The Caecilii Metelli, one of the most important and wealthy families in the Roman Republic, came of noble (although plebeian, not patrician) stock. The Caecilii Metelli remained a political power within the state from the 3rd century BC to the end of the Republic in the 1st century BC, holding every office in the cursus honorum as well as several important military commands.
Important members of the Caecilius Metellus clan include:
- Lucius Caecilius Metellus Denter, consul 284 BC, died in battle against the Senones at Arretium in 284 BC
- Lucius Caecilius Metellus, consul 251 BC and 247 BC, died 221 BC, pontifex maximus
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus, consul 206 BC
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus, tribune of the plebeians
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus - eldest son of Quintus Caecilius Metellus, consul in 206 BC. A brilliant general, he fought in the Fourth Macedonic War, securing in 146 BC the annexation of Macedonia as a Roman province, hence the agnomen "Macedonicus". He was elected consul in 143 BC and censor in 131 BC. During his censorship, Macedonicus legislated to make marriage compulsory for Romans, a law that was never put into practice. He died in 115 BC.
- Lucius Caecilius Metellus Calvus, consul 142 BC
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Balearicus, consul 123 BC, censor 120 BC
- Lucius Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus, consul 119 BC, pontifex maximus in 115 BC, father of Caecilia Metella Dalmatica
- Lucius Caecilius Metellus Diadematus, consul 117 BC, censor 115 BC
- Marcus Caecilius Metellus, consul 115 BC
- Gaius Caecilius Metellus Caprarius, consul 113 BC, censor 102 BC
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus, consul 109 BC, censor 102 BC, second son of Metellus Calvus, political opponent of Gaius Marius
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Nepos - son of Balearicus, consul in 98 BC. Some of the few known aspects of his life involve the circumstances that surrounded his marriage to Licinia Crassa, the mother of his sons. Licinia was already married to another man, Quintus Mucius Scaevola, when they started an affair. Being discovered, Licinia was outcast and branded as an adulteress - but Metellus Nepos, rather than lose her, divorced his wife and married her less than a week after. This caused such a scandal that the several references to the wedding occur in ancient sources.
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius - only son of Metellus Numidicus, started his military career as a legate to Lucius Cornelius Sulla in the Social War. After the outlawing of Sulla he remained faithful to his commander and fled to Africa. In 83 BC he returned to Sulla and helped him win the civil war that eventually made Sulla dictator. To reward him for his services, Sulla nominated him as Pontifex Maximus. He was elected consul 80 BC, and afterwards sent as a proconsul to the Hispania provinces. For the next eight years he remained in Iberia, fighting against the rebellious Quintus Sertorius, the last five with the help of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus. He eventually returned to Rome, where he celebrated a triumph for his victories in Hispania. He died around 63 BC. For his campaign against Sertorius, Metellus Pius earned the respect of Roman military historians, particularly Frontinus who often refers his deeds in the book Stratagemata.
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Creticus, consul 69 BC
- Lucius Caecilius Metellus, consul 68 BC
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer, consul 60 BC, died 59 BC, perhaps poisoned by his wife Clodia
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer (people's tribune)
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Nepos Iunior, consul 57 BC
- Lucius Caecilius Metellus, tribune of the plebs 49 BC, resisted Julius Caesar when he wanted to plunder the treasury (Caesar Civil War 1.33)
- Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio Nasica - also known as Metellus Scipio, consul 52 BC, adopted son of Metellus Pius, with whom he campaigned against Sertorius. He became father-in-law of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus. He commanded the "Republican" army at Thapsus (46 BC), and was killed in battle against Julius Caesar's legions.
Women of the Caecilii Metelli family were always named Caecilia Metella, according to the Roman naming convention. To distinguish them, the Caecilias often carried their fathers' cognomens, declined in a female form. Famous Caecilias include:
- Caecilia Metella Dalmatica, wife of Marcus Aemilius Scaurus and Lucius Cornelius Sulla, successively
- Caecilia Metella Calva, mother of Lucius Licinius Lucullus
- Caecilia Metella Balearica Minor, mother of Publius Clodius
- Caecilia Metella Celer
- Media related to Caecilius Metellus at Wikimedia Commons
- Simmons, Dustin. From Obscurity to Fame and Back Again: The Caecilii Metelli in the Roman Republic. MA Thesis, Brigham Young University, 2011