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Q. Metellus Scipio1. Their canvass was conducted with the help of parties of armed ruffians, together with the most shameless and unstinted bribery. The principal supporter of Scipio and Hypsæus against Milo was P. Clodius 5. A bitter enmity had existed for some time between Clodius and Milo, on account of Cicero's friendship for the latter, and the activity displayed by Milo in promoting the orator's recall from banishment, [B. c. 57]. So great was the hostility between them, that they had often come to blows within the city at the head of their respective clubs, each of them being a match for the other in audacity, though Milo had the advantage of fighting for the better cause. Clodius was himself aspiring to a prætorship in 52, and therefore had an additional motive for opposing Milo, whose elevation to the consulate in the same year would greatly thwart the execution of his own designs. The meetings of the comitia for the election of consuls had been long protracted, and at last rendered quite impracticable by the scandalous contests of the candidates; so that there were neither consuls nor prætors in the month of January [B. C. 52]. In the meantime Milo made strenuous endea
banished for bribery during his canvass for the consulate.
4 Q. Metellus Pius Scipio was prosecuted for bribery together with Hypsæus, but escaped conviction through the influence of Pompeius. On the first of August, B. C. 52, he became the colleague of Pompeius in the consulate, to whose cause he attached himself in the civil war. He was finally defeated by Cæsar at the battle of Thapsus in Africa, B. c. 46. In endeavouring to escape to Spain, his squadron was overpowered by the fleet of P. Sittius, in consequence of which he stabbed himself, and leaped into the sea.
5 P. Clodius Pulcher was a member of the Claudian family, and de
vours to obtain a final decision in his favour, and seemed to be on the eve of success. He was supported by the better class of citizens on account of his resistance to Clodius, and by the populace, because he had won them over to his side by bribes, dramatic exhibitions, and costly shows of gladiators, on which, as Cicero intimates, he had squandered no less than three fortunes. The policy of his opponents, on the other hand, had been to cause as much delay as possible; and consequently the customary motion for convoking the patrician members of the senate to appoint an Interrex was defeated by Pompeius, who was son-in-law to Scipio, and T. Munatius Plancus 1o, a tribune of the Plebs.
3 While matters were in this condition, Milo left the city on the twentieth of January (for I adopt the date mentioned in the speech, as agreeing with the registers, rather than that given by Fenestella 11, who says it was on the nineteenth) for his native town Lanuvium, of which he was dictator, in order to nominate a Flamen on the following day 12. He was met about two o'clock in the after
7 See Notes on ch. 35. § 95. In the year B. C. 54 Cicero thus writes to his brother Quintus: Angit unus Milo: sed velim finem afferat consulatus; in quo enitar non minus quam sum enisus in nostro...De quo cetera (nisi plane vis eripuerit) recte sunt: de re familiari timeo:
Ὁ δὲ μαίνεται οὐκέτ ̓ ἀνεκτώς, qui ludos H. S. ccci. comparet.' Ad Q. F. III. 9.
8 The duty of the Interrex was to hold the comitia for the election of consuls, when the consuls had been unable to do so in their own year of office. A fresh one was appointed every five days until the consuls were elected. Plebeians were not eligible to this post, and consequently only the patrician members of the senate took part in the election of Interreges. (See Liv. IV. 43; Cic. pro Domo, c. 14. § 38).
9 Cnæus Pompeius married Cornelia, the daughter of Metellus Scipio, after the death of Julia.
10 T. Munatius Plancus Bursa was brought to trial at the close of his tribunate, for the part he took in the burning of the Curia Hostilia, Cicero being his accuser. He was condemned, and afterwards joined Cæsar at Ravenna. Cicero, in a letter to M. Marius, says that the condemnation of Plancus gave him greater pleasure than the death of Clodius. Ad Fam. VII. 2.
11 A Roman annalist in the reign of Augustus. A few fragments remain of his work entitled Annales. It is frequently referred to by Ascoffius, Plinius the naturalist, and Aulus Gellius.
