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Korolenkov A. V. Sulla and Metella: Love and Politics. Ancient World and Archaeology, 2017, vol. 18, iss. 18, pp. 121-133. DOI:, EDN: YLCLLO

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Sulla and Metella: Love and Politics

Korolenkov Anton Viktorovich, State Academic University for the Humanities

The marriage of Sulla and Caecilia Metella and his political background are analyzed in the article. Their marriage testified to the appearance of the new political faction (Sulla, Metellus Pius, Pompey Rufus), which replaced factio Metellana (it disappeared in the end of 90s BC). Evidently, Sulla wasn’t a Metellan protégé – more probably there was equitable partnership between him and Metelli whose influence weakened by the time. Metella was a paragon of a wife – she joined her husband after siege of Rome by Cinna and Marius (but there is no reason to suppose her life was endangered by Marians), she was the only wife of Sulla who gave birth for his sons. And Sulla let her enrich herself buying the estates of proscripts. In the same time her influence on Sulla (about which Plutarch writes) is not confirmed by anything. When she was deadly ill, he divorced her to keep the purity of his priest status. But even this unprecedented action didn’t cause a quarrel between Sulla and Metelli, and their alliance stayed lasting.


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