Throwback Thursday – Famous Historical Divorces
Sometime around the year 62 B.C., the great Roman statesmen, Julius Caesar, decided he no longer wanted to be married to his second wife, Pompeia, because someone tried to seduce her. Wow. He sounds a bit like the jealous type.
The story goes that Pompeia was throwing a girls only party known as Bona Dea (good goddess) to which Vestal Virgins had been invited and a man in drag snuck in to seduce her. He was caught and prosecuted for sacrilege. During his trial, both Caesar’s mother and sister condemned his action while testifying in court. Caesar however, did not speak a word against him and so without an angry word from the husband, he was acquitted. In the aftermath, Caesar punished the innocent Pompeia instead. Caesar served her with divorce papers, stating that as a politician, he needed a wife who was free of scandal, more specifically, she needed to be beyond reproach.
In some ways, times haven’t changed. Even today in Texas, anyone can file for divorce for almost any reason. All you have to prove is that the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroy the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship, and that there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation. Certainly you can file for divorce claiming fault grounds, such as adultery or cruelty, but insupportability is considered a no-fault ground, and leads to a lower burden on the party wanting a divorce. In other words, it takes two people to decide to stay together, but only one party to decide to divorce.