Clodius' Tribunate and Cicero's Exile

Notes on Clodius' Tribunate and Cicero's exile

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Clodius' tribunate


- Used popular measures to gain support with the masses and his laws included:

  • Free corn
  • Abolition of use of omens to stop public business
  • Legislation of collegia (clubs/associations)
  • Exile any illegal Roman Citizen deaths


-Cicero was clearly the target of this bill.

-Went into public mourning and left for Macedonia

-He lloked to Pompey for suppport but got none

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Political pressure 58-56BC

-Absence of Caesar meant Crassus and Pompey were left and old animosity was arising.

-Caesar's constant gifts of booty from Gaul sent back to Rome caused jealousy.

.-Gang warfare was rife in Rome- Clodius&Crassus v.s Pompey&Milo.

-This pushed Pompey to as for Cicero's return and had to ask Caesar to agree, which he did.

-Cicero on his return, was willing to support Pompey's command of the grain supply.

-Critical shortages of grain in Rome lead to rioting which needed quelling.

-The people demanded that Pompey should be in control.

-Caesar would have been displeased with optimates' support for Pompey.

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Political Pressure

-Crassus would have been jealous.

-Pompey was also hoping for military command in Egypt.

-Cicero had attacked the Lex Campania and threatened the unity of the coalition.

-Cato had attacked Pompey in the senate.

-Ahenobarbus- if elected the consulship of 55BC would recall Caesar from Gaul).

-Ptolemy Auletes- had been deposed, despite being restored in 59BC and was appealing for help again.

-Cicero had urged Pompey to leave this and optimates also opposed the ida of his restoration

-Cicero also attempted to restore concordia ordinum by uniting Pompey and the optimates against the Lex Campania.

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Why did the triumvirate need to reunite?

1. Caesar needed triumviral support to remain in Gaul.

2. Pompey was still not guaranteed senatorial support should he break with the coalition.

3. Coalition offered him protectionfrom Crassus and Clodius.

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