Cicero’s opposition to the lex Clodia de collegiis

Autore: Tatum, William Jeffrey
Titolo: Cicero’s opposition to the lex Clodia de collegiis
Rivista/Miscellanea: "Classical Quarterly", 40, 1
Anno edizione: 1990
Pagine: 187-194
Parole chiave: Histoire - Storia - History, Politique - Politica - Politics
Descrizione:  In March 59 Caesar and Pompey presided over the adoption of P. Clodius Pulcher into a plebeian family, thereby rendering the former patrician eligible for the tribunate. The immediate purpose of the dynasts' action was to silence the contumacious criticism of Cicero, whose Pro Antonio had gravely offended Caesar. And the gesture was effective: for a time at least, Cicero withdrew to his country estates. For Cicero – like everyone else in Rome – anticipated that, once tribune, Clodius would move to exact revenge for the dishonour done him during and after the Bona Dea trial. For the remainder of the year Cicero made preparations to fend off his enemy, and principal among his resources was the personal guarantee of his friend Pompey the Great. Pompey, who regarded Clodius as his creature, took it to be a point of honour that he should shield Cicero from harm's way. But the Vettius affair changed everything. Regardless of who masterminded the scandal and despite all protestations to the contrary, the Vettius affair left Pompey estranged from Cicero, a reality that Cicero could not fail to recognize. After the Vettius affair Cicero could not prudently rely solely on the dynasts' promises – if ever he did. Yet the means by which Cicero endeavoured to secure his own safety – independent of his relationship with Pompey or Caesar – have not been adequately appreciated by modern scholars. They incline, quite naturally in view of the events of 58 which followed Cicero's exile, to see the contest over Cicero's fate primarily as a struggle between the dynasts, especially Pompey, and Clodius. Such an attitude, however, tends to cause one to overlook an often cited but infrequently discussed stratagem of Cicero: according to Cassius Dio, Cicero induced L. Ninnius Quadratus, a tribune of 58, to stand up against the legislation which Clodius promulgated upon his entering the tribunate. This arrangement indicates that Cicero was trying with considerable energy to look after his own interests. It is the purpose of this paper to attempt to explain the means by which Cicero hoped to thwart Clodius as well as the machinations by which the erstwhile patrician outwitted his opponent. [Author]
Sigla autore: Tatum 1990