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1 Claudius, or Clodius Æsopus, was the most celebrated tragic actor at Rome in the time of Cicero, and was probably a freedman of the Clodian family. Horace and other authors put him on a level with Roscius. From Cicero we learn that his acting was characterized chiefly by strong emphasis and vehemence. Cicero characterizes him as a "summus artifex," a "consummate artist." He was a firm friend of Cicero, whose cause he advocated indirectly more than once during his banishment from Rome. It appears from Pliny, B. x. c. 72, that he was far from frugal, though he left a large fortune to his spendthrift son, Clodius Æsopus. This man, among his other feats, dissolved in vinegar (or at least attempted to do so), a pearl worth about £8000, which he took from the ear-ring of Cæcilia Metella. It is alluded to by Horace, B. ii. Sat. iii. 1. 239.
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