2. The daughter of Cato Uticensis by his first wife Atilia.
She was married first to M. Bibulus, who was Caesar's colleague in the consulship B. C. 59, and to whom she bore three children. Bibulus died in B. C. 48; and in B. C. 45 she married M. Brutus, the assassin of Julius Caesar.
She inherited all her father's republican principles, and likewise his courage and firmness of will.
She induced her husband on the night before the 15th of March to disclose to her the conspiracy against Caesar's life, and she is reported to have wounded herself in the thigh in order to show that she had a courageous soul and could be trusted with the secret.
At the same time her affection for her husband was stronger than her stoicism, and on the morning of the 15th, her anxiety for his safety was so great that she fainted away, and word was brought to Brutus in the senate-house that his wife was dying.
She parted with Brutus at Velia in Lucania in the course of the same year, when he embarked for Greece.
She then returned to Rome, where she continued to live unmolested by the triumvirs.
But after she learnt the loss of the battle of Philippi and the death of Brutus in B. C. 42, she resolved not to survive the ruin of her party and the death of her husband, and accordingly put an end to her own life.
The common tale was, that her friends, suspecting her design, had taken all weapons out of her way, and that she therefore destroyed herself by swallowing live coals.
The real fact may have been that she suffocated herself by the vapour of a charcoal fire, which we know was a frequent means of self-destruction among the Romans. (Plut. Cat.
25, 73, Brut.
2, 13, 15, 23, 33; D. C. 44.13
; Appian, App. BC 4.136
; V. Max. 3.2.5
; Polyaen. 8.32
; Martial, 1.43