A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

8. CLODIA [Stemma, No. 42], the second of the three sisters of P. Clodius, and older than her brother. (Cic. pro Cael. 15.) She was married to Q. Metellus Celer, but became infamous for her debaucheries (Cic. l.c. 14), which so destroyed all domestic peace, that, as Cicero says (ad Att. 2.1), she was at open war with her husband, and, on his sudden death, she was suspected of having poisoned him. During her husband's lifetime she had wished to form a connexion with Cicero, and, being slighted by him, revenged herself by exciting her brother Publius against him, and during his exile annoyed his family. (Pro Cael. 20, ad Att. 2.12; Plut. Cic. 29.) Among her paramours was M. Caelius, who after a time left her. To revenge herself, she instigated Atratinus to charge him with having borrowed money of her to hire assassins to murder Dio, the head of the embassy sent by Ptolemaeus Auletes, and with having attempted to poison Clodia herself. Crassus and Cicero spoke in defence of Caelius, who was acquitted. Cicero in his speech represents Clodia as a woman of most abandoned character, and charges her with having carried on an incestuous intrigue with her brother Publius. (Pro Cael. 14-20, 32.) The nickname Quadrantaria was often applied to her. (Pro Cael. 26; Quint. Inst. 8.6.53.) Cicero in his letters frequently calls her Βοῶπις. (Ad Att. 2.9, 12, 14.) Either this Clodia, or her youngest sister, was alive in B. C. 44. (Ad Att. 14.8.)