CLODIA IN CICEROS 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").
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 Clodias dissolute and disrespectful behaviour, and asks
her to leave Caelius alone, because he doesnt 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 doesnt 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