No Comment, Quotation — January 12, 2008, 12:00 am

Suetonius on the Morals of Caesar’s Mistress

Sed ante alias dilexit Marci Bruti matrem Serviliam, cui et primo suo consulatu sexagiens sestertium margaritam mercatus est et bello civili super alias donationes amplissima prædia ex auctionibus hastæ minimo addixit; cum quidem plerisque vilitatem mirantibus facetissime Cicero: “Quo melius,” inquit, “emptum sciatis, tertia deducta;” existimabatur enim Servilia etiam filiam suam Tertiam Cæsari conciliare.

Above all others, [Caesar] loved Servilia, who was the mother of Marcus Brutus, and in his first consulship he bought for her a pearl costing six million sesterces. During the civil war, he acquired some fine estates for her in a public auction at a nominal price and when some expressed their surprise at the low figure, Cicero quipped: “It’s a better bargain than you think, for he got a third off” [alternate meaning: "he seduced Tertia"]. And in fact it was thought that Servilia was pimping her own daughter Tertia to Caesar.

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, De vita xii Cæsarum, Divus Julius, bk i, sec l (ca. 119 CE) in the Loeb Classical Library ed., vol. 31, p. 68(S.H. transl.)

Single Page

More from Scott Horton:

No Comment, Six Questions June 4, 2014, 8:00 am

Uncovering the Cover Ups: Death Camp in Delta

Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp

From the June 2014 issue

The Guantánamo “Suicides,” Revisited

A missing document suggests a possible CIA cover-up

No Comment March 28, 2014, 12:32 pm

Scott Horton Debates John Rizzo on Democracy Now!

On CIA secrecy, torture, and war-making powers

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada



September 2014

Israel and Palestine

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Washington Is Burning

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On Free Will

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

They Were Awake

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content


Arab artists take up — and look past — regional politics
“When everyday life regularly throws up images of terror and drama and the technological sublime, how can a photographer compete?”
“Qalandia 2087, 2009,” by Wafa Hourani
“There was torture by the previous regime and by the current Iraqi regime,” Dr. Amin said. “Torture by our Kurdish government, torture by Syrians, torture by the U.S.”
Visiting His Own Grave © Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
The Tale of the Tape·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Heroin isn’t the weakness Art Pepper submits to; it’s the passion he revels in.”
Photograph (detail) © Laurie Pepper
The Soft-Kill Solution·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Policymakers, recognizing the growing influence of civil disobedience and riots on the direction of the nation, had already begun turning to science for a response."
Illustration by Richard Mia
New Books
New Books·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Almond insists that watching football does more than feed an appetite for violence. It’s a kind of modern-day human sacrifice, and it makes us more likely to go to war.”
Photograph by Harold Edgerton

Chance that a movie script copyrighted in the U.S. before 1925 was written by a woman:

1 in 2

Engineers funded by the United States military were working on electrical brain implants that will enable the creation of remote-controlled sharks.

Malaysian police were seeking fifteen people who appeared in an online video of the Malaysia-International Nude Sports Games 2014 Extravaganza, and Spanish police fined six Swiss tourists conducting an orgy in the back of a moving van for not wearing their seatbelts.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!


In Praise of Idleness


I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today