Quintus Servilius Caepio


Quintus Servilius Caepio

Quintus Servilius Caepio the Elder was a Roman statesman and general, Consul in 106 BC, Proconsul of Cisalpine Gaul 105 BC. He was the father of Quintus Servilius Caepio the Younger, the grandfather of Servilia Caepionis, and the great-grandfather of Marcus Junius Brutus.

During his year of office as consul, he brought forward a law by which the jurymen were again to be chosen from the senators instead of the equites (Tacitus, Ann. xii. 60)

In the Battle of Arausio in 105 BC, Caepio led one of the two forces against the Germanic tribes (the Teutones, the Cimbri, and Tigurini/Marcomanni/Cherusci) along with then consul, Gnaeus Mallius Maximus.

While marching to Arausio, Caepio plundered the temples of the town of Tolosa, finding over 50,000 15 lb. bars of gold and 10,000 15 lb. bars of silver. The riches of Tolosa were shipped back to Rome, but only the silver made it; the gold was stolen by a band of marauders, who were believed to have been hired by Caepio himself. The Gold of Tolosa was never found, and was said to have been passed all the way down to the last heir of the Servilii Caepiones, Marcus Junius Brutus.

At the Battle of Arausio, Caepio refused to co-operate with his superior officer, consul Gnaeus Mallius Maximus, who was a New Man, not a member of the Roman Elite. Caepio refused to even camp with Maximus and his troops, when it appeared that Maximus was going to reach a treaty and take the glory for the resolution, Caepio ordered his men to engage the Germans, and the battle that ensued saw the complete destruction of the Roman army.

Upon his return to Rome, Caepio was tried for "the loss of his Army" by Tribune of the Plebs, Gaius Norbanus. Caepio was convicted, and was given the harshest sentence allowable: he was stripped of his citizenship, forbidden fire and water within eight hundred miles of Rome, fined 15,000 talents (about 825,000 lb) of gold, and forbidden from seeing or speaking to his friends or family until he had left for exile.

Caepio spent the rest of his life in exile in Smyrna in Asia Minor.


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