The Shenanigans of Publius Clodius Pulcher
- The Shenanigans of Publius Clodius Pulcher as seen through modern fiction and
I'm posting here in full the content of the forum thread
Instead of discussing a single book, we will be discussing a theme this time,
as we are kicking off the forum book discussions.
The notorious Clodius Pulcher, and his sister Lesbia, for that matter, have
attracted modern writers, though surprisingly these are more the mystery
writers than the serious novelists. Why no major novel has been written with
Clodius as protagonist, may be one of the points to be discussed, and might
even warrant a separate thread.
Before I continue, I want to reiterate that no one joining the discussion is
required to read everything! Pick you favorite author(s), or whichever book
is the easiest to get in your public library, and maybe read Cicero,
Plutarch, and Suetonius online. I expect the discussion, once we have got it
started, to become wide ranging. And if some eminent members from the
Ancient/Classical History forum chime in, consider it an education <grin> ,
and don't be shy to ask questions.
In any case, I offer the following novels for reading and discussion:
- Venus Throw
- A Murder on the Appian Way
- The House of Vestals (last story in this collection of short stories, and
with the same title)
John Robert Maddox: The Sacrilege
Colleen McCullough ("Masters of Rome" series)
- Caesar's Women (check year 61)
- Caesar, A Novel (check years 58-52)
Benita Kane Jaro: The Lock
Some of the above stories are based on the Cicero trials, and we have "Pro
Caelio" and "Pro Milo" online. The Murder Trials are also available as
And there are also Plutarch on Cicero and Suetonius' "Divus Julius."
Somewhere in the background, of course, loom Clodia alias Lesbia and the poet
Catullus. Again, his poems are available through Penguin, but also online.
All these online links are available on
For those who want to delve closer into the real Clodius, Cicero, and
Catullus, I have listed some books on the same webpage. Jeffrey Tatum's
recent book on Clodius is exhaustive, but tough going unless you know your
Latin well. Plus it is expensive and probably not in many libraries! I
enjoyed Anthony Everitt's new Cicero biography. Wiseman's "Catullus and his
World" is indispensable for the serious student of Roman history, as is
Riggsby's "Crime & Community in Ciceronian Rome".
Get your book(s), and we hope to see you all soon at
Co-host, Ancient/Classical History Forum
This group is a member of The Literature Reading Circle at
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