Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus

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Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus (c. 155 BC – 91 BC) was an ancient Roman statesman and general, he was a leader of the Optimates, the conservative faction of the Roman Senate. He was a bitter political opponent of Gaius Marius. He was consul in 109 BC, in that capacity he commanded the Roman forces in Africa during the Jugurthine War. In 107 BC, he was displaced from his command by Marius. On his return he was granted a triumph and the cognomen Numidicus. He later became a censor, entering into exile in opposition to Marius. Metellus Numidicus enjoyed a reputation for integrity in an era when Roman politics was increasingly corrupt.


  • To do harm is proper of the evil spirits; to do good without taking risks is proper of the ordinary spirits; the man of heart never ever deflects from what is fair and honest, never looking to rewards or to threats.
  • All men should not covet all things.
    • Marc Hyden, Gaius Marius, p.45; Gaius Sallustius Crispus, Jugurthine War.
  • Si sine uxore pati possemus, Quirites, omnes ea molestia careremus; Set quoniam ita natura tradidit, ut nec cum illis satis commode, nec sine illis ullo modo vivi possit
    • If it would have been possible for us to suffer without a wife, Romans, we all would have been without this annoyance; But since nature has thus ordained so that it is not possible to live comfortably enough with them, nor can we live in any way without them (sometimes truncated to: "Women: can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em").
    • Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, Liber I VI.2

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