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Cicero and Clodia by suburbanbeatnik Cicero and Clodia by suburbanbeatnik
This was a random sketch I did this morning, as a break from paying gigs. It won't be news to a lot of people that in days of yore I used to be keenly interested in ancient Roman history; and two of my favorite folks were Marcus Tullius Cicero, famous Republican orator [link] and Clodia Metelli, party girl, poetic muse and alleged poisoner. [link] From what I've read, these two were archenemies; they hated each others guts and spent a good long time plotting revenge against the other. Their mutual hatred erupted into a boffo court trial were Clodia accused one of Cicero's best pals of trying to poison her. Oh, and the pal in question was her ex-boyfriend. To make a long story short, Cicero completely humiliated Clodia in court, and got his friend off. Clodia disappears from the record; presumably she laid low for the rest of her life. But Cicero got on the wrong side of the following civil war, and died unpleasantly. Which makes you wonder, who finally "won" in the revenge sweepstakes- Cicero or Clodia?

It has occurred to me (and a lot of other authors), that the antagonism enjoyed by these two might have very well come from a soured affair or a miscalculated seduction. It sounds good to me; at times, Clodia and Cicero's train wreck of a "relationship" sounds like something out of "The War of the Roses," an old Michael Douglas/Kathleen Turner movie about a divorce from hell. However, I find it romantic in a twisted way. It sure takes an obsessive single-mindedness to hate somebody for decades like that...

(These two actually inspired my characters here [link] and here: [link] )

More sketches of Cicero and Clodia can be seen here: [link]
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:iconbookworm-fangirl:
Bookworm-Fangirl Featured By Owner May 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
XD
sorry, I find this pairing hilarious :)
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 2, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
That's interesting. How's that? 
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:iconbookworm-fangirl:
Bookworm-Fangirl Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Mostly whenever I think of it I think of some of a speech of Civero's that my Latin textbook included from when he was a lawyer against her, and that speech was one of the first things that showed me that the classical authors could be really, actually entertaining to read, so yeah, basically that
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
*thumbs up* 
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:iconlucony:
Lucony Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012  Hobbyist
After seeing that piece for the first time, I fell in love with Cicero/Clodia and decided to write a homework about it (that I submitted to a Latin competition). I read Pro Caelio, the Lesbia poems and this sourcebook by Julia D. Hejduk [link]
The two of them are awesome! The jury liked my choice and I won second prize. (So thank your very much for inspiring me! :))
Your way of drawing fits the relationship perfectly! I'm quite sure there was something about Cicero's wife thinking her husband was in love with Clodia.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Hey, I'm sorry I took such a long time to answer your nice comment! I love the Julia Hejduk book. Do you have your paper online in English? I'd love to read it.

BTW, I have a Cicero/Clodia epic historical novel outlined, with several chapters written. I don't have time to get to it now, but hopefully in a few years. I love them so much as a couple! I know, I'm weird... P
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:icona-darkdawn:
A-DarkDawn Featured By Owner May 19, 2012
wow, that's wonderful! I really like Cicero, he's one of the best men in our history and I'm also proud because he was Roman and I'm Italian.. by the way I really love this drawing, you're amazing!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :)
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:iconayanayzodei:
AyanAyzodei Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2011   General Artist
Nice illustration here.

Cicero was a really amazing man one of the worthiest to ever grace the political stage, I still feel sick about the way he died (but ...phew...I'm breathing a sigh of relief after I was cleared of any involvement..)
On another note, the Romans in spite of their harsh laws and cruel sentencing, were such a kinky sexually expressive lot, weren't they just/ injust?
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm not sure whether the Romans' kinkiness was an inverse reaction to their almost Puritanical laws and moral standards-- or if they weren't really that kinky after all, and were really rather vanilla, since do really kinky people spend all their time wringing their hands about their alleged kinkiness? After all, look at Victorian culture. There was a very dark side to all that sweetness and moral purity, but God knows you'd never hear about it in Victorian media. The Romans, on the other hand, couldn't shut up about depravity, which almost makes me think they were all bark and no bite.
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:iconayanayzodei:
AyanAyzodei Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2011   General Artist
notes, I just got the word wrong, "weren't they just/UNjust.."! Just about ruined my really obscure joke.
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:iconcrayonmaniac:
crayonmaniac Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
hello just to let you know that I painted clodius, hope you will take a look, thanks inadvance dearest
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:iconfyr-draca:
fyr-draca Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2010
Ever read the "Roma Sub Rosa" series?
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, I used to be a fan back when I was in high school. Not so big on them anymore though...
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:iconfyr-draca:
fyr-draca Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2010
That's cool, I'm just excited to have met anyone else whose heard of them. Seriously, almost no one I talk to has ever herd of them.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, you're in luck! I just posted a painting of them: [link]
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:iconalfieeelove:
AlfieeeLove Featured By Owner May 16, 2010
looove this im studying the pro caelio at the moment and i have my final exam in two days!
such a good drawing, great expressions.
love it
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! Yay, Cicero! :)
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:iconaltairattorney:
altairattorney Featured By Owner May 9, 2010
I'm studying the Pro Caelio this evening. I can't help thinking our Marcus Tullius wasn't indifferent to her charms at all. :D

Very good drawing, anyway! :heart:
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
I think he was trying so hard to be indifferent, you can see he definitely wasn't. ;P

Thanks!
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:iconluvthecloudydayz:
luvthecloudydayz Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009
Nice work =]

We're translating the Pro Caelio in Latin class right now, so this caught my eye ^_^
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! I've got a painting of Cicero and Clodia that I'm going to be uploading soon, so don't forget to check out my gallery next week for updates! :D
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:iconfalloutboylover232:
FallOutBoyLover232 Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
Just wondering if you have ever read the book "The Venus Throw" by Steven Saylor.

