Notes to Cicero, Pro Caelio 33-34

ipsa = Clodia. Throughout this section Cicero, lawyer for Caelius' defense, does not mention Clodia's name. Instead he uses demonstrative pronouns (see the text for ipsa, ista) which the jurors correctly interpret. In this way he verbally "points" at Clodia, who is involved in two of the five counts being brought against Caelius (see below), and singles her out for juror consideration, while at the same time avoiding the public insult of an elite matrona.

prius, adverb
in advance, beforehand, first.

utrum, adverb
whether; taken with an (or), it introduces alternative indirect questions.

severe, adverb
sternly, strictly.

graviter, adverb
seriously, severely.

prisce, adverb
in an old fashioned way, in the manner of ancient times.

malo, malle, malui
prefer; present subjunctive in indirect question. The subject is Clodia.

remisse adverb
mildly, light-heartedly.

leniter, adverb
gently, kindly.

urbane, adverb
in a refined way, in a civilized manner. In fact, Cicero has it both ways.

mos, moris m.
manner, custom; more is ablative of manner with illo austero.

inferus, -a, -um
below, of the lower world, infernal; inferi (m. pl.) the dead, those below.

excito (1)
rouse, call up, raise, stir up, set in motion; aliquis is the subject of excitandus est, passive periphrastic with dative of agent mihi.

barbatus, -a,-um
bearded; a reference to Roman males in previous generations who wore a long, full beard like King Numa's (click on the SPQR at the end of the line; also see barba).

barbula, -ae f.
little beard; ablative of quality with hac. The diminutive at once describes and belittles young men of the day like Clodius and Catiline, who wore short beards; the fashion for mature men at this period was to be clean shaven.

qua: relative pronoun (antecedent barbula), ablative feminine singular; ista (Clodia) is the subject of delectatur.

horridus, -a, -um
bristling, wild, unkempt.

quam: relative pronoun, accusative, feminine, singular; the antecedent is horrida [barba].

imago, -inis f.
likeness, image, statue, representation. The imagines were masks of dead ancestors made of wax and stored in the atrium of elite Roman houses (click on the SPQR to see an aristocrat posing with his ancestor masks). The masks were carried or worn by impersonators in family funeral processions (see Polybius 6.53.4; also Public Display: Imagines).

qui: relative pronoun (antecedent aliquis) which introduces a relative clause of purpose in which qui substitutes for ut.

obiurgo (1)
scold, rebuke, reprimand; obiurget is a present subjunctive in a relative clause of purpose. As Roman law during the Republic (see Companion: Hispala Faecenia) left the control of women and the punishment of their misbehavior to their male kin (see patria potestas), Cicero invokes ancient tradition by calling Clodia’s stern ancestor to deal with her, thus denying her freedom from male oversight.

suscenseo, suscensere, suscensui + dative
be angry or indignant with, bear a grudge; suscenseat is the present subjunctive in a negative purpose clause (introduced by ne); the object and subject are juxtaposed (mihi illa), in effect making Cicero the prosecutor and Clodia the defendant against a charge of infamia.

exsisto, exsistere, exstiti, --
come forward, come into view, rise up from the dead; exsistat is a jussive subjunctive. The subject is aliquis.

ac potissimum: and especially, and in particular.

Caecus=the Blind one, Appius Claudius (censor 312, consul 307 and 296 BCE). He built the Via Appia and Rome’s first aqueduct, the Aqua Appia (312 BCE); he persuaded the Senate to reject the peace treaty with Tarentum offered by Pyrrhus (see below). Cicero’s playful impersonation of Clodia’s ancestor (prosopopoeia) was in the spirit of the Ludi Megalenses (the festival of the Magna Mater, ongoing during the trial, April 3-4), which the jurors were missing in order to hear this case.

ille: that famous, that venerable. Note that Cicero refers to Clodia’s male and female ancestors by name together with the modifying ille/illa, meaning “that famous” (Caecus ille, Q. illa Claudia, virgo illa Vestalis Claudia), while she herself is the object of scrutiny (illa/ista).

minimus, -a, -um, superlative of minor
smallest, least.

profecto, adverb
undoubtedly, assuredly.

si : introduces the protasis of a future more vivid condition with exstiterit (future perfect active indicative).

