Chapter

An Inconvenient Ally: Clodius

Edited by Luciano Canfora and Julian Stringer

in Julius Caesar

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619368
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670734 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748619368.003.0012
An Inconvenient Ally: Clodius

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Publius Clodius Pulcher who was born into the patriciate but had become a plebeian — with the authority of Caesar as pontifex maximus — with the sole aim of being elected tribune, was the prototypically unprincipled agitator. His case is a striking illustration of the degeneration of the social struggle in the capital of the empire. He had incited mutiny among Lucullus' troops in the East. Then he had appeared as the accuser of Catiline, but later, apparently, changed sides. The most salient fact of his career, before his election as tribune, was an amorous escapade that ended badly in the house of Caesar, not long after the latter had become pontifex maximus, on the day of the festival of Bona Dea in 62 bc.

Keywords: Julius Caesar; Publius Clodius Pulcher; agitator; social struggle; Lucullus; tribune; Catiline; pontifex maximus

Chapter.  2224 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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