tr. John Paul Adams
[copyright 1996]

[p. 30 Clark (OCT Asconius); 26 KS ]

[Cicero] delivered this oration in the year in which Pompeius was consul for the third time [52 B.C.], on the 7th day before the Ides of April [April 7] . While the court was in session, an army was stationed by Cnaeus Pompeius in the Forum and in all the temples which are located around the Forum We know this not just from the oration itself and the circumstances of those years, but in particular from the book which was published under Cicero's name called de optimo genere oratorum [52 B.C.].


Titus Annius Milo [Papianus], Publius Plautius Hypsaeus, and Quintus Metellus Scipio sought the consulship [in 53, for 52] not only by spreading largesse openly but also accompanied by crews of armed men. There was the greatest possible personal hostility between Milo and Clodius, both because Milo was very close to Cicero and he had used his weight as tribune of the plebs in bringing Cicero back from exile; and because Publius Clodius was exceedingly hostile to Cicero once he had been brought back and was on that account very zealously supporting the candidacies of Hypsaeus and Scipio. Milo and Clodius also often engaged in violence with each other with their gangs in Rome. The chutzpah was equally outrageous on both sides, but Milo generally took the side of the `better interests'. Besides that, in the same year Milo decided to stand for the consulship, and Clodius for the Praetorship (which he knew perfectly well would be less influential, if Milo were consul). In addition, when the electoral assemblies for consul went on for a long time, and were not able to produce a winner due to the very same riotous activities of the candidates, [p. 31 C; 27 KS] and for that reason in the month of January there were no consuls and no praetors at all, while the assemblies were being drug out just exactly as before--though Milo wanted the election to be completed as quickly as possible and was expecting that they would be thanks to the efforts of the aristocracy because he was standing in the way of Clodius, and also in the way of the populus on account of the `gifts' which had been showered on them and the staggeringly huge costs of the theatrical spectacles and gladiatorial fight (on which Cicero remarks he had poured out three patrimonies).

His competitors wanted to drag things out, and so for that reason Pompeius, the son-in-law of [Metellus] Scipio, and Titus Munatius [Plancus] tribune of the people had not allowed the question to be brought before the Senate as to the summoning of the Patricians to choose an Interrex, although a decree had been passed to name an interrex--on January 18 (the Decree and the oration itself, which agrees with the decree, ought to be followed as to the date, I think, rather than Fenestella, who gives January 17); on that day Milo made his official departure for Lanuvium, of which town he was at the time Dictator [chief magistrate ], for the purpose of choosing a flamen on the next day.

Clodius, who was returning from Aricia (he had been addressing the Town Council of Aricia), ran into him around 3 p.m. a little beyond Bovillae, near the place where the shrine of the Bona Dea is located. Clodius was riding a horse. Approximately 30 mounted slaves carrying swords were following him, as was the custom at the time with people making a trip. Clodius also had three travelling companions with him: a Roman knight Caius Causinius Schola and two well-known plebeians Publius Pomponius and Caius Clodius. Milo was being carried in a carriage with his wife Fausta, the daughter of Lucius Cornelius Sulla the Dictator, and with his close friend Marcus Fufius. [p. 32 C = 28 KL] A large contingent of slaves accompanied them, including gladiators; two of them were the famous Eudamus and Birria. These were riding at the end of the column and made a charge on the slaves of Clodius. When Clodius looked back at this disturbance with a threatening aspect, Birria wounded his shoulder with a thrust. Thereupon, when the battle had been begun, several of Milo's men rushed up. The wounded Clodiuswas carried to the nearest wineshop, in Bovillae. When Milo heard that Clodius had been wounded, while he realized that things would be even more dangerous for himself if Clodius were to survive, but, with him dead, he would have considerable peace of mind, even if he had to undergo some sort of punishment, he ordered him to be hustled out of the inn. Marcus Saufeius identified [Clodius] in advance to [Milo's] slaves. And so Clodius, though in hiding, was drug out and done away with, with many wounds. His dead body was left at the side of the road, because Clodius' slaves either had already been killed or were themselves in hiding with serious wounds. Sextus Teidius, a Senator, who by chance was making his return to the city from the countryside, picked it up and ordered it to be carried to Rome in his own sedan. He himself went back to where he had started from.

Clodius' corpse was brought back before 6:00 p.m., and a very large crowd of the lowest class of plebs and of slaves, with great lamentation, took up their positions around the corpse, when it was placed in the atrium of his house. Fulvia, the wife of Clodius, added to the appalling nature of the deed, however, when she kept pointing out his wounds, while pouring out her grief. Next day, at dawn, an even greater crowd of the same composition assembled, and several gentlemen of note were seen. The house of Clodius, on the Palatine, had been bought a few months earlier from Marcus Scaurus: there came to this place Titus Munatius Plancus (the brother of the speechifier Lucius Plancus) and Quintus Pompeius Rufus (the grandson of Sulla the Dictator through his daughter), the tribunes [p. 33 C] of the plebs. At the urging of these men, the common people carried down into the Forum and placed on the Rostra Clodius' nude and barefoot body, unprepared for burial, just as it had been put into the sedan, so that the wounds could be seen.

