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The Death of Clodius the Beautiful

By January 18, 2014

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On This Day in Ancient History - January 18

Appian Way
Appian Way
Creative Commons. Courtesy of iessi at Flickr.

On this day in 52 B.C., Clodius Pulcher (Clodius the Beautiful) was killed on the Appian Way. Like his contemporary Cicero, Clodius Pulcher was a pivotal figure in the late Roman Republic, who seems to have had connections with every other important name from the period.

Clodius Pulcher was a scoundrel from an ancient patrician family (see Appius Claudius Caecus) whose shenanigans eventually led to his death on the Appian Way, at the hands of a rival gang that was led by Milo, memorably recreated by Steven Saylor in one the works of fiction featuring Clodius Pulcher. Clodius' most infamous deed is known as the Bona Dea Scandal.

Clodius is a Plebeian name, while Claudius is a Patrician one, so when Claudius changed his patrician name, he took the plebeian equivalent (Clodius).

"This day in ancient history" caveat: please see Unreliability of Dates.


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