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ICERO delivered his defence of Milo on the eighth of April [B.C. 52, U.C. 702], and in the third consulate of Cnaeus Pompeius. During the progress of the trial the Forum and all the temples in its neighbourhood were occupied by troops, as we learn, not only from the following speech [§§ 1, 2] and the records of the period, but also from the treatise ascribed to Cicero, entitled De optimo genere Oratorum [ch. 4. § 10].
2 The candidates for the office of consul [in the year 52] were T. Annius Milo, P. Plautius Hypsaeus3, and Q. Metellus
third, from his father C. Papius Celsus, who married Annia. He was born at Lanuvium, and in B.C. 57 married Fausta, daughter of the dictator Sulla. In the same year, as tribune of the plebs, he came into collision with the ex-tribune Clodius. Failing in an attempt to prosecute him for his acts of violence, he collected a band of armed gladiators; and thus began the series of contests which ended so fatally in the death of Clodius. In the year 53, when canvassing for the consulate, he was charged in the senate with insolvency by Clodius, and defended by Cicero in a speech entitled de aere alieno Milonis, of which only a few fragments remain. The events with which the next year opened form the subject of the present speech.
P. Plautius Hypsaeus was tribune
Scipio. 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 Hypsaeus against Milo was P. Clodius". 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 endeavours 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
of the plebs in B.C. 54, and afterwards banished for bribery during his canvass for the consulate.
4 Q. Metellus Pius Scipio was prosecuted for bribery together with Hypsaeus, but escaped conviction through the influence of Pompeius. On the 1st 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 Caesar 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
scended from a long line of illustrious ancestors, most of whom were named Claudius, and others Clodius. He is himself called Claudius by Dion Cassius (XXXV. 14). For an account of his eventful life see Dr Smith's Dict. of Biograph. art. Claudius ; Mr Merivale's Hist. of the Romans under the Empire, Vol. I.; and Middleton's Life of Cicero. The German student will also find ample information in the second volume of Drumann's Geschichte Roms.
Appian says that these delays took place with the connivance of Pompeius, who was intriguing for the dictatorship: Πομπηΐου πάνθ' ὑπερορῶντος ἐπιτηδὲς, ἵνα ἐν χρείᾳ γένοιντο δικτάτωρος. Bell. Civ. 11.
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 10, 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", who says it was on the nineteenth) for his native town of Lanuvium, of which he was dictator, in order to nominate a Flamen on the following day1. He was met about two o'clock in the afternoon by Clodius, just beyond Bovillae13, near the spot on which the chapel of Bona Dea1 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
7 See notes on chap. 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 ̓ ἀνεκτῶς, 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 Cnaeus 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
swords, and in other respects equipped for fighting, according to the practice of travellers at that period". Clodius had also three friends with him, one of whom was a Roman knight named C. Causinius Scola 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 Bovillae. Hearing this, and feeling that, if he lived, the occurrence would be even then attended with some danger to himself, but that 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". M. Saufeius led on the slaves of Milo; and by this means Clodius was dragged forth from his hiding-place, and dispatched 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
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 rhomphaea traiecit: ἐπάταξεν ἐς τὸ μετάφρενον ξιφιδίῳ. Appian, B.C. II. 21. The precise nature of the weapon called 'rhomphaea' is not known, but it was probably a short sword with a double edge, that could be used for thrusting as well as cutting.
30 Καὶ τὸν μὲν αἵματι ῥεόμενον ἐς τὸ πλήσιον πανδοκεῖον ὁ ἱππόκομος ἐσέφερεν. Appian.
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 eiicienda fuerit.'
Comp. App. 11. 21: ò dè Miλwv 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 KаTANITEV. 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; prae se fert; casum illum nostrum (i. e. banishment) non extimescit; ad Att. IV. 3. The brevity and vagueness of Cicero's own ac count of the matter in his speech