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28. It was reserved, however, for the Italian scholars of the sixteenth century to identify this Clodia with the sister of P. Clodius Pulcher, Cicero's foe, wife of Q. Caecilius Metellus Celer, who was praetor B.C. 63, then governor of Cisalpine Gaul, consul for the year 60 B.C., and died in 59, not without suspicion that his wife poisoned him (cf. Cic. Cael. 24.60; Quint. VIII. 6.53). Among almost all Catullian scholars of the present century this view has found acceptance, in spite of the express dissent of a few. The general character and course of life of this Clodia 'Quadrantaria' (cf. Cic. Cael. and Epp. passim; Drumann II. p.376 ff.) coincide with those of Lesbia, and many minor details of reference in the poems of Catullus are thus explicable. Especially it may be noted that M. Caelius Rufus (cf. cc. 100, 77, 69, 58) was a lover of this Clodia (cf. Cic. Cael. passim) about the year 58 B.C., and within two years became her bitter enemy. There was all the more likelihood, then, of the reconciliation between him and Catullus marked by c. 58. And if Lesbia be this Clodia, then the Lesbius of c. 79 is her infamous brother, P. Clodius Pulcher, and the epigram becomes clear in the light of historic fact (cf. Commentary).

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