Valerius Maximus, Memorable Doings and Sayings

LCL 492: 406-407

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Book IV

both at its greatest and most honourable, it is far better to be joined by death than separated by life.

A similar devotion was observed in C. Caesar’s daughter Julia. At the aedilician elections she saw a piece of clothing belonging to her husband Pompeius Magnus which had been brought home from the Campus stained with blood. Terrified that some violence had been done to him, she collapsed unconscious and the sudden shock and severe bodily pain caused the child she had in her womb to miscarry, to the great misfortune of the whole world.5 For its tranquillity would not have been disrupted by the savage madness of so many civil wars if concord between Caesar and Pompey had held, bound by a tie of common blood.

Your chaste fires too, Porcia M. Cato’s daughter, all ages shall attend with the admiration they deserve. When you learned that your husband Brutus had been defeated and killed at Philippi, you did not hesitate to take burning coals into your mouth, steel being withheld, imitating your father’s manly end with a woman’s spirit. But perhaps more bravely than he, because Cato perished by a normal form of death, you by a novel one.6


There are also legitimate loves in other lands, not buried in the obscurity of ignorance. It will suffice to touch upon a few of them. It would be frivolous to argue how sorely Artemisia queen of Caria missed her dead husband Mausolus after the magnificence of the manifold honours she devised for him and the monument which rose to a place among the Seven Wonders. Why collect the former or speak of that famous tomb when she herself desired to

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.valerius_maximus-memorable_doings_sayings.2000