the second wife of M. Tullius Cicero, whom he married in B. C. 46. As Cicero was then sixty years of age, and Publilia quite young, the marriage occasioned great scandal.
It appears that Cicero was at the time in great pecuniary embarrassments; and after the divorce of Terentia, he was anxious to contract a new marriage for the purpose of obtaining money to pay his debts. Publilia had a large fortune, which had been left her by her father, but, in order to evade the Voconia lex, which limited the amount that a woman could receive by will, the property had been left to Cicero in trust for her.
The marriage proved an unhappy one, as might have been expected; and after the death of his daughter Tullia in B. C. 45, Cicero was able to plead his sorrow as an excuse for going into the country alone. While there he writes to Atticus that Publilia had sent him a letter, requesting to be allowed to visit him, and that he had written back to her that he wished to remain alone; but he begged Atticus to let him know how long he might remain without being surprised by a visit from her.
At length Cicero became so tired of his young wife, and so annoyed by her mother and brother, that he was glad to divorce her in the course of the year 45.
It was said by some that she had expressed joy at the death of Tullia; this may have served Cicero as an excuse for his conduct. Cicero had now to repay the dowry, and consequently had incurred all the reproach and inconvenience of such a marriage without reaping from it any advantage.
He found no small difficulty in raising the money to pay this dowry; and his letters to Atticus frequently allude to his negotiations on this subject with Publilius, the brother of his late wife. (Cic. ad Fam. 4.14, ad Att.
12.32, 13.34, 47, 14.19, 16.2, 6; D. C. 46.18
; Plut. Cic. 41
; Quint. Inst. 6.3.75
.) Dio Cassius states (57.15) that Vibius Rufus, in the reign of Tiberius, married Cicero's widow, by whom we are probably to understand Publilia, and not Terentia, as many have done. (Drumann, Geschichte Roms,
vol. vi. pp. 694-696.)