Page:Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) - Volume 1.djvu/789

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.

CLAUDIUS. 771

iii. 10, comp. viii. 6, ad Att. vi. 2. § 10.) Through the exertions of Pompey, Brutus, and Hortensius, he was acquitted. (Ad Fam. iii. 11, Brut. 64, 94.) He was at this time a candidate for the censorship, and a charge of bribery was brought against him, but he was acquitted. (Ad Fam. iii. 11, 12.) He was chosen censor with L. Piso, b. c. 50. (For an account of the quarrel between Appius and Caelius, and the mutual prosecutions to which it gave rise, see Cic. ad Fam. viii. 12, ad Q. F. ii. 13.) Appius exercised his power as censor with severity (ad Fam. viii. 14. § 4), and expelled several from the senate, among others the historian Sallust. (Dion xl. 63 ; Acron. ad Hor. Serm. i. 2. 48.) Appius, by his connexion with Pompey, and his opposition in the senate to Curio (Dion xl. 64), drew upon himself the enmity of Caesar, and, when the latter marched upon Rome, he fled from Italy. (Ad Att. ix. 1. $ 4.) He followed Pompey, and received Greece as his province. He consulted the Delphic oracle to learn his destiny, and, following its injunctions, went to Euboea, where he died before the battle of Pharsalus. (Val. Max. i. 8. § 10 ; Lucan, v. 120-236.) He was elected one of the college of augurs in 59. (Varr. R. R. iii. 2. § 2 ; Cic. ad Fam. iii. 10. § 9.) He was well skilled in augury, and wrote a work on the augural discipline, which he dedicated to Cicero. He was also distinguished for his legal and antiquarian knowledge. (Cic. de Leg. ii. 13, de Divin. ii. 35, Brut. 77, ad Fam. iii. 4, 9, 11 ; Festus, s. v. Solistimum.) He believed in augury and divination, and seems to have been of a superstitious turn of mind. (Cic. de Div. i. 16, 58, Tusc. Disp. i. 16.) Cicero speaks highly of his oratorical powers. (Brut. 77.) His favourite and confidant was a freedman named Phanias. (Ad Fam. iii. 1, 5, 6.)


40. P. Clodius Pulcher, was the youngest son of No. 35. The form of the name Clodius was not peculiar to him : it is occasionally found in the case of others of the gens (Orelli, Inscript. 579); and Clodius was himself sometimes called Claudius. (Dion Cass. xxxv. 14.) He first makes his appearance in history in b. c. 70, serving with his brother Appius under his brother-in-law, L. Lucullus, in Asia. Displeased at not being treated by Lucullus with the distinction he had expected, he encouraged the soldiers to mutiny. He then left Lucullus, and betook himself to his other brother-in-law, Q. Marcius Rex, at that time proconsul in Cilicia, and was entrusted by him with the command of the fleet. He fell into the hands of the pirates, who however dismissed him without ransom, through fear of Pompey. He next went to Antiocheia, and joined the Syrians in making war on the Arabians. Here again he excited some of the soldiers to mutiny, and nearly lost his life. He now returned to Rome, and made his first appearance in civil affairs in b. c. 65 by impeaching Catiline for extortion in his government of Africa. Catiline bribed his accuser and judge, and escaped.

In b. c. 64, Clodius accompanied the propraetor L. Murena to Gallia Transalpina, where he resorted to the most nefarious methods of procuring money. His avarice, or the want to which his dissipation had reduced him, led him to have recourse to similar proceedings on his return to Rome. Asconius (in Mil. p. 50, Orell.) says, that Cicero often charged him with having taken part in the conspiracy of Catiline. But, with the exception of some probably exaggerated rhetorical allusions (de Harusp. Resp. 3, pro Mil. 14), no intimation of the kind appears in Cicero; and Plutarch (Cic. 29) says, that on that occasion he took the side of the consul, and was still on good terms with him.

Towards the close of 62, Clodius was guilty of an act of sacrilege, which is especially memorable, as it gave rise to that deadly enmity between himself and Cicero which produced such important consequences to both and to Rome. The mysteries of the Bona Dea were this year celebrated in the house of Caesar. Clodius, who had an intrigue with Pompeia, Caesar's wife, with the assistance of one of the attendants entered the house disguised as a female musician. But while his guide was gone to apprize her mistress, Clodius was detected by his voice. The alarm was immediately given, but he made his escape by the aid of the damsel who had introduced him. He was already a candidate for the quaestorship, and was elected ; but in the beginning of 61, before he set out for his province, he was impeached for this offence. The senate referred the matter to the pontifices, who declared it an act of impiety. Under the direction of the senate a rogation was proposed to the people, to the effect that Clodius should be tried by juices selected by the praetor who was to preside. The assembly, however, was broken up without coming to a decision. The senate was at first disposed to persist in its original plan; but afterwards, on the recommendation of Hortensius, the proposition of the tribune Fufius Calenus was adopted, in accordance with which the judices were to be selected from the three decuries. Cicero, who had hitherto strenuously supported the senate, now relaxed in his exertions. Clodius attempted to prove an alibi, but Cicero's evidence shewed that he was with him in Rome only three hours before he pretended to have been at Inter amna. Bribery and intimidation, however, secured him an acquittal by a majority of 31 to 25. Cicero however, who had been irritated by some sarcastic allusions made by Clodius to his consulship, and by a verdict given in contradiction to his testimony, attacked Clodius and his partisans in the senate with great vehemence.