Hortensia (orator)

Hortensia (Orator)

Hortensia (orator)

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Hortensia, daughter of consul and advocate Quintus Hortensius Hortalus, earned notoriety during the late Roman Republic as a skilled orator. She is best known for giving a speech in front of the members of the Second Triumvirate in 42 B.C. that resulted in the partial repeal of a tax on wealthy Roman women.


Little is known about the life of Hortensia aside from her career as an orator. She was the daughter of Quintus Hortensius (114 - 50 BC) apparently by his first wife Lutatia. Her father was well-known among Romans due to his moving sermons on history and law and rivalry with fellow orator Marcus Tullius Cicero. As a member of the aristocracy, Hortensia grew up in a wealthy household, and thus, had access to Greek and Latin literature from a young age. She later concentrated on the study of rhetoric by reading speeches from the likes of her father and prominent Greek orators.

Hortensia is also believed to have been married to her second cousin Quintus Servilius Caepio, son of Quintus Servilius Caepio the Younger and brother of Cato Uticensis and Servilia Caepionis; however, she was left a widow when he died in 67 B.C. She had a daughter Servilia who married another conservative senator. Her husband adopted his sister's son Marcus Junius Brutus before his death; thus Brutus became technically Quintus Servilius Caepio Junianus by adoption, though he later repudited the name (but not the wealth or patrician status) for political reasons.

Speech before the......

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