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By Gaius Valerius Catullus,Gaetano Catelli,Marcus Tullius Cicero

Clodia (“the Beautiful”) Metelli’s lineage is analogous to a present British Royal: “By the reckoning of the imperial biographer Suetonius, the patrician Claudii gathered throughout the life of the Republic a complete of twenty-eight consulships, 5 dictatorships, seven censorships, six triumphs, and ovations” (Skinner). Wiseman summarizes: “[M]ulier nobilis [noble-woman] is placing it mildly: This daughter of the patrician Claudii was once no longer in basic terms a member of a decorative social élite, yet on the center of the ruling classification of the Roman Republic.”

Clodia can also be the item of a lifelong obsession of the best love poet of historical Rome, the emotionally unstable Gaius “the dog” Catullus, whose time period of endearment for his inamorata is Lesbia – an allusion to the poetess Sappho of the Isle of Lesbos. And, throughout the ultimate a long time of his existence, the Golden Age of Roman literature’s maximum author of prose, conservative stalwart Marcus Tullius “Chick-Pea” Cicero, additionally, is preoccupied with Clodia – in his censorious (and resentful) fashion.

In addition to her actions as poetess, playwright, and patroness of more youthful males of varied skills (Austin), Clodia is eager about radical politics, through selling the profession of her youngest brother, Clodius “Pretty-Boy” Pulcher, an effete demagogue who's now not above using his mob of plebeian fans to persuade political results. based on Cicero, Clodia has loved a ‘special dating’ along with her beautiful little brother considering that their youth.

Even via the factors of old Rome, Clodia is arguable; and the debate maintains to the current day. In contradiction to the testimonia of either Cicero and Catullus, Skinner, the top authority on Clodia, writes: “[T]he Clodia of heritage seems to be the direct antithesis of the Clodia of myth”; and, “It is difficult to consider her because the sufferer of unruly passions; she turns out, to the contrary, firmly in charge of her personal life.”

Based upon the extant list, it does seem that Clodia isn't the “victim” of a person or whatever. really, it sounds as if her cuckold-husband, “Swifty” Celer – an army commander and Consul of the Roman Empire; Catullus the febrile “New Poet”; the tall, temperamental russet-haired Caelius; and Cicero, the nice orator and previous Consul (driven into exile for a time by means of Clodia’s brother Clodius), in a single manner or one other, are her victims.

At all occasions, the irreducible truth is that despite the fact that a lot both or either one of Cicero and Catullus might be exaggerating the sensational parts of Clodia’s behavior, no different lady of the traditional West has encouraged a lot rousing prose and arousing poetry, by way of authors who recognize her personally.

Catullus starts off Carmen five, the 1st within which he addresses Clodia as Lesbia:

Let’s dwell and let’s love, my Lesbia / and prize the prattle of the entire / prudish prunes at a penny!

Alas, Catullus: be cautious what you need for. “Rusty” Caelius, Catullus’s boyhood buddy in addition to Cicero’s prodigal former protege, finally supersedes Catullus in Lesbia’s affections, simultaneously along with her husband’s mysterious demise. 3 years later, Clodia is within the Roman discussion board accusing Caelius of getting tried to poison her.

Following the (likely accountable) Caelius’s acquittal because of his tips Cicero’s blistering assault on Clodia’s morals, Catullus composes Song-poem sixty seven (the vital concentration of this work), “The Door”. it will probably candidly be subtitled “And That’s now not All!” not sure himself what to think, with gleeful malice the jilted Catullus’s song-poem places within the ‘mouth’ of a talkative entrance door (of Clodia’s unique marital domestic in Catullus’s local Verona) the surprising slave-girl gossip emanating from inside, either concerning the actual nature of Clodia’s marriage to Celer the cuckolded Consul, and the true cause Clodia has accused Caelius of attempting to poison her.

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Behind Lesbia's Door: Her Slave-Girls' Shocking Revelations by Gaius Valerius Catullus,Gaetano Catelli,Marcus Tullius Cicero


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