Marcia was the wife of Cato, but she dutifully consented to his decision to give her to his friend Hortensius. After Hortensius' death, she returned to Cato. These episodes are succinctly recorded in Latin on the tablet. This painting and "Tanaquil" (displayed nearby) formed part of a series of picture of heroines from ancient history, made for a palace in Siena.
.ME CATO COGNOVIT VIR MOX HORTENSIVS ALTER./ DEINDE CATONIS EGO MARTIA NVPTA FVI. [Cato was my husband, then Hortensius; then I, Marcia, wed Cato again].
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