[29 KS] There, in front of a public meeting, Plancus and Pompeius, who were partisans of Milo's electoral opponents, roused hatred against Milo. Under the direction of Sextus Clodius the scriba, the Populus carried the corpse of Publius Clodius into the Senate House and cremated it, using the benches and risers and tables and books of the stenographers; thanks to this fire the Curia itself also burned down, and also the Basilica Porcia, which was attached to it, was fired. Also that same Clodian multitude attacked the residence of Marcus [Aemilius] Lepidus, the interrex, for he had been named the curule magistrate, and the absent Milo's too, but they were driven off from there by arrows. Then the crowd brought the fasces which had been snatched from the grove of Libitina to the residence of Scipio and of Hypsaeus, and then to the gardens of Cnaeus Pompeius, shouting repeatedly that he should be (if he wished) consul, or (if he preferred) dictator.

The burning down of the Senate House raised a greater indignation by far in the city than the slaughter of Clodius. And so Milo, whom general opinion believed to have gone into exile, encouraged by the hatred toward his adversaries returned to Rome the night that the Senate House had burned down. And not in the least deterred, he began to campaign for the consulship. Quite openly he gave to individuals tribe by tribe thousands of asses. After some days Marcus Caelius, tribune of the plebs, turned over a public meeting to him, and Cicero himself also supported his cause to the populus. Both of them kept saying that an assassination plot had been laid for Milo by Clodius.

Meanwhile one interrex succeeded another, because the electoral assemblies for consuls [p. 34 C] were not able to be held thanks to the same disorders on the part of the candidates and the same armed bands. And so, first of all, a Decree of the Senate was passed, ordering the interrex and the tribunes of the plebs and Cnaeus Pompeius (who was right outside the City as proconsul) `to see to it that the Republic should suffer no harm', and that Pompeius should hold a military recruitment drive throughout the whole of Italy. When he put together a guard with extreme urgency, the two young aristocrats, [p. 30 KS] the Appius Claudius brothers, demanded in his presence that the slaves belonging to Milo and likewise those belonging to his wife Fausta be produced. These Appii were the sons of Caius Claudius, who had been the brother of Clodius, and on this account they were beginning the prosecution for the murder of their paternal uncle, in the name of their father, as it were. The two Valerii, Valerius Nepos and Valerius Leo, demanded the same slaves of Fausta and Milo. Lucius Herennius Balbus demanded the slaves of Publius Clodius too, and those of his travelling companions. At the same time Caelius demanded the slaves of Hypsaeus and of Quintus Pompeius. Quintus Hortensius, Marcus [Tullius] Cicero, Marcus [Claudius] Marcellus, Marcus Calidius, Marcus Cato, and Faustus [Cornelius] Sulla supported Milo. Quintus Hortensius spoke a few words to the effect that those persons were free men who were being demanded as though they were slaves. For immediately after the slaughter Milo had liberated them, using as his reason that they had saved his life. These affairs took up the intercalary month.

On approximately the 30th day after Clodius had been killed, Quintus Metellus Scipio complained in a meeting of the Senate against Quintus Caepio concerning this slaughter of Publius Clodius. He stated that it was a lie that Milo was defending himself, but that Clodius was accompanied by 26 slaves when he had set off to give a speech to the Town Council of Aricia. But suddenly, after 10:00 a.m., [p. 35 C] when the Senate meeting ended, Milo rushed off after him with more than 300 armed slaves, and attacked him unawares during his journey, beyond Bovillae. At that point, Publius Clodius, having suffered three wounds, was carried to Bovillae. The tavern in which he had taken refuge was attacked by Milo. Clodius was drug out semiconscious and killed on the Appian Way. His ring was pried off his finger as he lay dying. Then when Milo heard that Clodius' little son was in the Alban villa, he came to the villa, and after the boy had previously dragged off, he was asked permission by the slave Halicor to hack [Clodius] limb from limb; he strangled the steward and two servants besides. Of the slaves of Clodius who were defending their master 11 had been killed, [p. 31 KS] of Milo's only two had been wounded. On account of this, next day Milo gave freedom to 12 slaves who had taken the greatest part, and he distributed to the populus, tribe by tribe, 1000 sesterces each in order to kill the rumors about himself. Milo was said to have sent people to Pompeius who were particularly friendly to Hypsaeus because Hypsaeus had been Pompeius's quaestor to say that Milo would quit his campaign for the consulship if Pompeius thought it a good idea. Pompeius replied that he did not authorize anybody either to seek the office or to quit seeking it, and that he had no intention of interfering with the power of the Roman Populus either with his advice (consilium) or his official opinion (sententia). Then, through Caius Lucilius, who was Milo's friend because of his familiarity with Marcus Cicero, he is said to have ordered them as well not to burden him down with hostility by asking his advice about this affair.