12 See Notes on chap. 10. § 27. According to Appian, Milo retired
noon by Clodius, just beyond Bovilla 13, near the spot on which the chapel of Bona Dea14 stands. The latter was returning from Aricia 15, after an interview with the councillors 16 of that town, on horseback, and accompanied by nearly thirty slaves wearing swords, and in other respects equipped for fighting, according to the practice of travellers at that period 17. Clodius had also three friends with him, one of whom was a Roman knight named C. Cassinius Schola 18, and the other two, whose names were P. Pomponius and C. Clodius, were plebeians of obscure family. Milo was riding in a travelling carriage with his wife Fausta, daughter of L. Sulla the dictator, and his friend M. Fufius. They were followed by a large body of slaves, some of whom were gladiators, two notorious ones named Eudamus and Birria being of the number. The latter, who were in the rear and going rather slowly, picked a quarrel with the slaves of Clodius, who, on looking round at the affray with an air of defiance, was run through the shoulder by Birria with a rapier 19. A fight ensued; and some more of Milo's party ran up to the spot. Clodius was carried, wounded, into a tavern 20 in the district of Bovillæ. Hearing this, and feeling that, if he lived, the occurrence would be even then attended with some danger to himself, but that
from Rome disgusted at the delays which had taken place, and the treachery of Pompeius: βαρυθυμῶν ὁ Μίλων, ὡς καὶ περὶ αὐτὸν ἀπίστου γιγνομένου τοῦ Πομπηΐου, ἐς τὴν πατρίδα Λανούβιον ἐξήει. Bell. Civ. II.20.
13 About twelve miles from Rome. Cicero in a letter to Atticus, written B. C. 51, facetiously speaks of this rencontre as 'the battle of Bovilla' (post pugnam Bovillanam); ad Att. v. 14. § 1.
14 See Notes on chap. 31. § 86. 15 See Notes on chap. 19. § 51. 16 decuriones. The decuriones of a municipal town in the provinces corresponded to the Roman senate.
17 As Niebuhr has observed, 'just as our nobles used to travel in the 16th and 17th centuries.' Lectures, Vol. II. p. 44.
18 See chap. 17. § 46.
19 humerum rhomphea trajecit : ἐπάταξεν ἐς τὸ μετάφρενον ξιφιδίῳ. Appian, B. C. 11. 21. The precise nature of the weapon called 'rhomphæa' is not known, but it was probably a short sword with a double edge, that could be used for thrusting as well as cutting.
20 Καὶ τὸν μὲν αἵματι ῥεόμενον ἐς τὸ πλήσιον πανδοκεῖον ὁ ἱππόκομος ἐσέφερεν. Αppian.
it would be a great relief to him if Clodius were killed, even though he himself had to suffer for it, Milo ordered him to be hunted out of the tavern 21. M. Fustenus led on the slaves of Milo; and by this means Clodius was dragged forth from his hiding-place, and despatched with several wounds 22. His corpse was left in the road, as the slaves of Clodius were either killed, or in concealment and severely wounded. A senator named Sextus Tedius, who happened to be returning to the city from the country, picked it up, and ordered it to be conveyed to Rome in his own palanquin, while he himself returned to the place from which he had come. The body of Clodius arrived at Rome before seven o'clock in the evening, and after it had been placed in the hall of his house, was surrounded by crowds of slaves and the lowest rabble, who loudly expressed their sorrow for his fate. His wife Fulvia 23 also inflamed the bad passions excited on the occasion by profuse demonstrations of grief, while displaying his wounds to the populace. At daybreak on the following day a still larger crowd of people of the same class poured in, and several persons of distinction were crushed to death, amongst others a senator named C. Vibienus 24. I may mention that the house of Clodius
21 Or, perhaps, 'ordered the tavern to be cleared,' if we retain the common reading, 'exturbari tabernam, which Madvig has altered on conjecture into 'exturbari taberna,' with the remark,' quasi taberna latitans ejicienda fuerit.'
