus translating Greek philosophical works for a larger audience.
It was precisely his broad education that tied him to the traditional Roman elite, according to Plutarch, Cicero was an extremely talented student, whose learning attracted attention from all over Rome, affording him the opportunity to study Roman law under Quintus Mucius Scaevola. Ciceros fellow students were Gaius Marius Minor, Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the latter two became Ciceros friends for life, and Pomponius would become, in Ciceros own words, as a second brother, with both maintaining a lifelong correspondence. Cicero wanted to pursue a career in politics along the steps of the Cursus honorum
Aemilia Lepida is the name of several ancient Roman women belonging to the gens Aemilia. The name was given to daughters of men belonging to the Lepidus branch of the Aemilius family, the first Aemilia Lepida to be mentioned by Roman historians was the former fiancée of the younger Cato. Subsequent Aemiliae are known because of their marriages and this Aemilia was daughter of Mamercus Aemilius Lepidus Livianus, wife of Metellus Scipio and former fiancee of Cato. Her daughter was Cornelia Metella, last wife and widow of Pompey the Great, although Aemilia Lepida was engaged to be married to Cato the Younger, she in fact married someone else, leaving Cato to marry Atilia. However, before the marriage Scipio changed his mind again and Cato were first cousins with Lepidas father and Catos mother being blood siblings. Aemilia Lepida was a Roman noble woman who lived in the 1st century BC and she was the first wife of Augur and descendant of Roman Dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Lucius Cornelius Sulla Faustus.
She bore him several children including her son, suffect consul of 31, one of her daughters-in-law would be Domitia Lepida a great niece of Emperor Augustus and a granddaughter of triumvir Mark Antony. One of her grandchildren was consul Faustus Cornelius Sulla Felix, Aemilia Lepida may have been the name of the wife of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, due to the name of Ahenobarbuss granddaughter, Domitia Lepida. Her only child was her son Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus and her son married Antonia Major, a niece of Roman Emperor Augustus and a daughter to Augustus sister Octavia Minor and Mark Antony. Their children were Domitia Lepida the Elder, Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, Aemilia Lepida was the daughter of Lucius Aemilius Paullus and his wife Julia the Younger. She was the first great-grandchild of the Emperor Augustus, and at one time was a fiancée of the future Emperor Claudius, Lepida had several children with her husband, Marcus Junius Silanus, and two of her sons became consuls. Aemilia Lepida was the daughter to Lepidus the Younger and sister to Manius Aemilius Lepidus and she married the wealthy Roman Governor Publius Sulpicius Quirinius.
In her younger years, she was engaged to Emperor Augustus’ heir Lucius Caesar and she had borne a daughter to senator Mamercus Aemilius Scaurus. In 20, she was charged with adultery, consulting astrologers, falsely to claim to bear a son to her ex-husband, at her trial her brother defended her. During her trial, the Games were held, other distinguished ladies, accompanied her into the theatre and protested her innocence to Emperor Tiberius. She was found guilty and was exiled, Aemilia Lepida was daughter of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, consul in 6 and niece to the consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus. Despite her uncles disgrace, and due to her fathers high standing with the Roman emperors, tacitus reports that during their marriage she had pursued her husband with ceaseless accusations. In 36, she was charged with adultery with a slave and committed suicide, Aemilia Lepida was daughter of Manius Aemilius Lepidus, consul in 11 CE
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (triumvir)
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, was a Roman patrician who was triumvir with Octavian and Mark Antony, and the last Pontifex Maximus of the Roman Republic. Lepidus had previously been an ally of Julius Caesar. Though he was a military commander and proved a useful partisan of Caesar. He typically appears as a figure in depictions of the events of the era. While some scholars have endorsed this view, others argue that the evidence is insufficient to discount the distorting effects of propaganda by his opponents, principally Cicero and, Augustus. Lepidus was the son of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, his mother may have been a daughter of Lucius Appuleius Saturninus and his brother was Lucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus. His father was the first leader of the populares faction after the death of Sulla. Lepidus married Junia Secunda, sister of Marcus Junius Brutus and Junia Tertia and Junia Secunda had at least one child, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus the Younger. Lepidus joined the College of Pontiffs as a child and he started his cursus honorum as triumvir monetalis, overseeing the minting of coins, from c.
Lepidus soon became one of Julius Caesars greatest supporters and he was appointed as a praetor in 49 BC, being placed in charge of Rome while Caesar defeated Pompey in Greece. He secured Caesars appointment as dictator, a position Caesar used to get elected as Consul. Lepidus was rewarded with the position of Proconsul in the Spanish province of Hispania Citerior, while in Spain Lepidus was called upon to act to quell a rebellion against Quintus Cassius Longinus, governor of neighbouring Hispania Ulterior. Lepidus refused to support Cassius, who had created opposition to Caesars regime by his corruption and he negotiated a deal with the rebel leader, quaestor Marcellus, and helped defeat an attack by the Mauretanian king Bogud. Cassius and his supporters were allowed to leave and order was restored and the Senate were sufficiently impressed by Lepdiuss judicial mixture of negotiation and surgical military action that they granted him a Triumph. Lepidus was rewarded with the consulship in 46 BC after the defeat of the Pompeians in the East, Caesar made Lepidus magister equitum, effectively his deputy.