In the midst of all this, as the rumor flew fast and thick that Cnaeus Pompeius ought to be created dictator and that the ills of the state could not otherwise be put to rest, [p. 36 C] it seemed to the optimates that it was safer for him to be named consul without colleague. When the matter had been introduced in the Senate, by an act proposed by Marcus Bibulus, Pompeius was named consul by the Interrex Servius Sulpicius on the fifth day before the 1st of March in the intercalary month. He immediately entered upon his consulship. Next, two days later, he introduced the topic of making new laws: he promulgated two laws in accordance with senatorial decree, one de vi (`on Violence') in which it remarked using names that a slaughter had taken place on the Via Appia, and the Senate House had been burned, and the house of the Interrex Marcus Lepidus had been attacked, and the other de ambitu (`On Electoral Corruption'): the penalty was to be heavier and the forms of trial briefer. For, in both cases, the law first ordered that witnesses be heard and then, on one and the same day, the summation be made both by the prosecution and the defense in such a way that two hours be allotted to the prosecution and three hours to the defense. Marcus Caelius, tribune of the plebs, who was very energetic on Milo's behalf, made an attempt to obstruct these laws because (he said) a `personal bill' was being brought against Milo and because court judgments were being anticipated. And when Caelius assailed the laws more persistently, Pompeius' annoyance reached the point that [p. 32 KS] he said that if he were to be forced into it he would defend the Republic with military force. Pompeius, as a matter of fact, either stood in fear of Milo, or was pretending that he was afraid. For the most part he did not stay at his town residence but in his Gardens, and he himself slept out of doors, in the most elevated part of the gardens, around which he also had a large guard of soldiers. Pompeius also once suddenly adjourned the Senate, because he said he was afraid of the appearance (adventum) of Milo. Then at the next meeting Publius Cornificius announced that Milo had a weapon inside his tunic strapped to his leg. He demanded that the thigh be bared, and Milo lifted his tunic without delay. At that point Marcus Cicero cried out that all the other charges which were being made against Milo were just like that one.

[p. 37C] Then Titus Munatius Plancus, tribune of the plebs, brought Marcus Aemilius Philemon, the freedman of M[arcus Aemilius] Lepidus and a well-known person, forward into the meeting. He began to say that he himself and four free persons who were making a trip with him turned up while Clodius was being killed, and on account of this, when they had made the facts known, they had been arrested and led off and held for two months in a villa belonging to Milo. That revelation, whether true or false, brought great animosity against Milo. The same Munatius and Pompeius, tribunes of the plebs, brought up to the Rostra a triumvir capitalis, and questioned him as to whether they had arrested Galata, the slave of Milo, in the process of committing murder. He replied that Galata, who was sleeping in a tavern, was arrested and brought before him. They demanded of the triumvir not to let the slave go; but on the next day Caelius, tribune of the plebs, and Manilius Cumanus his colleague, reported to Milo that the slave had been kidnapped from the residence of the triumvir. Even though Cicero makes no mention of these crimes, I thought that these matters ought to be laid out nonetheless, because I have run across them. Quintus Pompeius, Caius Sallustius and Titus Munatius, tribunes of the plebs, were in the forefront of holding meetings which were quite hostile toward Milo, and even unfriendly toward Cicero, because he was defending Milo with such vigor. The greatest part of the multitude was hostile non only toward Milo but also toward Cicero because of his defense [of Milo] which they detested. Later Pompeius and Sallustius were under suspicion of having got back into favor with Milo and Cicero; Plancus however persisted in a most hostile state and [p. 38 C] roused the multitude against Cicero too. He made Milo an object of suspicion to Pompeius, however, alleging that violence was being planned with a view toward [Pompeius'] assassination: and Pompeius on account of this rather often complained that assassination plots were being laid against himself, and openly at that, and he kept fortifying himself with a bigger guard. Plancus also repeatedly pointed out later that the day would be told to Cicero, even before Quintus Pompeius had got the same idea. Cicero's loyalty and reliability was such, however, that he was able to be frightened off from defending Milo neither by his own estrangement from the people, nor the suspicions held by Cnaeus Pompeius, nor the danger that would come upon him when a trial date was named, nor by the weapons which had been openly taken up against Milo. (He thought that) although he would be able to turn aside every danger to himself and offense to the hostile multitude, nonetheless he would be able to win back the mind of Cnaeus Pompeius, if he had held back a little in his efforts for the defense.