Marcus Caelius Rufus was born in 82 BCE into the wealthy plebeian gens Caelia. When he assumed the toga virilis in 66, he was entrusted by his father to Cicero and Marcus Crassus for his education and training. Having successfully prosecuted a case against Cicero’s client in 59, he rented a house on the Palatine, where he met the beautiful, intelligent mature widow Clodia. They began an affair that ended in 57 when Caelius left her. In 56 Caelius was charged with five counts of vis (political violence), two of which involved Clodia, from which Cicero successfully defended him.

adulescentulus, -a, -um
very youthful, quite young. The diminutive form at once identifies Caelius as much younger than Clodia.

alienus, -a, -um
belonging to someone else, not one’s own; i.e. someone who is not Clodia’s husband or relative and therefore inappropriate for her to associate with.

familiaris, -e
intimate, friendly.

commodo (1)
lend, provide, supply, give; commodares is an imperfect subjunctive in a result clause introduced by tam.

aurum…venenum: gold and poison are identified by Cicero (Pro Caelio 30) as the two charges (duo crimina) of the five in the case against Caelius that are specifically linked to Clodia.

patruus, patrui m.
paternal uncle.

avus, -i m.

proavus, -i m.

abavus, -i m.

atavus, -i m.
great-great-great grandfather; while acknowledging the greatness of the patrician gens Claudia, Cicero undercuts its advantage for Clodia by showing her noble ancestor’s displeasure with her.

audieras = audiveras (syncopated pluperfect active indicative < audio), followed by the perfect infinitive fuisse (< sum) in indirect statement.

consul, consulis m.

modo, adverb
lately, just now, recently.

te Q. Metelli: note how the word order echoes her proper status without naming her: Clodia Metelli (Clodia wife of Metellus); Cicero’s placement of te beside her husband’s name emphasizes his continued claim on her person and the propriety of their bonded union even beyond death. However, Q. Metelli belongs grammatically with matrimonium.

Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer, a descendant of one of Rome’s most ancient and distinguished families, the plebeian gens Caecilia, and elder cousin to Clodia, was an extremely conservative senator. He served as urban praetor in 63, supporting Cicero against Catiline; as consul in 60 he opposed Pompey and disapproved of the politics of his wife’s brother Clodius (see Pro Caelio 60). His death in 59 was rumored to have been caused by poison administered by (see Pro Caelio 59-60) his wife Clodia.

tenuisse: perfect active infinitive in indirect statement; the tense reminds the jurors of Metellus’ death in 59 BCE.

clarissimus, -a, -um (superlative of clarus)
most distinguished, most celebrated; clarissimi modifies viri, in apposition to Q. Metelli (likewise fortissimi and amantissimi). The superlatives emphasize Metellus’ distinction.

simul ac = simul atque
as soon as.

limen, -inis n.
threshold, doorway.

efferro, efferre, extuli, elatum
bring out, carry out, lift, raise; followed by the accusative and dative.

prope, adverb
nearly, almost.

supero (1)
rise above; surpass; outdo; omnis…civis = omnes…cives, direct object of superabat.

cum (here adv.)
when; it introduces a circumstantial cum clause with the pluperfect subjunctive nupsisses.

amplissimus, -a,-um (superlative of amplus)
most eminent, most illustrious.

nubo, nubere, nupsi, nuptum
marry, be married to; the verb is used principally in reference to women.

coniunctus, -a, -um
connected, intimate, related; Cicero plays on the similarity of this word to coniunx consort, both derived from coniungo to join together, unite.

cognatus, -a, -um
related, kindred; translate as a substantive blood-relative, with eratne (Caelius) understood.

adfinis, -e
related by marriage; here translate as substantive relation by marriage.

familiaris, -e
intimate, friendly; here translate as substantive a close friend, nominative singular with viri tui in the genitive. Cicero’s point is that the only appropriate male friend of a matrona is her husband’s.

temeritas, -tatis f.
recklessness, rashness, boldness.

libido, -inis f.
lust, desire, passion. Cicero moves beyond innuendo to direct accusation of immoral behavior, made possible because the charge is launched through Clodia’s ancestor Caecus.

nonne, adverb
not? (expects the answer “yes”).

ne…quidem: not even.

progenies, progeniei f.
descendant, offspring.

Claudia Quinta is featured in Ovid’s Fasti 4.293-328; 343-344 (see Worlds of Roman Women, p. 119) and in Livy, Ab Urbe Condita 29.14.10-14; the tombstone altar of a later descendant, Claudia Syntyche, a priestess of Magna Mater (1st century CE), preserves an illustration (click on the SPQR for a Renaissance version). In 204 BCE, the Romans, in response to an oracle, brought the ancient statue of the Magna Mater to Rome from Asia. Her boat was to be escorted up the Tiber from the sea by the elite matrons of the city, but it became mired in the mud at Ostia and could not be moved. Claudia, whose reputation was suspect, took the ship’s rope and prayed to the goddess to follow her if in fact she was pure; the ship floated up the Tiber accompanying Claudia, thus confirming her chastity. Cicero’s choice of this story may have been prompted by the festival in honor of Cybele going on in Rome, but he clearly does not fear that the goddess Cybele will absolve Clodia.

aemula, -ae f.
female rival, female competitor; agrees with te, the object of commovebant and admonebat.

admoneo, -ere, -ui, -itum
remind, advise, suggest, warn.

virgo, -inis f.
virgin, maiden.

