Now, Cicero was a friend of Clodius, and in the affair of Catiline had found him a most eager co-worker and guardian of his person; but when Clodius replied to the charge against him by insisting that he had not even been in Rome at the time, but had been staying in places at the farthest remove from there, Cicero testified against him, declaring that Clodius had come to his house and consulted him on certain matters; which was true.
However, it was thought that Cicero did not give his testimony for the truth's sake, but by way of defence against the charges of his own wife Terentia. For there was enmity between her and Clodius on account of his sister Clodia, whom Terentia thought to be desirous of marrying Cicero and to be contriving this with the aid of a certain Tullus; now, Tullus was a companion and an especial intimate of Cicero, and his constant visits and attentions to Clodia, who lived near by, made Terentia suspicious.
So, being a woman of harsh nature, and having sway over Cicero, she incited him to join in the attack upon Clodius and give testimony against him. Moreover, many men of the better class bore witness against Clodius for perjury, recklessness, bribery of the multitude, and debauching of women. And Lucullus actually produced female slaves who testified that Clodius had commerce with his youngest sister when she was living with Lucullus as his wife.
There was also a general belief that Clodius had intercourse with his other two sisters, of whom Tertia was the wife of Marcius Rex, and Clodia of Metellus Celer; the latter was called Quadrantia, because one of her lovers had put copper coins into a purse and sent them to her for silver, and the smallest copper coin was called
‘quadrans.’ It was with regard to this sister in particular that Clodius was in evil repute.
However, since the people at this time set themselves against those who combined and testified against him, the jurors were frightened and surrounded themselves with a guard, and most of them cast their voting-tablets with the writing on them confused.1
But nevertheless those who were for acquittal appeared to be in the majority; and some bribery also was said to have been used.
This led Catulus to say, when he met the jurors,
‘It was indeed as a measure of safety that you asked for your guard; you were afraid that someone would take your money away from you.’
And Cicero, when Clodius told him that as a witness he had found no credit with the jurors, said:
‘Nay, twenty-five of the jurors gave me credit, for so many voted against you; and thirty of them gave you no credit, for they did not vote to acquit you until they had got your money.’
Caesar, however, when summoned as a witness, gave no testimony against Clodius, and denied that he had condemned his wife for adultery, but said that he had put her away because Caesar's wife must be free not only from shameful conduct, but even from shameful report.