Once the law proposed by Pompeius had been passed--in which it had also been enacted that a Quaesitor should be appointed by vote of the people from among those who had held the office of consul--immediately the electoral assembly was held and Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus was named Quaesitor. Pompeius also proposed a list of jurors who would judge the case of such quality as was obvious had never been suggested before, either in terms of fame (clariores) or rectitude (sanctiores). Immediately after this, under the new law, Milo was indicted by the two young Appii Claudii, the same ones by whom his familia had previously been demanded; and likewise he was indicted de ambitu by these same Appii, and besides by Caius Ateius and Lucius Cornificius; he was also indicted de sodaliciis [p. 39C] by Publius Fulvius Neratus. He was indicted, however, de sodaliciis and de ambitu with the confident expectation that, because it was apparent that the first trial de vi would take place and since they believed that he was going to be convicted, he would not offer a defense later.

A selection was made between the would-be accusers in the court de ambitu, under the presidency of Aulus [Manlius] Torquatus, and both of the quaesitors, Torquatus and Domitius, ordered the defendant to be present on the 4th of April. On that day Milo appeared before the bench of Domitius, and sent friends to Torquatus'. There, with Marcus [Claudius] Marcellus speaking in his behalf he got a ruling that he would not have to take part in a proceeding de ambitu until his case de vi had been decided. At the bench of Domitius, however, Appius the Elder demanded that 54 slaves be produced by Milo, and when Milo replied that those who had been named were not under his potestas, Domitius ordered, with the advice of his jurors, that the prosecutor should bring forth as many of Milo's slaves as he wished. Witnesses were then issued summonses, according to the law which (as we noted above) orders that, before the trial is held, witness are to be heard for a three day period, the jurors are to hand in their statements under seal, on the fourth day all are ordered to appear, and in the presence of prosecutor and defendant lists (pilae) on which the names of the jurors have been inscribed are to be evened out (aequararentur); then again on the next day the selection of 81 jurors is to take place. When this number has been selected by lot, they are to take their seats (as jurors) immediately. Then the prosecutor is to have two hours to speak, and the defendant three. The case is to be decided on that same day. Before the votes are cast, however, the prosecutor may exclude five jurors from each of the ranks, and the defendant an equal number [ 15 + 15 ], so that the number of remaining jurors [p. 35 KS] who are to give their verdict is fifty-one [ 81 - 30 = 51 ].

[p. 40C] On the first day, a witness was brought against Milo, Caius Causinius Schola, who testified that he had been with Clodius when he had been killed, and he magnified the horror of the deed as greatly as he could. When Marcus Marcellus began to cross- examine him, he was so terrified by the huge outcry from the Clodian faction which was standing around that (in fear of ultimate violence) he was permitted to step up onto the magistrate's tribunal by Domitius. For that reason Marcellus and Milo himself begged for a guard from Domitius. Pompeius was in position at the Aerarium at that moment, and he had become quite disturbed by the same outcry. And so he promised Domitius that he would appear himself next day with his guard. Frightened by that prospect the Clodians allowed the testimony of the witnesses to be heard in silence for two days. Marcus Cicero and Marcus Marcellus and Milo himself asked them questions. Many of those who lived at Bovillae offered testimony concerning the events that had taken place there: that the inkeeper had been killed, the tavern besieged, the body of Clodius drug out into the public highway. The Albanae virgines of also said that an unknown woman had come to them to fulfill a vow at the instruction of Milo because Clodius had been killed. The last persons to give testimony were Sempronia, the daughter of [Sempronius] Tuditanus, the socrus of Clodius, and Fulvia, his wife; by their tears they greatly moved those who were in attendance. When the court session was recessed around 4:00 p.m., Titus Munatius exhorted the people in a public meeting to be present en masse on the next day and not allow Milo to get away, and he recalled the court session and their own gloom as they were going to present their tabellae.

On the next day, which was the last day of the trial [April 7], [p. 41C] the pubs were closed throughout the entire city; Pompeius stationed guards in the Forum and at every entrance point to the Forum; he himself took his seat in front of the Aerarium, as on the day before, surrounded by a chosen band of soldiers. The selection of the jurors from the first day was then made; after that there was such a silence in the entire Forum as had never been possible in any forum. Then just after 8 a.m. the prosecutors, Appius the Elder, Marcus Antonius, and Publius Valerius Nepos, began to speak; they spent two hours, in accordance with the law.

Marcus Cicero was the only one to reply to them, and it pleased him to defend against the charge with certain arguments, in particular that Clodius had been killed for the good of the State--Marcus Brutus followed this line of argument in the oration which he composed for Milo and published as though he had actually given it--though it was not Cicero's argument that, if somebody should be condemned for the public good he could also be killed without formalities of a judicial condemnation. And so, while the prosecutors showed that Milo had made an ambush on Clodius, Cicero proved that it was a lie--for that attack had come about by chance--and argued to the contrary, that an ambush had been set by Clodius against Milo; indeed his entire presentation focused on that point.

