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Clodia Metelli : The Tribune's Sister - Marilyn B. Skinner

Clodia Metelli

The Tribune's Sister

Hardcover Published: 24th February 2011
ISBN: 9780195375008
Number Of Pages: 224

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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 several prominent 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 also have 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 to historical 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.

"The book is well-presented and well-written, with an image in each chapter, easily accessible sections and sub-sections within the chapters. As an early volume in the Women in Antiquity series, it has set the tone for future biographies of other key women." --Bryn Mawr Classical Review "Skinner, one of the most sophisticated and accomplished classical scholars today, is the perfect person to write the first full-length biography of Clodia Metelli. This is a careful, impeccably documented biography that confronts directly the political context of Clodia's life, explores Roman attitudes toward wealthy, sexually adventuresome women and deals effectively with the primarily hostile sources for her life. Scholars and students alike will find this biography as interesting for its content as for a model of persuasive scholarship. Essential." --CHOICE

List of Illustrations Abbreviations Acknowledgments Genealogies of Clodia Metelli and Her Siblings Maps Introduction Chapter One: Cicero as a Biographical Source Chapter Two: The Gens Claudia Chapter Three: Women and Wealth Chapter Four: The Claudii Pulchri Chapter Five: The Metelli Chapter Six: Palatine Medea Chapter Seven: Lesbia Afterword: A Woman in a Man's World Endnotes Works Cited

ISBN: 9780195375008
ISBN-10: 0195375009
Series: Women in Antiquity
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 24th February 2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 16.51  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.46