Clodia Metelli: The Tribunes Sister

Paperback | January 26, 2011

byMarilyn B. Skinner

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Clodia Metelli: The Tribune's Sister is the first full-length biography of a Roman aristocrat whose colorful life, as described by her contemporaries, has inspired numerous modern works of popular fiction, art, and poetry. Clodia, widow of the consul Metellus Celer, was one of severalprominent females who made a mark on history during the last decades of the Roman Republic. As the eldest sister of the populist demagogue P. Clodius Pulcher, she used her wealth and position to advance her brother's political goals. For that she was brutally reviled by Clodius' enemy, the orator M. Tullius Cicero, in a speech painting her as a scheming, debauched whore. Clodia may alsohave been the alluring mistress celebrated in the love poetry of Catullus, whom he calls "Lesbia" in homage to Sappho and depicts as beautiful, witty, but also false and corrupt. From Cicero's letters, finally, we receive glimpses of a very different woman, a great lady at her leisure. This study examines Clodia in the contexts of her family background, the societal expectations for a woman of her rank, and the turbulent political climate in which she operated. It weighs the value of the several kinds of testimony about her and attempts to extract a picture as faithful tohistorical truth as possible. The manner in which Clodia was represented in writings of the period, and the motives of their authors in portraying her as they did, together shed considerable light on the role played by female figures in Roman fiction and historiography.

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Clodia Metelli: The Tribune's Sister is the first full-length biography of a Roman aristocrat whose colorful life, as described by her contemporaries, has inspired numerous modern works of popular fiction, art, and poetry. Clodia, widow of the consul Metellus Celer, was one of severalprominent females who made a mark on history during ...

Marilyn B. Skinner is Professor of Classics at the University of Arizona.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:January 26, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195375017

ISBN - 13:9780195375015

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsAbbreviationsAcknowledgmentsGenealogies of Clodia Metelli and Her SiblingsMapsIntroduction1. Cicero as a Biographical Source2. The Gens Claudia3. Women and Wealth4. The Claudii Pulchri5. The Metelli6. Palatine Medea7. LesbiaAfterword: A Woman in a Man's WorldEndnotesWorks Cited