2. A daughter of M. Fulvius Bambalio of Tusculum, by Sempronia, a grand-daughter of Tuditanus. She was first married to P.Clodius, by whom she had a daughter, Claudia, afterwards the wife of Caesar Octavianus. When Clodius was murdered, and his body was carried to Rome, and there exposed in the atrium of his house, Fulvia, with great lamentations, showed her husband's wounds to the multitude that came to see the body; and she thus inflamed their desire of taking vengeance on the murderer.
She afterwards married C. Scribonius Curio; and after his fall in Africa, in B. C. 49, she lived for some years as a widow, until about B. C. 44, she married M. Antony, by whom she became the mother of two sons. Up to the time of her marrying Antony, she had been a woman of most dissolute conduct, but henceforth she clung to Antony with the most passionate attachment, and her only ambition was to see her husband occupy the first place in the republic, at whatever cost that position might be purchased. When Antony was declared a public enemy, she addressed the most humble entreaties to the senate, praying that they might alter their resolution. Her brutal conduct during the fearful proscriptions of B. C. 43 is well known; she gazed with delight upon the heads of Cicero and Rufus, the victims of her husband.
In those same days of terror a number of wealthy Roman ladies were ordered to deliver up their treasures to the triumvirs, whereupon they called upon the female relatives of the triumvirs, and petitioned them to interfere with the triumvirs, and endeavour mitigate the order. When the ladies came to the house of Fulvia, they were treated most haughtily and ignominiously. In B. C. 40, while Antony was revelling with Cleopatra in all the luxuries of the East, and Octavianus was rewarding his soldiers with lands in Italy, Fulvia, stimulated partly by jealousy and the desire of drawing Antony back to Italy, and partly by her hostility towards Octavianus, resolved upon raising a commotion in Italy.
She induced L. Antonius, her husband's brother, to come forwards as the protector of those who were oppressed and reduced to poverty by the colonies of Octavianus.
He was soon joined by others, who were more sincere than himself.
He took his post at Praeneste whither he was followed by Fulvia, who pretended that the lives of her children were threatened by Lepidus.
She afterwards followed L. Antonius to Perusia, and endeavoured to rouse the inhabitants of the north of Italy to assist him, while he was besieged at Perusia by Octavianus. When Perusia fell into the hands of Octavianus, by the treachery of L. Antonius, Fulvia was permitted to escape, and went to Brundusium, where she embarked for Greece. Her husband, who had in the meantime been informed of the war of Perusia and its result, was on his way to Italy.
He met Fulvia at Athens, and censured her severely for having caused the disturbance.
It is said that, from grief at his rough treatment, she was taken ill, and in this state he left her at Sicyon while he went to Brundusium. Her feelings were so deeply wounded by her husband's conduct, that she took no care of herself, and soon after died at Sicyon, B. C. 40.
The news of her death came very opportunely for the triumvirs, who now formed a reconciliation, which was cemented by Antony marrying the noble-minded Octavia. (Plut. Ant. 9
, &c.; Appian, App. BC 3.51
. 32, 5.14, 19, 21, 33, 43, 50, 52, 55, 59, 62 ; Dion. Cass. 46.56, 47.8, &c.; 48.3-28 ; Vell. 2.74
; Cic. Phil. 2.5
, 31, 3.6, ad Att.
14.12; V. Max. 9.1.8
; Niebuhr, Lectures on Rom. Hist.
vol. ii. p. 121, &c.)