Caesar appears to have had confidence in Lepidus than in Mark Antony to keep order in Rome. Lepidus appears to have been shocked when Antony provocatively offered Caesar a crown at the Lupercalia festival. When in February 44 BC Caesar was elected dictator for life by the senate, the brief alliance in power of Caesar and Lepidus came to a sudden end when Caesar was assassinated on March 1544 BC
Tiberius was a Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Born Tiberius Claudius Nero, a Claudian, Tiberius was the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and his mother divorced Nero and married Octavian, known as Augustus, in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian. Tiberius would marry Augustus daughter, Julia the Elder, and even be adopted by Augustus, by which act he officially became a Julian, bearing the name Tiberius Julius Caesar. The subsequent emperors after Tiberius would continue this blended dynasty of both families for the thirty years, historians have named it the Julio-Claudian dynasty. In relations to the emperors of this dynasty, Tiberius was the stepson of Augustus, grand-uncle of Caligula, paternal uncle of Claudius. Tiberius was one of Romes greatest generals, his conquest of Pannonia, Dalmatia and temporarily, parts of Germania, laid the foundations for the northern frontier. But he came to be remembered as a dark and sombre ruler who never really desired to be emperor, Pliny the Elder called him tristissimus hominum, after the death of Tiberius’ son Drusus Julius Caesar in 23 AD, he became more reclusive and aloof.
In 26 AD Tiberius removed himself from Rome and left largely in the hands of his unscrupulous Praetorian Prefects Lucius Aelius Sejanus and Quintus Naevius Sutorius Macro. Caligula, Tiberius grand-nephew and adopted grandson, succeeded Tiberius upon his death, Tiberius was born in Rome on 16 November 42 BC to Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. In 39 BC his mother divorced his father and remarried Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus shortly thereafter. In 38 BC his brother, Nero Claudius Drusus, was born, little is recorded of Tiberiuss early life. In 32 BC Tiberius at the age of nine, delivered the eulogy for his father at the rostra. In 29 BC, both he rode in the chariot along with their adoptive father Octavian in celebration of the defeat of Antony. In 23 BC Emperor Augustus became gravely ill and his possible death threatened to plunge the Roman world into chaos again, in response, a series of potential heirs seem to have been selected, among them Tiberius and his brother Drusus. Similar provisions were made for Drusus, shortly thereafter Tiberius began appearing in court as an advocate, and it is presumably here that his interest in Greek rhetoric began.
In 20 BC, Tiberius was sent East under Marcus Agrippa, the Parthians had captured the standards of the legions under the command of Marcus Licinius Crassus, Decidius Saxa, and Marc Antony. Augustus was able to reach a compromise whereby the standards were returned, Tiberius married Vipsania Agrippina, the daughter of Augustus’s close friend and greatest general, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. He was appointed to the position of praetor, and sent with his legions to assist his brother Drusus in campaigns in the west
Porcia (wife of Brutus)
Porcia Catonis, known simply as Porcia, occasionally spelled Portia especially in 18th-century English literature, was a Roman woman who lived in the 1st century BC. She was the daughter of Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis and his first wife Atilia and she is best known for being the second wife of Marcus Junius Brutus, the most famous of Julius Caesars assassins, and for her suicide, reputedly by swallowing hot coals. Porcia was born between 73 BC and 64 BC and she had an affectionate nature, was addicted to philosophy and was full of an understanding courage. Plutarch describes her as being prime of youth and beauty, when she was still very young, her father divorced her mother for adultery. At a young age she was married first to Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus and this marriage occurred between 58 BC and 53 BC. A few years later, Quintus Hortensius desired to make an alliance with Cato, Bibulus, who was infatuated with his wife, was unwilling to let her go. Hortensius offered to marry her and return her to Bibulus once she had given birth to an heir, such an arrangement was not uncommon at the time.
He argued that it was against natural law to keep a girl of Porcias youth and beauty from producing children for his allies, nonetheless Bibulus refused to divorce her and Cato disliked the idea of marrying his daughter to a man who was four times her age. Instead, Cato divorced his wife, Porcias stepmother Marcia, and gave her to Hortensius, in 52 BC, Julius Caesars Gallic Wars came to an end, but he refused to return to Rome, despite the Senates demands that he lay down his arms. In 49 BC, Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his army, thus declaring war, both Cato and Bibulus allied with Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus against Caesar. Though both Boni hated Pompey, he did not pose the threat to their faction that Caesar did, Bibulus commanded Pompeys navy in the Adriatic Sea. He captured a part of Caesars fleet, although this was a generally insignificant as Caesar went on to decisively defeat Pompey at the Battle of Pharsalus, Bibulus died in 48 BC following Pompeys defeat, leaving Porcia a widow. In 46 BC, Cato committed suicide following his defeat in the battle of Thapsus while Marcus Cato, Porcias brother, was pardoned by Caesar, Porcias first cousin, divorced his wife Claudia Pulchra and married Porcia when she was still very young.
The marriage was scandalous as Brutus did not state any reasons for divorce despite having married to Claudia for many years. Claudia was very popular for being a woman of virtue, and was the daughter of Appius Claudius Pulcher. She was related to Pompey by marriage through her younger sister, the divorce was not well received by some including Brutus mother, Servilia who despised her half-brother, and appears to have been jealous of Brutus affection for Porcia. Therefore, Servilia supported Claudias interests against those of Porcia, on the other hand, Porcia was highly favoured with the followers of both Pompey and Cato, so the marriage was favoured by people such as Marcus Tullius Cicero and Titus Pomponius Atticus. The marriage was Brutus way of honouring his uncle, nonetheless, it appears that Porcia deeply loved Brutus and was utterly devoted to him