Il tribunato della plebe di Mario e la storia dei Cecilii Metelli
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The conflict in 119 B.C. between Marius and a Caecilius Metellus, who had secured his election to the tribunate of the plebs and then supported the consul L. Aurelius Cotta in the senatorial opposition to the tribune, has been generally interpreted as a turning point in Marius’career. This paper aims to reconsider the episode as a turning point also in the history of the Caecilii Metelli at the time of the “Metellan supremacy”. Three aspects seem to be relevant: 1) the lex Maria intended to strengthen the leges tabellariae supported by Scipio Aemilianus, who was a political enemy of both Q. Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus and L. Aurelius Cotta’s father; 2) Marius may have been looking for a support from his patrons, who had paid tribute to Scipio after his death; besides, the rise of a new generation of the Caecilii Metelli created favourable conditions for a new political leadership in the wake of the Cornelii Scipiones; 3) Marius’ failure in gaining Metellan approval in senate testify to the political influence of the elder Metellus Macedonicus who had supported the Aurelii Cottae. Therefore, in 119 the Caecilii Metelli pursued a senatorial consensus more than a reworking of their policy.
keywordsMarius, leges tabellariae, Scipio Aemilianus, Caecilii Metelli, Aurelii Cottae.
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