Description[edit | edit source]
"A soul filled with grime and smut. This notorious gambler, seducer and drunkard of Rome, left a repulsive trail of rot in her wake."
History[edit | edit source]
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.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- 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.