Vestalis, -e
of or pertaining to Vesta (goddess of the hearth; click on the SPQR for a coin image of Vesta). Vestals performed a significant role in Roman public life, in religion, politics and economics. They represented elite families, they were sacrosanct, and they were free of paternal authority. They had seats of honor at public entertainments, were prominent in ritual processions, held property, and could marry at the end of their 30 year service (see Parker article).

Claudia, daughter of Appius Claudius Pulcher (consul 143 BCE), a Vestal Virgin, defended her father from physical attack, thus emulating his virtue and courage on the battlefield. Cicero contrasts her to Clodia, whose misbehavior disgraces her distinguished father, Appius Claudius Pulcher (consul 79 BCE).

complector, complecti, complexus/a sum
embrace, seize, grasp, cling to; complexa, perfect participle from a deponent verb, is active.

triumpho (1)
celebrate a triumph, have a triumphal procession; patrem…triumphantem is the object of complexa. Note the interlocking word order quae patrem complexa triumphantem that iconically represents Claudia’s saving embrace.

tribunus, -i m.
tribune; Republican magistracies included 10 tribunes of the people (tribunus plebei), elected for one year from the plebeian class, to voice and protect popular concerns (see Roman government). This story may also be aimed at Clodius, who changed his patrician status to plebeian in order to run for this office.

currus, us m.

detraho, -ere, -traxi, -tractum
pull down; draw off; take away.

patior, pati, passus sum
suffer, allow, endure; the subject of passa est is quae.

fraternus, -a, -um
fraternal, of or belonging to a brother. It was well known that Clodia placed her brother Clodius’ career before her husband’s (see also ad Atticum. II.1.5), an alliance Hallett (1984) and Dixon (1992) argued that elite women tended to forge with their brothers and sons.

vitium, -ii n.
vice, fault, crime, offense, failing. While Cicero’s hostility to Clodius was well known, Clodius was notorious for his moral and political violence.

potius quam: more than.

paternus, -a, -um
paternal, of or pertaining to a father; the bona of her ancestors, opposed to Clodius’s vitia, might best be translated good deeds or good qualities.

avitus, -a, -um
of or pertaining to a grandfather.

usque, adverb
continuously, constantly, persistently.

cum…tum: correlatives
not onlybut also.

repeto, -ere, -ivi/ii, -itum
recall; trace; repeat, followed by a(b) nobis.

ideone = ideo adverb + ne.
for that reason, therefore, on that account. Cicero ends Caecus’ speech with explosive stylistics: a rhetorical question in three balanced periods, each beginning with ideo followed by a purpose construction introduced by ut (anaphora); emphatic personal pronouns in the nominative case (ego, three instances of tu); alliteration (pacem Pyrrhi, foedera ferires, aquam adduxi, comitata celebrares); assonance (Pyrrhi diremi, amorum turpissimorum, alienis viris).

Pyrrhus: Greek king of Epirus who led Tarentum in a war against Rome (280-275 BCE; click on the SPQR for a portrait head of the general). Caecus persuaded the Senate to reject his proposal for peace and ultimately, having won the battles but lost the war, Pyrrhus left.

dirimo, -ere, diremi, diremptum
break up, end, part, separate.

turpissimus, -a, -um (superlative of turpis)
most disgraceful, most indecent, most shameful.

cotidie, adverb
every day, daily.

foedus, -eris n.
agreement, treaty, pact, bond.

ferio, ferire
strike, hit; foedus ferire= to strike a treaty, to strike an agreement or bargain; ferires is the imperfect subjunctive in a purpose clause introduced by ut. Cicero uses the phrase ambiguously to refer to Caecus’ tearing up of the peace treaty of Pyrrhus and, with the addition of amorum turpissimorum, Clodia’s illicit affairs.

inceste, adverb
unchastely, impurely, profanely.

utor, uti, usus sum + ablative (ea= aquam)
use, employ; uterere = utereris, the imperfect subjunctive in another purpose clause introduced by ut.

munio, -ire, -ii, -itum
build; fortify, strengthen. Click on the SPQR for a view of a short stretch of the famous Appian Way that is still used today by his Roman descendents.

comito (1)
accompany, attend, follow; comitata is the perfect passive participle modifying tu and is followed by an instrumental ablative (alienis viris).

celebro (1)
frequent, crowd, inhabit; eam (=viam) is the direct object of celebrares, the imperfect subjunctive in a third purpose clause introduced by ut. Cicero’s overall message is clear: while Clodia’s male and female ancestors all served Rome, Clodia serves only her worst appetites.

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