But it so happened, as we have stated, that the fight took place on that day without previous plan of either of them; as a matter of fact it both occurred by chance and it ultimately went as far as slaughter because of the engagement of the slaves. It was noted, however, that each had threatened death against the other, and just as (on the one hand) Milo was more suspicious than Clodius' entourage generally made out, so (on the other hand) Clodius' men had been more stripped and ready for fighting than Milo's. When Cicero began to speak, he was interrupted by the catcalls of the Clodian faction who were unable to be silenced, not even by fear of the soldiers standing around. And so he spoke without the firmness (constantia) which was his habit. That aside, there is extant his oration. As a matter of fact he wrote what we read as perfectly as it might properly have been delivered in the first place.


As I noted in the Introduction, Munatius Plancus on the day before, in a public meeting, urged the People not to allow Milo to escape.

Since Titus Munatius Plancus and Quintus Pompeius Rufus, tribunes of the plebs, of whom I spoke in the Introduction to this speech, were supporters of Scipio and Hypsaeus against Milo, they held a public meeting and stirred up the plebs against Milo at that very time when the Senate House had been burned down for the sake of the [cremation of the] body of Clodius. They did not quit until the flames from the fire forced them to flee from the meeting place. At that time the Rostra was not in the place where it now is, but at the comitium, virtually joined to the Senate House. On account of this Cicero calls Titus Munatius ambustum tribunum. He had been, however, prepared to say this.

In the middle of the second day after Clodius had been killed [January 20], the first Interrrex, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, was appointed. It was not, however, the custom that the electoral assembly should be summoned by the man who was first selected as interrex. But when the factions of Scipio and Hypsaeus, because of the recently aroused hatred of Milo, began to demand (contrary to the law) that the Interrex should summon the electoral assembly, and he would not do it, besieged his town house the whole term of his interregnum--five days, according to custom. Then they broke down the doors by force; they threw down the images of his ancestors and they broke into pieces the marriage bed, in the presence of his wife Cornelia (whose morality was held up as a model); likewise, they pulled down the weapons which decorated the atrium in accordance with a very old tradition. After these events, the gang of Milo arrived, itself demanding an electoral meeting too. Their arrival saved Lepidus: for these factions turned their hostility on each other, and thus the siege of the house of the interrex was abandoned.

Cicero does what is called `DIVIDERE SENTENTIAM', as your age thinks it ought to be termed.

When a speaker, in giving his formal opinion, weaves together two or more proposals, and if not all of them are approved of, the demand is made that the proposition be divided, that is that the question be put on each point individually and separately. Now perhaps you may wish to know as well who it was who made this demand. This is almost never recorded. For the person who makes the demand does not need to make a long formal speech, nor indeed does he even have to stand up. For many sitting there may call out this one word, DIVIDE: and when it is heard, the person who is making the proposal is free to make the division. But I, ... also checked the Acta of the entire period; in them I found that on the last day of the intercalary month a Decree of the Senate was made that the slaughter of Publius Clodius, the burning of the Curia, and the attack on the house of Marcus Lepidus were treasonous; nothing further is related in the Acta under that date; but on the next day, that is March 1, Titus Munatius revealed in a public meeting to the Populus what had been transacted in the Senate on the previous day. In that meeting he spoke the following, and I quote:

When Hortensius had said that the matter should be looked into outside of the usual procedures by a quaesitor, he thought that it would be the case that, when he had given his little drop of sweetness, they would devour bitterness abundantly: we used our talent against a talented man. We found Fufius who cried `DIVIDE'. Sallustius and I interposed our veto on the remaining part of the sententia.
This contio, I think, explains both what the Senate wanted to decree and who demanded the divisio. I don't doubt that you will remember the fact that, at the time when a decree was passed against Publius Clodius de incesto, it was brought about through Quintus Fufius that a more rigorous decree was not passed by the Senate.

Concerning Lucius Domitius he says:

He refers to the steadfastness which Lucius Domitius exemplified during his quaestorship (66 B.C.). For, at that time, when Caius Manlius, tribune of the plebs, assisted by a band of freedmen and slaves, was sponsoring a completely subversive law that the votes of the freedmen should be distributed among all the tribes, and was pushing it forward through rioting, and was besieging the Capitoline hill, Domitius had struck at and broken up the crowd in such a way that many of Manlius' supporters were killed. By that action he both earned the hostility of the lowest class of plebs and the great favor of the Senate.

