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CLODIA IN CICERO’S VIEW

In "Pro Caelio" Cicero defends his friend Caelius and accuses Clodia of having lent him some money (Pro Cael.32, "Quae si se aurum Caelio comodasse non dicit"), describing her with traits that are contrary to the rules of morality and to the habits which were suitable to a virtuous woman at that time (Pro Cael.31, "Muliere non solum nobili verum etiam nota").

Cicero, with allusions and direct accusations, paints her as a person of bad morals and imputes a relation-ship with Caelius to her , even though she was married to Q. Metullus (Pro Cael.34, "Non denique modo te Q. Metelli matrimonium tenuisse sciebas"), and reveals that Clodia was favourably disposed towards relationships with any kind of people (compare with Catullus, 11, 17-20), especially with youngsters and with her brother Clodius (Pro Cael. 32, "Quod quidem facerem vehementius, nisi intercederent mihi inimicitiae cum istius mulieris viro-fratrem volui dicere; semper hic erro").

stanzaClodia’s profile is progressively destroyed with greater severity in the accusations which begin to describe her as a prostitute (Pro Cael.35, " Accusatores quidem libidines, amores, adulteria, Baias, actas, convivia, comissationes, cantus, symphonias, navigia iactant, idemque significant nihil se te invita dicere").

Cicero further underlines Clodia’s dissolute and disrespectful behaviour, and asks her to leave Caelius alone, because he doesn’t want her (Pro Cael.36, "Habes hortos ad Tiberim ac diligenter eo loco paratos quo omnis iuventus natandi causa venit; hinc licet condiciones cotidie legas; cur huic qui te spernit molesta es?").

In this sermon Cicero makes sure that everybody knows the lascivious habits that Clodia had in her private life; and, during the trial, he doesn’t miss any opportunity to show how shameful the woman's behaviour is.

 

Francesca Ferretto, Rosamaria Santoro, Giulia Scrinzi e Rachele Tommasi

 

 

 

 

Sirmione, Catullus' villa.
The  ruins of a  room