Clodius is an alternate form of the Roman nomen Claudius, a patrician gens that was traditionally regarded as Sabine in origin. The alternation of o and au is characteristic of the Sabine dialect. The feminine form is Clodia.


Republican era

Publius Clodius Pulcher

During the Late Republic, the spelling Clodius is most prominently associated with Publius Clodius Pulcher, a popularist politician who gave up his patrician status through adoption in order to qualify for the office of tribune of the plebs. Clodius positioned himself as a champion of the urban plebs, supporting free grain for the poor and the right of association in guilds (collegia); because of his ideology, Clodius has often been taken as a more "plebeian" spelling and a gesture of political solidarity. Clodius's two elder brothers, the Appius Claudius Pulcher who was consul in 54 BC and the C. Claudius Pulcher who was praetor in 56 BC, conducted more conventional political careers and are referred to in contemporary sources with the traditional spelling.

The view that Clodius represents a plebeian or politicized form has been questioned by Clodius's chief modern-era biographer. In The Patrician Tribune, W. Jeffrey Tatum points out that the spelling is also associated with Clodius's sisters and that "the political explanation … is almost certainly wrong." A plebeian branch of the gens, the Claudii Marcelli, retained the supposedly patrician spelling, while there is some inscriptional evidence that the -o- form may also have been used on occasion by close male relatives of the "patrician tribune" Clodius. Tatum argues that the use of -o- by the "chic" Clodia Metelli was a fashionable affectation, and that Clodius, whose perhaps inordinately loving relationship with his sister was the subject of much gossip and insinuation, was imitating his stylish sibling. The linguistic variation of o for au was characteristic of the Umbrian language, of which Sabine was a branch. Forms using o were considered archaic or rustic in the 50s BC, and the use of Clodius would have been either a whimsical gesture of pastoral fantasy, or a trendy assertion of antiquarian authenticity.[1]

Other Clodii of the Republic

In addition to Clodius and his sisters, Clodii from the Republican era include:

Imperial era

People using the name Clodius during the period of the Roman Empire include:

Clodii Celsini

The Clodii Celsini continued to practice the traditional religions of antiquity in the face of Christian hegemony through at least the 4th century, when Clodius Celsinus Adelphius (see below) converted.[2] Members of this branch include:

See also

  • Clodio the Longhair, a chieftain of the Salian Franks, sometimes called "Clodius I"
  • Leges Clodiae, legislation sponsored by Clodius Pulcher as tribune

Selected bibliography

  • Tatum, W. Jeffrey. The Patrician Tribune: P. Clodius Pulcher. Studies in the History of Greece and Rome series. University of North Carolina Press, 1999. Limited preview online. Hardcover ISBN 0807824801.


  1. ^ W. Jeffrey Tatum, The Patrician Tribune: Publius Clodius Pulcher (University of North Caroline Press, 1999), pp. 247–248 online. The idea that the form Clodius announced ethnic identity is suggested also by Gary D. Farney, Ethnic identity and aristocratic competition in Republican Rome (Cambridge University Press, 2007), p. 89 online.
  2. ^ Bernice M. Kaczynski, "Faltonia Betitia Proba: A Virgilian Cento in Praise of Christ," in Women Writing Latin (Routledge, 2002), vol. 1, p. 132 online.

Further reading

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • CLODIUS — PUBLIUS APPIUS (CLODIUS 93 env. CLODIUS 52) Issu de la famille patricienne Claudia dans la Rome républicaine, le jeune Clodius se signale très jeune par ses malversations: il sert en effet en Asie sous les ordres de son beau frère, Lucullus, et… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Clodius — ist die geänderte Schreibweise des Namens Claudius, um dem römischen Volk plebejischer zu klingen. Die Änderung war ein politisches Manöver von Publius Clodius Pulcher. Namensträger aus der römischen Zeit: Publius Clodius Pulcher († 52 v. Chr.),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Clodius — Clodius. I. Glieder der römischen Clodia gens, so v. w. Claudius (s.d.): diese Schreibung wählten bes. in der letzten Zeit einige der Familie Pulcher, unter ihnen namentlich 1) Publius C. Pulcher, Bruder des Claudius 16), ein schlauer, verwegener …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Clodĭus — Clodĭus, 1) P. C. Pulcher, einer der gewalttätigsten Parteiführer in der letzten Zeit der römischen Republik, aus dem patrizischen Geschlechte der Claudier, entwickelte seine Neigung zu Umtrieben schon in jungen Jahren, als er im Osten… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Clodius [1] — Clodius, Pulcher Publius, ein selbst nach röm. Sittlichkeitsbegriffen lüderliches Glied des Patriciergeschlechtes der Claudier, welches durch seine Leidenschaften zum Demagogen und Werkzeug der Herrschsucht Anderer wurde. Schon 68 v. Chr.… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Clodius [2] — Clodius, Christian August, geb. 1738 zu Annaberg, gest. 1784 als Professor der Dichtkunst und Beredsamkeit, leistete Verdienstliches als Kritiker und Aesthetiker, während seine durch Kleist angeregten Dichtungen lediglich durch Göthes Spott der… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Clodius — Clodius,   römischer Geschlechtername, Claudius …   Universal-Lexikon

  • CLODIUS — I. CLODIUS claris parentibus ortus, iuvenis quidam audax, incestuosus ac seditiosus, cum amore Pompeiae Caesaris coniugis flagraret, clam eius domum ingreditur, vestem ac habitum Psaltriae indutus: speque latendi mulieres abductus ob… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Clodius — auf den gleich lautenden Rufnamen lateinischen Ursprungs, eine Nebenform von Claudius, zurückgehender Familienname …   Wörterbuch der deutschen familiennamen

  • CLODIUS —    a profligate Roman patrician; notorious as the enemy of Cicero, whose banishment he procured; was killed by the tribune Milo, 52 B.C …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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