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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.)

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