(c. 80—40 bc)

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Offspring of two noble families, became the best‐known of late republican women active in politics and a prototype of empresses. Born in the late 70s bc, she married Clodius Pulcher, supported his policies and called for vengeance after his murder. Briefly married to Scribonius Curio, she married Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) after Curio's death, took an active part in his management of politics after Caesar's death and later in the proscriptions, greatly enriching herself. When Antony took charge of the east, she supported his cause in Italy, ultimately combining with his brother Antonius (Piets) in opposing Octavian. Besieged with him at Perusia (41), where her presence was exploited by hostile propaganda, she was allowed to join her husband after its fall, but was badly received by him and soon died. In later literature she became the type of the wicked matron, contrasted with the virtuous Octavia, sister of Octavian.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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