The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Terambus – Terentia – Terentia Gens

TERENTIA.

b. c. 351. The Sidonians, however, resolving not to fall into the power of the king, set the town on fire and perished in the flames. (Diod. xvi. 41— 45.)

TERAMBUS (Tepa^gos), a son of Euseirus and Eidothea. Once he was tending his flocks on Mount Othrys in Melis, under the protection of the nymphs whom he delighted with his songs, for he was a distinguished musician, and played both the syrinx and the lyre. Pan advised him to quit Mount Othrys, because a very severe winter was coming on. Terambus, however, did not follow the advice, and went so far in his insolence as to revile even the nymphs, saying that they were not daughters of Zeus. The predicted cold at length came, and, while all his flocks perished, Terambus himself was metamorphosed by the nymphs into a beetle called /cepcfytgu£. (Anton. Lib. 22.) Ovid (Met. vii. 353) mentions one Cerambus on Mount Othrys, who escaped from the Deucalionian flood by means of wings which he had received from the nymphs. [L. S.]

TERENTIA. 1. The wife of M. Cicero. Her parentage is unknown. Her mother must have married twice, for she had a half-sister of the name of Fabia, who was a Vestal Virgin. This Fabia was. charged with having had sexual inter­course with Catiline, who was brought to trial for the crime in b. c. 73, but was acquitted. (Ascon. in Cic. Corn. p. 93, ed. Orelli ; Plut. Cat. min. 19 ; Sail. Cat. 15 ; Drumann, Geschickte Roms^ vol. v. p. 392.) The year of Terentia's marriage with Cicero is not known, but as their daughter Tullia was married in b. c. 63, the marriage of her parents may probably be placed in 80 or 79. Terentia was a woman of sound sense and great resolution ; and her firmness of character was ,of no small service to her weak and vacillating husband in some im­portant periods of his life. On his banishment in b. c. 58, Tullia by her letters endeavoured to keep up Cicero's fainting spirits, though to little pur­pose, and she vigorously exerted herself on his behalf among his friends in Italy. Cicero, how­ever, appears to have taken offence at something she had done during his exile, for on his return to Italy in the following year he writes to Atticus praising the sympathy which his brother and his daughter had shown him, without mentioning Te­rentia (ad AH. iv. 2). During the civil war, Cicero bitterly complained that his wife did not furnish him and Tullia with money ; but on his departure for Greece, he had left his affairs in the greatest confusion, and Terentia appears to have done the best she could under the circumstances. Cicero, however, threw all the blame upon his wife, and attributed his embarrassments to her extravagance and want of management. He had returned to Brundisium after the defeat of Pompey, ruined in his prospects, and fearing that he might not obtain forgiveness from Caesar. He was thus disposed to look at every thing in the worst light. When Terentia wrote to him proposing to join him at Brundisium, he replied in a few lines telling her not to come, as the journey was long and the roads unsafe, and, she moreover could be of no use to him (Cic. ad Fain. xiv. 12). In the following year, b. c. 46, Cicero divorced Terentia, and shortly afterwards married Publilia, a young girl of whose property he had the management. This marriage occasioned great scandal at Rome. Antonius and other enemies of Cicero maintained that he had

995

TERENTIA GENS.

divorced Terentia in order to marry a young wife ; but this was not the real reason. He hoped to pay off his debts with the fortune of Publilia. [PuB-lilia.] Terentia had a large property of her own, and Cicero now had to repay her dos, which he found great difficulty in doing, and it seems that Terentia never got it back. She was not paid at all events in the summer of b.c. 44 (Cic. ad Ait. xvi. 15). Terentia could not have been less than 50 at the time of her divorce, and therefore it is not probable that she married again. It is related, indeed, by Jerome (in Jovin. i. p. 52, ed. Basil.), that she married Sallust the historian, and the enemy of Cicero, and subsequently Messala Cor-vinus ; but these marriages are not mentioned by Plutarch or any other writer, and may therefore be rejected. Some modern writers speak even of a fourth marriage ; since Dion Cassius (Ivii. 15) says that Vibius Rufus, in: the reign of Tiberius, mar­ried Cicero's widow ; but if this is a fact, it must refer to Publilia and not to Terentia. Terentia is said to have attained the age of one hundred and three. (Plin. H. N. vii. 48. s. 49 ; Val. Max. viii. 13. § 6.) The life of Terentia is given at length by Drumann. (Gescliictite Roms, vol. vi. pp. 685 —694.)

. 2. Also called terentilla, the wife of Mae­cenas. Dion Cassius (Hv. 3) speaks of her as a sister of Murena and of Proculeius. The full name of this Murena was A. Terentius Varro Mureria: he was perhaps the son of L. Licinius Murena, who was consul b. c. 62, and was adopted by A. Terentius Varro. Murena would thus have been the adopted brother of Terentia: Proculeius was probably only the cousin of Murena. [See Vol. III. p. 540, b.]

We know nothing of the early history of Te­rentia, nor the time of her marriage with Maecenas. She was a very beautiful woman, and as licentious as most of the Roman ladies of her age. She was one of the favourite mistresses of Augustus ; and Dion Cassius relates (liv. 19) that there was a report at Rome that the emperor visited Gaul in b.c. 16, simply to enjoy the society of Terentia unmolested by the lampoons which it gave occasion to at Rome. The intrigue between Augustus and Terentia is said by Dion Cassius to have disturbed the good understanding which subsisted between the emperor and his minister, and finally to have occasioned the disgrace of the latter. Maecenas however had not much right to complain of the conduct of his wife, for his own infidelities were notorious. But notwithstanding his numerous amours, Maecenas continued to his death deeply in love with his fair wife. Their quarrels, which were of frequent occurrence, mainly in consequence of the morose and haughty temper of Terentia, rarely lasted long, for the natural uxoriousness of Maecenas constantly prompted him to seek a recon­ciliation ; so that Seneca says (Ep. 114) he mar­ried a wife a thousand times, though he never had more than one. Once indeed they were divorced, but Maecenas tempted her back by presents (Dig. 24. tit. 1. s. 64). Her influence over him was so great, that in spite of his cautious temper, he was on one occasion weak enough to confide to her an important state secret respecting the conspiracy of her brother Murena. (Dion Cass. liv. 3, 19, Iv. 7 ; Suet. Aug. 66, 69 ; Frandsen, C. Cilnius Maecenas, pp. 132—136.)

TERENTIA GENS, plebeian. The name was

3 s 2

Pages
About | First

993

994

995
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.