"A soul filled with grime and smut. This notorious gambler, seducer and drunkard of Rome, left a repulsive trail of rot in her wake."
Clodia, born Claudia Pulchra ("Claudia the Beautiful"), was the wife of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer and sister of Publius Clodius Pulcher, a wealthy politician and first husband of Fulvia. Although born a patrician, she and her brother took on the plebeian equivalent of their names in honor of the lower social classes that Clodius championed, and her name was changed from Claudia to Clodia.
Clodia was married to her cousin Metellus, with whom she had a daughter. However, she had multiple affairs with other men, from her husband's best friend to their own slaves. She was later suspected of poisoning Metellus due to her hatred of him.
When she had another affair with a friend of the poet Catullus, it created a public scandal. In retaliation, Clodia levied a charge of attempted murder against her lover. During the trial, the rhetorician Cicero, an enemy of Clodia's family, condemned her as a whore, a gambler and a drunk, even accusing her of seducing her own brother. Due to his scathing words, Clodia's lover was acquitted. Nothing was known about her later life or death, but she was immortalized in Catullus's poem, Lesbia.
"Cicero and Catullus are both appalled by my lavishness!"
"Cicero writes that I am damaging the moral fiber of Rome. Ha ha!"
"Listen Catullus, there is nothing wrong with extravagance!"
"My largesse is due to the stinginess of my father!"
"I live only for eating, drinking, and spending money!"
"I'm ravenous! Have the servants prepare another banquet!"
"I grew up deprived of luxury!"
"I choose excess openly! They hide theirs!"
"'A slave to my appetites'? I think not, dear Cicero!"
"They are all hypocrites!"
"I earned the hatred of Rome for indulging myself."
*Grabbed by Dante* "I shared everything I had with those less fortunate than me!"
*Grabbed by Dante* "I have shamed my noble ancestors."
*Absolved by Dante* "Blessed mercy..."
"No please! I could-" *Slain by Dante*
- Clodia is not to be confused with Clodia Pulchra, her niece and the daughter of Fulvia and Publius Clodius Pulcher, with whom she shares a name.
- She is mentioned by her sister-in-law, Fulvia, when Dante finds the latter in The Fourth Circle.