62 B.C. A.U.C. 692 — D. Iunius Silanus, L. Licinius Murena coss.


Night: apud Caesarem (Praetorem atque Pontificem Maximum) sacrificium pro Populo (Bona Dea). P. Clodius Pulcher discovered in the Praetor's house during the ceremonies, in drag.
December 5 Clodius entered office as Quaestor.
December . The Vestal Virgins perform the sacrifice to the Bona Dea a second time.
December . Q. Cornificius '. . . mentionem in Senatum . . . rem ex SC ad Vestales Virgines atque Pontifices relatum . . . '
December . '. . . idque ab iis nefas esse decretum.'
December . Caesar divorced his wife Pompeia (immediately after the Bona Dea scandal, and by messenger. The next morning, i.e. December 4?)

after 10th

Assignment of duties to each new Quaestor put off until January
(Cicero ad Familiares 5. 6.1.)

61 B.C. — A.U.C. 693 — M. Pupius Piso, M.Valerius Messalla coss.


Inauguration of the new consuls, M. Pupius Piso Frugi (who had served with Pompey in 67–62; he was the husband of Cinna's widow) and M. Valerius Messalla Niger (who had been expelled from the Senate in 70; he was a patrician, a Sullan optimate, and a senior pontifex.).

Meeting of the Senate: Cicero was in a bad mood because he was not given first place in the order of debate (by Piso?); he is second, after C. Piso (cos. 67). Q. Catulus (cos. 78) was third, and Q. Hortensius Hortalus (cos. 69) fourth.

' . . . Ex SC, consules rogationem promulgasse . . .' concerning the Bona Dea Scandal and the setting up of a court. The crime of incestus was not one which could be brought under the regulations of any of the standing Quaestiones. Thus, a special enabling law was needed to establish a special court. A period of tria nundina was required between the promulgatio of a draft law and the vote on the law.

. At one of the nundinae , the Tribunus Plebis Q. Fufius Calenus (pr. 59, cos. 47) summoned a contio and invited Pompeius to address the People on the subjects of religio and the promulgatio of the law to establish a special court. (Cicero Ad Atticum 1. 13.5; 1. 16.2. Asconius 45 C; Plutarch Caesar 10.5).


The date of Cicero's letter to his friend Atticus (Ad Att. 1. 13.), from which the sequence of events of January is derived. The Praetores of 62 (including Julius Caesar) have not yet drawn lots for their provinces for 61.
January . At a meeting of the Senate, the consul Messalla Niger asked Pompey for his views on the Bona Dea Affair [This could have happened on any day in January except the 11th, 13th, or 15th; but it is after the contio of Fufius.]

25 ?
26 ?
27 ?
28 ?
29 ?

The rogatio was voted upon (Cicero Ad Att. 1. 14.5)
Piso appears to have been against the bill, though the two consuls were obliged by the SC to present the bill for a vote.
Cato gave a violent speech against Piso, and in the uproar the Assembly was dismissed.

Senate Meeting (the same day): A SC was passed, ordering the consuls to demand from the People the passage of the rogatio . Piso and Clodius grovelled, but to no effect: the vote was 400+ to 15. Fufius interposed a veto against the SC, halting proceedings.
The Senate then voted not to hear embassies or to allot praetorian provinces until the matter was settled (Cicero Ad Att. 1. 14, written on February 13).


Cicero (Ad Atticum 1. 14, written on February 13) makes it clear that things are still in an unfinished state as far as the Bona Dea Affair is concerned, and that the court bill has not yet been passed by the People. The bill could not have been voted on during any of the first fifteen days of February, since none of these days is C(omitialis).
Feb./Mar. ? . A Lex Fufia is finally passed to establish a court. Caesar is on his way to Spain (Hispania Ulterior); his Quaestor was Antistius Vetus.

by the 15th

The Praetors have drawn lots for their provinces (Cicero Ad Atticum 1. 15, dated March 15).

The Censors entered office: C. Scribonius Curio (cos. 76) ?? and L. Iulius Caesar (cos. 64) ?
May . Clodius was already interested in having himself transferred from the Patrician Order to the Plebeians ( Scholia Bobiensia ad in P. Clodium F 13 [Stangl, p. 87, 24-29] ).
May 15 The Trial of P. Clodius de incestu is finished. The verdict of the court was 31 to 25, for aquittal. Bribery played the decisive part.

Meeting of The Senate (Cicero Ad Atticum 1. 16.9): an altercation between Cicero and Clodius (Cicero's in Clodium ??)

Clodius departed for his quaestorial assignment in Sicily.

. Cato and Domitius Ahenobarbus sponsor legislation allowing magistrates' houses to be searched, and legislation making it illegal for persons to harbor in their houses divisores (paymasters involved in electoral bribery). Domitius was Curule Aedile (Cicero Ad Atticum 1. 16.12.)

Elections of 61 for magistrates of 60 were postponed to July 27.


Pompeius' triumphs over the Pirates, Mithridates and Tigranes.
[Broughton Magistrates of the Roman Republic II 181.]
December 5
. A Senatus Consultum passed to look into the taking of bribes by jurors (Cicero was not present at that meeting: Ad Atticum 1. 17.8.)

. Tax farmers, assisted by Crassus, began to approach the Senate to have the tax contracts (awarded by the Censors earlier in the year) cancelled (Cicero Ad Atticum 1. 17.9, written on December 5).
December 1 Senate Meeting: Cicero spoke, on the subject of concordia ordinum .
December 2 Senate Meeting: Cicero spoke again.


Senate Meeting: The tax business was still not settled (Cicero Ad Atticum 1. 17.11). L. Lucceius was planning to run for consul (in 60, to hold office in 59). So too, apparently, Julius Caesar, Bibulus and (?) Arrius.

© John Paul Adams, 08/15/2003


January 24, 2010 3:41 PM

John Paul Adams, CSUN

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