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Fulvia


1.

A woman of good family, but loose character. She disclosed to Cicero the details of the conspiracy of Catiline, which she had learned from Quintus Curius, whose mistress she was (Sall. Cat. 23).


2.

A bold, ambitious woman, at first the wife of Clodius Pulcher (q.v.), the demagogue, and, after his death, of Marcus Antonius the triumvir. She first came into notice on the assassination of Clodius, when, having caused the corpse to be brought into the vestibule of her dwelling and having assembled the populace, she caused, by her tears and language, a violent outbreak. Some years after this, on having become the wife of Antony, she took an active part in the proscriptions of her husband, and is said to have even sacrificed to her own vengeance several individuals who had given her offence. After the head of Cicero was brought to Antony, she took it on her knees, broke forth into insults to the character of the dead orator, and then, with fiendish malice, pierced the tongue with a golden needle. Having been left at Rome by Antony during the war against Brutus and Cassius, she became all-powerful in that city, named the praetors at her own pleasure, sold the government of the provinces, and even decreed a triumph to Lucius, the brother of Antony, who had no claim whatever to one. When, after the battle of Philippi, Antony visited the East to regulate affairs in that quarter, Fulvia, irritated by his intercourse with Cleopatra , tried to induce Octavianus to take up arms against him. Not succeeding in this, she took them up against Octavianus himself, in conjunction with her brother-in-law Lucius, who now professed open opposition to the illegal power of the Triumvirate. After very bold and spirited efforts, however, on her part, she was besieged with her brother-in-law at Perusia and compelled to surrender to the power of Octavianus. Fulvia, after this, retired to Greece, and rejoined her husband, but was coldly received by him. She died at Sicyon, in B.C. 40, through chagrin and wounded pride, as was believed, at her husband's attachment to Cleopatra (Vell. Paterc. ii. 74; Ant.; id. Cic.).

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