Text #820

Dio Cassius. Roman History. Vol. 3
[DioCass. 39. Translated by Earnest Cary. Harvard University Press. 1914. (9 Vols.) pp. 335--337]


For a season, then, Milo served as an excuse for their (Clodius) taunts and assassinations. But about this time some portents occurred: on the Alban Mount a small temple of Juno, set on a kind of table facing the east, was turned around toward the north; a blaze of light darted from the south across to the north; A wolf entered the city; an earthquake occurred; Some of the citizens were killed by thunderbolts; In the Latin territory a subterranean tumult was heard; and the soothsayers, being anxious to find a remedy, said that some divinity was angry with them because some temples or consecrated sites were being used for residence.

Then Clodius substituted Cicero for Milo and not only attacked him vigorously in a speech because the site of the house he had built upon was dedicated to Liberty, but even went to it once, with the intention of razing it anew to the ground; but he did not do so, as he was prevented by Milo. Cicero, however, was as angry with him as if he had actually accomplished his purpose, and kept making accusations. Finally, taking with him Milo and some tribunes, he ascended the Capitol and took down the tablets set up by Clodius to commemorate his exile. This time Clodius came up with his brother Gaius, a praetor, and took them away from him, but later he watched for a time when Clodius was out of town, and going up to the Capitol again, took them and carried them home. After this occurrence no quarter was shown on either side, but they abused and slandered each other as much as they could, without refraining from the basest means. The one declared that the tribuneship of Clodius had been contrary to the laws and that therefore his official acts were invalid, and the other that Cicero’s exile had been justly decreed and his return unlawfully voted.

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