Just finished it, it was an amazing book! And I think this drawing depicts exactly what I envisioned in my mind while reading.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Really? Why's that? I read it, but it's been a loooong time. But I don't remember Clodia and Cicero being an item...
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:iconfalloutboylover232:
FallOutBoyLover232 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2009
They're such a huge part of the story, oh and no they weren't an item, it's just the looks on their faces of how you depicted them is exactly how I imagined them looking while I read it. The description you gave in the 'Artist's Comment' box is the exact plot of the story in "The Venus Throw" An amazing book.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I just finished a Cicero and Clodia painting, which I'll be uploading soon! I wonder if Steven Saylor would be interested in it.. ;P
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:iconfalloutboylover232:
FallOutBoyLover232 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2009
Awesome! You should send it to him and see what he says :D
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
You know, I think I'll do just that! Thanks for the suggestion. :D
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:iconfalloutboylover232:
FallOutBoyLover232 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2009
Hahahaha no problemo!
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:iconluscus:
Luscus Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2008
This is the one wackiest pairing I have ever seen on deviantART. Yet it's somehow...plausible. I totally love their expressions.

"I hate how a lot of people think that the Romans were just a bunch of "pompously named" people with plummy English accents who A) either looked like they could shit marble, in Tom Hulce's immortal words, or B) sat around in Marks & Spencers nighties having orgies." <--OMG I AGREE. You couldn't have said it better. I think it's amazing (and enjoyable, too) how you can bring to life these people most think of as lofty historical figures. It must be a lot of fun, too!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for such a lovely comment- I'm sorry I've been so slow getting back to you. The whole Cicero/Clodia pairing does seem pretty wacky at first blush, but the more you think about it (at least, the more I thought about it), the more it makes sense. Cicero mentions Clodia a LOT in his letters to Atticus- in fact, Atticus and Clodia remained good friends. There's even one point where Cicero bemoans his inability to attend "a luscious dinner party" and to be able to see Clodia. Interesting, huh? :D

And I'm not even going to get in to the whole "Pro Caelio" speech. Maybe it's just me, but at times Cicero sounds less like an outraged advocate and more like a bitter ex-husband.

I'm glad you liked my commentary! Yes, it is fun. :D
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:icondot-lumeria:
dot-Lumeria Featured By Owner May 28, 2008
Cicero ftw!

lol, Romans! I love ancient people.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 31, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Hehe- glad you like it. Yay, Cicero!

(I actually call him C-ro sometimes.)
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:icondot-lumeria:
dot-Lumeria Featured By Owner May 31, 2008
Awesome, I call him "Kickero" sometimes because that's how they pronounced his name in my Latin class.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 31, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Wasn't the pronunciation of "C" as an "S" a medieval development?
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:icondot-lumeria:
dot-Lumeria Featured By Owner May 31, 2008
Yes, yes it was. "Church Latin."
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 31, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
A friend of mine is writing a time travel story where the main character goes back to ancient Rome. I suggested that the main character (who's Polish American) speak fluent Latin- but it's medieval/church Latin. I guess I'm a dork, but I find the idea of someone speaking medieval Latin to a classical Latin audience hilarious... Other than prevalence of S sounds, how would it be pronounced differently than the earlier variety?
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:icondot-lumeria:
dot-Lumeria Featured By Owner May 31, 2008
That would be so funny, worse than having a lisp! They'd be like, "Oh are you from Judea, Greece? No? Who's in charge of you?"

Classical Latin is pretty phonetic, except they were still in the process of making letters (The Y was invented to spell Greek words). V sounds like W, C's are hard and sound like K's, Iu is pronounced as J, Ae is Aye, E is eh, and I is ee.

And this is helpful too: [link]
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:iconhabitualflippancy:
HabitualFlippancy Featured By Owner May 16, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Saucy! I can feel the motion and tension fighting in your lines. They are fabulous!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 17, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks- glad you like!
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:iconstael:
Stael Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2008
I've read Cicero Catilinaires!! . Cicero does not like me :disbelief: 'cos was in the band of patricisian people and they does not like me too :P always thinking on money.....and he conspirated with Pompeus ( I think ) and..........well, in roman ancient times, always was the same: conspirations, conspirations.............:XD:
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes, I think people majored in Conspiracies at university back then. But why do you think Cicero wouldn't like you? He seems a fairly likable guy, if incredibly self-absorbed... I'd rather hang out with him than Caesar, who I find a little alarming. :)
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:iconstael:
Stael Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2008
Yup, Cicero was very clever, but not enoguh to like me as a person.....:(
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
What, you've actually met him? ;P
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:iconstael:
Stael Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2008
hahahaha no, but.....well, simply he doesn't like me, just this :P
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:iconunsapient:
Unsapient Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2008
Having enjoyed the broken-glass caress of reading Cicero's "Pro Archia" - the original - I am always hungry for his sin(taxis)ful blood.

You can see the power cravings in his eyes here, like a rhetorically scorching ray, as pulsive and pendant as his father tongue.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
I take it you're not a fan of Marcus Tullius?

Out of curiosity, what do you think of the whole Cicero/Clodia pairing? I don't know if you've read the other notes on this piece, but eventually it might be a novel coming near you!
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:iconunsapient:
Unsapient Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2008
O Cicero verbose, te imprecator!

No no, I have nothing substantial against him except a chip on my shoulder about how hard he is to read in Latin.

"Cicer" means chick pea.

I think it's a fine pairing, myself, rich with possibly odious sexual tension. I'd read it.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes, Cicero, aka Garbonzo, the famous verbalicious orator! Glad you like the pairing. "Odious" is well used, given the context. ;P
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:iconnorthwestmarmot:
NorthwestMarmot Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2008
togarific!
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