Lucius Cassius [Longinus Ravila, consul 127, censor 125] was (as I have already often noted) a man of greatest severity. As often as he was a quaesitor in some trial in which inquiry was being made concerning the murder of a man he would advise and even instruct the jury as to what Cicero is now advising: that they should consider in whose interest (cui bono) it was that the man perish whose murder they were investigating. Because of this rectitude, on the occasion on which Sextus Peducaeus the tribune of the plebs [113] indicted Lucius [Caecilius] Metellus [Delmaticus] the Pontifex Maximus [from before 114 to 103] and the whole College of Pontiffs on the grounds of having improperly passed judgment [December 16 and 18, 114] on the chastity of the Vestal Virgins, because they had condemned only one, Aemilia, but exonerated the other two, Marcia and Licinia, the Populus appointed this Cassius to investigate the same Vestal Virgins. He condemned the two of them, and several others besides, with too great asperity (as people think).

This is the Sextus Clodius, whom we noted in the Introduction of this speech, who carried the corpse of Clodius into the Senate House and there burned it, thereby burning down the House in the fire. For that reason he is termed `The Light of the Senate'.

It is obvious that `HAEC...PASSUS' refers to the time when Cicero departed from Rome after the rogatio passed against him by Clodius [58 B.C.]. Perhaps you may wonder in what situation he alleges that murder attempts were made against Pompeius. In the consulship of Piso and Gabinius [58], after Cicero had been driven into exile, when Pompeius came into the Senate on June 11, it is said that a dagger fell from the person of a slave of Publius Clodius, and when that was reported to the consul Gabinius it was stated by the slave that he had been ordered by Publius Clodius to kill Pompeius. Pompeius immediately returned home and from that moment (or `for that reason') kept himself at home. He was also attacked by [p. 47 C] Damio, a freedman of Clodius, as I have discovered in the Acta of that year. In them, under August 16, when Lucius Novius, tribune of the plebs, a colleague of Clodius, called upon the tribunes for the right of appeal against Lucius Flavius the praetor for Damio, and he made a speech concerning the right of appeal that belonged to a tribune, he spoke his opinion as follows: `And if I have been wounded by this servant (apparitor) of Publius Clodius, and Cnaeus Pompeius, separated from public life with armed guards posted, has been besieged, when I use the right of appeal I would not use the example of the man whom I loathe and take away his right to trial (and various other things concerning intercessio).


After his triumph against Mithridates [61 B.C., September 29 and 30], Pompeius placed the son of Tigranes in chains in the custody of Flavius, a senator. Afterwards when Flavius was praetor, in the same year in which Clodius was tribune of the plebs [58 B.C.], Clodius requested him during dinner that he should order Tigranes to be brought in so that he could see him. When Tigranes was brought in he escorted him to a party, but then did not return him to Flavius. He sent him (to his own) home and kept him without restraints. Nor would he send him back, when Pompeius requested. After that he put him onto a ship, and as he was fleeing he was carried by a storm to Anzio. When he was brought back from there to his own house, Clodius sent him to Sextus Clodius (whom I discussed above). When he was bringing him back, Flavius also heard what was going on and set out to snatch Tigranes. At the fourth milestone from the City a battle took place in which many on both sides fell, more from the band of Flavius, however, among whom were Marcus Papirius a Roman knight, a publican, a close friend of Pompeius. Flavius without any travelling companion almost didn't get away from Rome.

[p. 48 C]


On what day the danger had reached such a critical point that Clodius almost drove Cicero to the Regia I have found recorded nowhere. I am not, however, brought to conclude that Cicero is lying, especially when he uses the expression ut scitis. But it seems to me that he is speaking about that day on which (in the consulship of Domitius and Messala who had preceeded this year [i.e. in 54] when this oration was spoken) a battle took place on the Via Sacra between the gangs of the candidates Hypsaeus and Milo, and many of Milo's men unexpectedly were killed. Cicero is speaking, I think, about the danger to himself on this day, and the place of the confrontation--for it is said that it took place on the Via Sacra, on which street the Regia is located--and the fact that the campaign managers were constantly in the company of the candidates: Cicero with Milo and Clodius with Hypsaeus.

Lucius Caecilius Rufus, who is mentioned, was praetor in the consulship of Publius Lentulus Spinther and Quintus Metellus Nepos [57 B.C.], the year in which Cicero was restored. When Caecilius celebrated the Ludi Apollinares [July 4-12], the lowest sort of crowd assembled and rioted on account of the shortage of grain in such a way that everyone who were seated in the theater to see the performance were driven out. I have read nothing anywhere about his house being attacked. When Pompeius was defending Milo before the popular assembly, however, when Clodius was accusing him de vi, Pompeius remarked in reply that Lucius Caecilius the praetor had been attacked by Clodius, as we read in Book IV of the Life of Cicero by his freedman Tiro.

