Name mistake?

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Name mistake?

Postby Curio Agelastus on Sat Nov 13, 2004 2:49 am

Salvete omnes,

I've been re-reading Plutarch's life of Pompey, and he states that after the death of Iulia, Pompey married Cornelia, the daughter of Metellus Scipio. Given that Metellus was (As far as I know) a cognomen exclusively given to the Caecilii, how is it possible for a daughter of Caecilius to be called Cornelia? I assumed that this was a mistake on Plutarch's part. Or could it be a bizarre consequence of an adoption? Can anyone explain this?

Many thanks,
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Postby Quintus Servilius Priscus on Sat Nov 13, 2004 4:30 am

I found the following info in the Nodeworks Encyclopedia:

"Cornelia Metella (1st century BC) is one of the few Roman women cited by ancient sources. She was daughter of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Cornelius Scipio Nasica. Her proper name would have been Caecilia Metella, since Cornelia was the gens of her father before adoption by the Caecilii Metellii. Plutarch describes her as a beautiful woman, with a nice character, well read and a skilled player of the lyre. She was also very well educated, fond of geometry and philosophy. Cornelia was first married to Publius Licinius Crassus, son of Marcus Licinius Crassus. After her husband's death in the Parthian campaign of his father, Cornelia became the fifth wife of Pompey in 52 BC. She was a faithful follower of Pompey and met him in Mytilene with his son Sextus Pompeius, after the battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. Together, they fled to Egypt where Pompey was murdered. On his arrival, Caesar punished the traitors that had Pompey murdered and gave Cornelia his ashes and signet ring. She returned to Rome and spent the rest of her life in Pompey's estates in Italy."

"Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Cornelianus Scipio Nasica, consul 52 BC, adopted son of Metellus Pius, with whom he campaigned against Sertorius. He was a member of Cato the Younger's boni faction of the Roman Senate, and became father-in-law of Pompey the Great. He commanded the "Republican" army at Thapsus, and was killed in battle against Julius Caesar's legions."

I hope this helps.

Nodeworks URL: http://pedia.nodeworks.com/
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Postby Curio Agelastus on Mon Nov 15, 2004 1:10 am

Salve Gnae Corneli,

Thanks very much, that's just the answer I was looking for; I suspected that it was either a mistake on Plutarch's part or a consequence of the bizarre Roman adoption customs.

Bene vale,
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