22 Comp. App. 11. 21: ò dè Mixcov μετὰ τῶν θεραπόντων ἐπιστὰς ἔτι ἔμπνουν ἢ καὶ νεκρὸν ἐπανεῖλεν, ὑποκρινόμενος μὲν οὐ βουλεῦσαι τὸν φόνον οὐδὲ προστάξαι· ὡς δὲ κινδυνεύσων ἐξάπαντος, ἠξίου τὸ ἔργον οὐκ ἀτελὲς καταλιπεῖν. See also Dion Cass. XL. 48. Cicero himself admits in a letter to Atticus (written B. C. 57), that Milo would not then have hesitated to kill Clodius with his
own hands, if he had come in his way: 'si se inter viam obtulerit, occisum iri ab ipso Milone video: non dubitat facere; præ se fert; casum illum nostrum (i.e. banishment) non extimescit;' ad Att. IV. 3. The brevity and vagueness of Cicero's own account of the matter in his speech (chap. 10) leaves the impression that he could not venture to be more particular without injury to his cause.
23 The same unamiable lady who afterwards, as the wife of M. Antonius the triumvir, is said to have pierced the tongue of Cicero with a needle, when his head was exposed to public view.
24 See chap. 14. § 37.
was on the Palatine Hill, and had been purchased by him from M. Scaurus a few months before. Two tribunes of the plebs, Munatius Plancus, brother of the orator L. Plancus 25, and Q. Pompeius Rufus 26, Sulla's grandson by his daughter, hastened thither, and at their instigation the mob conveyed the body to the Forum (with nothing on but shoes 27, just as it had been laid on the bed naked, in order that the wounds might be seen), and exposed it on the Rostra. A meeting took place, at which Plancus and Pompeius, who took the part of Scipio and Hypsæus, heaped odium on Milo. The people, headed by a clerk 28 named Sextus Clodius, then carried the corpse into the Senate-house 29, and burnt it with the benches, tables, desks, and manuscripts which they found there; by which means the Senate-house itself was set on fire, together with the Porcian Basilica 30 next door to it. The same mob proceeded to attack the house of the Interrex M. Lepidus 31, (who had been appointed a superior magistrate), and also that of
25 L. Munatius Plancus took an active part in the civil war on the side of Cæsar; he was one of Cicero's correspondents (see ad Fam. x. 1—24); and Horace addressed to him the ode (1.7.) commencing 'Laudabunt alii, &c.' Nothing is known of him as an
26 Q. Pompeius Rufus, son of Cornelia, the daughter of Sulla, was afterwards impeached de vi by Cælius, and condemned.
27 calceatum. The reading here is uncertain. Orelli marks caldatum as corrupt, and proposes calcatum= oblitum cruore et luto in the speech, § 86. Calceatum is adopted by Manutius.
28 scriba. He was probably descended from a freedman of the Claudian house. Clodius had employed him when tribune in drawing up the laws which he proposed. Comp.
speech, § 33. He was afterwards brought to trial and condemned.
29 Comp. App. B.C. 11. 21: άржάσαντες δ ̓ αὐτὸ (τὸ σῶμα τῶν τε δημάρχων ἔνιοι καὶ οἱ φίλοι τοῦ Κλω δίου καὶ πλῆθος ἄλλο σὺν ἐκείνοις ἐς τὸ βουλευτήριον ἐκόμισαν, εἴτε ἐπὶ τιμῇ, βουλευτικοῦ γένους ὄντα, εἴτε εἰς ὄνειδος τῆς βουλῆς τοιάδε περιοpoons. See Notes on chap. 33. § 90.
30 So called from the censor M. Porcius Cato. Liv. XXXIX. 44.
31 M. Æmilius Lepidus, who afterwards became a triumvir. He had refused to hold the comitia for the election of consuls, on the ground that it was not usual for the first Interrex to do so; which gave offence to the Clodian mob. Domum ejus per omnes interregni dies... obsederunt. Deinde, omni vi janua expugnata, et imagines majorum dejecerunt, et lectulum adversum uxoris ejus Cornelia