[p. 49 C]

He means on the day on which Clodius had been killed that mercenary tribune of the people had held a meeting. As is evident from the Acta Diurna, Caius Sallustius and Quintus Pompeius held a public meeting on that day, both of them personally hostile to Milo and both turbulent enough. But it seems to me that Quintus Pompeius is being referred to here, since his contio was the more given to sedition.


This is the Causinius at whose house at Interamna Clodius was eager to appear to have stayed on the night on which he was caught in the house of Caesar, when the Vestal Virgins were conducting rituals in secret in behalf of the Roman people. [Bona Dea scandal, 4/5 December 62 B.C.]

Quintus Pompeius Rufus and Caius Sallustius, the tribunes, were the people he means. These were the first to stir up the people about passing that law, [p. 50 C] and they stated that Clodius had been killed by Milo's gang, etc.

The monument of Basilius is on the Via Appia near the City. The place had a horrible reputation for robberies, a fact which can be seen from many other references.

Cicero often throws it up against Clodius that he had been a participant in the Catilinarian Conspiracy. He now makes delicate reference to the affair. For the common belief had been that Catiline had fled from the City to the camp of Manlius the Centurion, who at that time was putting together an army for him in Etruria at Faesulae; that Clodius had wanted to follow after him and had begun to do so, but thereafter changed his mind and returned to the City.

We said in the Introduction to this oration that Cnaeus Pompeius had pretended to be afraid, perhaps he really feared Milo, and for that reason did not remain even at home before the trial, but instead in his gardens on the hill so that he could surround his villa as well with a guard of soldiers. Quintus Pompeius Rufus, tribune of the plebs, who had been the closest of all of Clodius' friends and openly proclaimed that he was his follower, [p. 51 C] said in a public meeting a few days after Clodius was killed:
Milo gave you somebody to be cremated in the Senate House; he will give you somebody to be buried on the Capitol.
At the same meeting--this meeting was held on January 23 [VII Kal. Feb.]-- he likewise said he had wanted to come with Milo to Pompeius in his gardens yesterday (that is, on January 22), but that Pompeius sent him a note through a close associate of his not to come to his place. Even before Pompeius had been made consul for the third time [24th day of the Intercalary Month, 52 B.C.] three tribunes, Quintus Pompeius, Caius Sallustius Crispus and Titus Munatius Plancus, when they had aroused great hostility toward Milo on account of the death of Clodius through their daily meetings, they brought Cnaeus Pompeius before the people and had asked him whether the report of this matter had been brought to him, namely that Milo was plotting against his life. Pompey replied that a certain Licinius who was a plebeian sacrificulus (who was employed to engage in the purgations of families) brought news to him that certain slaves and freedmen of Milo had been assigned to murder him, and also supplied the names of the slaves. He himself sent to Milo (to inquire) whether he owned these slaves. Milo replied that, of the slaves he had named, some he had never owned, others he had manumitted. Next, when he had Licinius at his place ... a certain plebeian named Lucius came in order to suborn the informer. When this was found out, he was tossed into the public lockup. For the Senate had decreed that Pompeius along with the interrex and the tribunes of the plebs should `see to it that the state come to no harm.' Because of these suspicions, Pompeius [p. 52 C] kept himself in his upper gardens. Then when he returned after the recruitment had been held throughout Italy in accordance with the Decree of the Senate, the only person whom he would not admit to his presence who came to see him was Milo. Likewise, when a meeting of the Senate was being held in the Portico of Pompeius so that Pompeius might take part, he ordered him alone to be physically searched before he entered the hall. These are the suspicions which [Cicero] says he greatly fears.

This same Titus Munatius Plancus, as I have often said, after the statements of the witnesses had been heard and sealed, and the jurors in the meantime dismissed, called a public meeting and exhorted the populace that, since the taverns had been closed, on the next day they should come to the trial and not allow Milo to get away.

I think he is meant that we are subject to the laws which Publius Clodius had moved to pass, especially the one by which freedmen who used to vote in no more than 4 [urban] tribes, now vote in the [31] rustic tribes as well, which used to be the preserve of the freeborn.
This refers to the time when Publius Clodius, while still quaestor designatus, [p. 53 C] was arrested because he had entered the place where the sacrifice for the Roman People was taking place. [p. 47 KS] The incident had been noted [....] in a Decree of the Senate, and it had been decreed that the trial on the matter should take place extra ordinem.
In this place he brings Milo in, speaking with the boni concerning his own achievements:

I believe it was already noted earlier that Milo belonged to the Papia family, then had been adopted by Titus Annius, his maternal grandfather. The `third patrimony' seems to be that of his mother; I haven't found out anything else it could be.

