Cornelius Tacitus, Annales III. 76.1-5: Junia

Statue of Fundilia, wealthy Roman matron
Sanctuary of Diana at Nemi, 1st century CE

Junia Tertia (73 BCE-22 CE), known affectionately to intimates as Tertula, was born into a prominent political family that was closely allied to Cato the Elder (see family tree) and had ties to other leading conservative families. Her mother was Servilia Caepionis (c.104-after 42 BCE), daughter of Quintus Servilius Caepio and Livia Drusa. Livia Drusa's second husband was Marcus Porcius Cato with whom she had a son, Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis (95-46 BCE), Junia Tertia's maternal uncle. Servilia herself first married Marcus Junius Brutus, by whom she had a son, Marcus Junius Brutus (June 85–23 October 42 BCE), the tyrannicide. Junia Tertia’s father, Servilia’s second husband, was Decimus Junius Silanus (consul 62 BCE), to whom Servilia bore three daughters, half-sisters of Brutus, all named Junia. By birth, marriage, and character she was deeply involved with the Republican faction in the civic unrest leading up to and following the death of Julius Caesar (100-15 March 44 BCE), her mother’s long-time lover. She was married to Gaius Cassius Longinus, to whom she, approximately 13, bore a son in c. 60 BCE. She was present at the political meeting at Antium in June 44 BCE, just prior to which she had a miscarriage (Cicero, Ad Atticum 14.20.2); called after Caesar’s death, it was attended by Tertula, her mother Servilia, and Brutus' wife Porcia, together with anti-Caesarian supporters including Cicero (106-43 BCE; see ad Atticum 15.11.1). In 42 BCE she became a widow when her husband committed suicide after the defeat of the Republican forces at Philippi. Having never remarried, she died 64 years after Cassius, at the age of 95, during the reign of Tiberius (14-37 CE). Given Junia Tertia's wealth, social status and Republican connections, and his own lukewarm popular support, Tiberius was wise not to contest her will and to permit her public funeral in the Forum. Tacitus refers to the many death masks of political leaders from aristocratic Roman households that were carried in her funeral procession, though he names only two, probably the most venerable, the Manlii and Quinctii. For further information on Roman death masks see Public Display: imagines and modern wax recreations; for Polybius' explanation of the rituals of elite Roman funerals, click here.

(1) Et Iunia sexagesimo quarto post Philippensem aciem anno supremum diem explevit, Catone
link avunculo genita, C. Cassii uxor, M. Bruti soror.

(2) testamentum eius multo apud vulgum rumore fuit, quia in magnis opibus, cum ferme cunctos link proceres cum honore nominavisset, Caesarem omisit.


(3) quod civiliter acceptum, neque prohibuit quo minus laudatione pro rostris ceterisque sollemnibus funus cohonestaretur.

(4) viginti clarissimarum familiarum imagines antelatae sunt, Manlii, Quinctii aliaque eiusdem nobilitatis nomina.


(5) sed praefulgebant Cassius atque Brutus eo ipso quod effigies eorum non visebantur.

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