Translation:Oratio in Milonianum Circeronis

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Oratio in Milonianum Ciceronis
by Asconius Pedianus, translated from Latin by Wikisource

A Political Murder (Asconius’ Account)[edit]

The political struggles of 53 B.C. reached a climax January of 52, when a brawl along the Appain way between Clodius and Milo led to the death of Clodius. The account provided below is that produced by Asconius as part of his commentary on Cicero's speech of defense: Pro Milone. While preparing this commentary, Asconius consulted transcripts from the Senate and other documentation independent of Milo's testimony.


A. Clodius and Milo on the Appian Way[edit]

In Latin:

A.d. xiii Kal. Febr. Milō Lānuvium, ex quō erat mūnicipiō et ubi tum dictātor, profectus ad flāminem prōdendum posterā diē. Occurrit eī circā hōram nōnam Clōdius paulō ultrā Bovillās, rediēns ab Arīciā; erat autem allocūtus decuriōnēs Arīcnōrum. Vehēbātur Clōdius equō; servī trigintā ferē expedītī, ut illō tempore mōs erat iter facientibus, gladiīs cīnctī sequēbantur. Erant cum Clōdiō praetereā trēs comitēs eius, ex quibus eques Romānus ūnus, duo dē plēbe nōtī hominēs. Milō raedā vehēbātur cum uxōre Faustā, fīliā L. Sullae dictātōris, et M. Fufiō familiārī suō. Sequēbātur eōs magnum servōrum agmen, inter quōs gladiātōrēs quoque erant, ex quibus duo nōtī, Eudamus et Birria. Eī in ultimō agmine tardius euntēs cum servīs P. Clōdiī rixam commīsērunt.

- Asconius, Oratio in Milonianum Ciceronis (extract)


Translated into English:

18th January, Milo, who was from the town Lanuvium[1] where he was chief magistrate, set out to the town for the purpose of appointing a priest the next day. Clodius met him about the ninth hour [2] a little beyond Bovillae[3], returning from Aricia[4]; he had also addressed the town councilmen of Aricia. Clodius was riding by horse; with about 30 lightly armed slaves armed with swords, escorting him, as was the custom for those making a journey. They were with Clodius in addition to his three companions, of which one was a Roman knight, two were notable men from the plebeians. Milo rode in a carriage with his wife Fausta, the daughter of L. Cornelius Sulla the dictator, and M. Fufius, his close friend. A great column was following them, among which each one was a gladiator, of which two were well known, Eudamus and Birria. The gladiators going slowly at the rear of the column began to fight with P. Clodius.

B. The Murder of Clodius[edit]

In Latin:

Ad quem tumultum cum respexisset Clōdius minitābundus, umerum eius Birria rumpiā trāiēcit. Inde cum orta esset pugna, plūrēs Milōniānī accurrērunt. Clōdius vulnerātus in tabernam proximam in Bovillānō dēlātus est. Milō, ut cognōvit vulnerātum Clōdium, cum sibi perīculōsius illud etiam vīvō eō futūrum intellegeret, occīsō autem magnum sōlācium esset habitūrus etiam sī subeunda esset poena, exturbārī tabernā iussit. Atque ita Clōdius latēns extractus est multīsque vulneribus cōnfectus. Cadāver eius in viā relictum, quia servi Clōdiī aut occīsī erant aut graviter sauciī latēbant, Sex. Teidius senātor, qui forte ex rūre in urbem revertēbātur, sustulit et lectīcā suā Romam ferrī iussit; ipse rūrsus eōdem unde erat ēgressus sē recēpit.

- Asconius, Oratio in Milonianum Ciceronis (extract)


Translated into English:

When the menacing Clodius had looked back, at which commotion, Birria pierced his upper arm with a spear. Then, when the fight had arisen, many Milonians ran forward. The wounded Clodius was carried down into the tavern nearest to Bovillae. Milo, as he recognized that Clodius was wounded, becuase he understood that the wounding of Clodius would be more dangerous for him [5], however with him dead he would have a great relief even if he had to undergo the punishment, he ordered Clodius to be dragged from the tavern. And also Clodius lying in hiding, was dragged out and was finished off with many wounds. His dead body was left in the road, since the servants of Clodius, either had been killed or seriously wounded, were lying in hiding; Sextus Teidius a senator, who by chance was returning from the country into the city [6], picked up the body and ordered him to be carried in his own [7] litter back to Rome; Sextus Teidius returned back to the same place from where he departed.


C. The Burning of the Senate House[edit]

In Latin:

Perlātum est corpus Clōdiī ante primam noctis hōram, īnfimaeque plēbis et servōrum maxima multitūdō magnō lūctū corpus in ātriō domūs positum circumstetit. Augēbat autem factī invidiam uxor Clōdiī Fulvia, quae cum effūsā lamentātiōne vulnera eius ostendēbat. Maior posterā diē luce prīmā multitūdō eiusdem generis cōnfluxit, complūrēsque nōtī homines vīsī sunt. Eīsque hortantibus vulgus imperitum corpus nūdum as calcātum, sīcut in lectō erat positum, ut vulnera vidērī possent in Forum dētulit et in rostrīs posuit. Ibi prō contiōne Plancus et Pompeius, quī competītōribus Milōnis studēbant, invidiam Milōnī fēcērunt. Populus, duce Sex. Clōdiō scrībā, corpus P. Clōdiī in Curiam intulit cremāvitque subselliīs et tribūnālibus et mēnsīs et cōdicibus librāriōrum, quō igne et ipsa quoque Cūria flagrāvit, et item Porcia Basilica, quae erat eī iūncta, ambusta est.

- Asconius, Oratio in Milonianum Ciceronis (extract)


Translated into English:

The body of Clodius was brought in before the first hour of the night, a very large crowd of the most vile plebians and slaves surrounded the body with great mourning, the body having been placed in the atrium house. Fulvia the wife of Clodius (who) was increasing the anger of the deed, pointed out his wounds. The following day at dawn, a larger crowd came together and several notable men were seen. These men, being encouraged, the ignorant mob carried the naked trampled body into the Forum and placed it on the rostra, in order that the wounds were able to be seen. In that place before a public meeting Plancus and Pompeius, who were supporting Milo’s political rivals, made hatred towards Milo [8]. The people, with Sextus Clodius the scribe as leader [9], placed the body of P. Clodius in the Curia, burned the bench, platform, table, and secretary’s ledgers, on account of the fire and also the Curia itself blazed up, and likewise the Porcia Basilica, which was joined to it, has been scorched.

Notes[edit]

  1. A town Southeast of Rome along the Appian Way.
  2. Roughly 3p.m.
  3. Bovillae was a small town Southeast of Rome, but North of Lanuvium.
  4. Aricia, a bit further south than Bovillae, but still North of Lanuvium. It was the first way station on the Appian Way.
  5. It would be more dangerous to Milo, had Clodius been left alive.
  6. Bovillae.
  7. In Clodius' own litter.
  8. i.e. spoke out against him.
  9. Sextus Clodius was an agent and probably a freedman of P. Clodius.