When the case had been fully heard on both sides, the prosecutor and the defendant each rejected (from the final jury) five senators and the same number of equites and tribuni aerarii, so that 51 jurors cast votes. 12 senators voted for condemnation, 6 for acquittal; 13 equites for condemnation, 4 for acquittal; 13 tribuni aerarii for condemnation, 3 for acquittal. The jurors appeared not to have passed over the fact that Clodius had been wounded without the knowledge of Milo, but they did take notice of the fact that he had been killed by Milo's order after he had been wounded. There were those who believed that he was exonerated by the opinion of Marcus [Porcius] Cato. [p. 54 C] For he had not concealed (his view) that the death of Publius Clodius had been good for the state, and was a supporter of Milo in his campaign for the consulship and stood by him when a defendant. Cicero also mentioned him by name as present, and he bore witness that he had heard from Marcus Favonius two days before the death took place that Clodius had said that Milo was going to die during the next three days (triduum).... [p. 48 KS] But it seemed useful too that the notorious audacity of Milo should be removed from the state. No one was ever able to find out which of the two opinions he held. He was officially condemned, however, mostly due to the work of Appius Claudius. On the next day Milo was charged with ambitus before Manlius Torquatus, and was condemned in absentia. Under that law too his prosecutor was Appius Claudius, and when the reward was given to him in accordance with the law, he said that he was not accepting it. Deputy-prosecutors in his trial de ambitu were Publius Valerius Leo and Cnaeus Domitius the son of Cnaeus. A few days later Milo was also condemned in the court of Marcus Favonius the Quaesitor de sodaliciis upon prosection by Publius Fulvius Neratus, to whom the reward was given in accordance with the law. Then, in the court of Lucius Fabius the Quaesitor, likewise in absentia he was convicted de vi: Lucius Cornificius and Quintus Patulcius prosecuted. Within a very few days Milo set out for exile to Massilia. His property, because of the huge size of his debts, realized only 4.16 cents on the dollar (semuncia, 1/24).

After Milo, the first to be accused under that same Lex Pompeia de vi was [p. 55 C] Marcus Saufeius, the son of Marcus, who had been the leader in storming the tavern at Bovillae and in killing Clodius. Lucius Cassius, Lucius Fulcinius son of Caius, and Caius Valerius were his accusors; Marcus Cicero and Marcus Caelius defended him, and they got him off by one vote. 10 senators voted to convict, 8 to absolve; 9 Roman equites voted to convict, 8 to absolve; but 13 tribuni aerarii voted to acquit and 6 to convict. And it was obvious that hatred of Clodius was Saufeius' salvation, since his case was perhaps weaker than Milo's, because he had been the leader of the attack on the tavern quite openly. He was put on trial again a few days later before Caius Considius the quaesitor under the Lex Plautia de vi, with the notation that he had occupied elevated positions and had been carrying weapons; for he had been the leader of Milo's gang. The indictment was sponsored by Caius Fidius, Cnaeus Aponius the son of Cnaeus, Marcus Seius........the son of Sextus. Marcus Cicero and Marcus Terentius Varro Gibba defended him. He was acquitted by a larger margin than before: he got 19 for conviction and 32 for acquittal. But the vote was cast differenly from the earlier trial, for the equites and senators voted for acquittal, while the tribuni aerarii voted for conviction.

Sextus Clodius, however, under whose leadership the corpse of Clodius had been brought into the Senate Chamber, was condemned by a large margin, 46 votes, upon indictment by Caius Caesennius Philo and Marcus Alfidius with Titus Flacconius defending him [p. 56 C]; he only got five votes of acquittal altogether: two senators and three equites.

Many others in addition, both in person and when they were cited to appear but did not, were condemned. The biggest part of them were Clodians.

There had been an intercalation (of twenty-seven days) after the 23rd or 24th day of February (according to the preferences of the College of Pontifices). During the intercalary days, on the 5th before the Ides of March (which would thus have been Day 76 or Day 77 of the year), Pompeius was installed as sole consul--an unprecedented irregularity. The year had opened without any magistrates at all having been elected. Only the Ten Tribunes (one of whom was the future historian Sallust) were holding power. The previous year, 53, had no consuls or praetors until after the elections in July (which were by then a year late). On the calendar: Agnes K. Michels, The Calendar of the Roman Republic (Princeton 1967).

Milo's father was apparently a leading member of the aristocracy of the town of Lanuvium: R. Hanslik, Der Kleine Pauly s.v. `Papius' (2).

Marcus Antonius had entered office as Quaestor on December 5, 53, and was assigned (without drawing lots) to C. Iulius Caesar in Gaul. He did not leave Rome, however, until after Clodius' trial.

That is to say, the first patrimony came from his father Papius, the second from his adopted father (real grandfather) Annius Milo, and the third by way of his mother (from her mother, or another relative).

January 24, 2010 2:42 PM

John Paul Adams, CSUN

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