However, there were no disturbances in consequence of Caesar's praetorship, but an unpleasant incident happened in his family. Publius Clodius was a man of patrician birth, and conspicuous for wealth and eloquence, but in insolence and effrontery he surpassed all the notorious scoundrels of his time.
This man was in love with Pompeia the wife of Caesar, and she was not unwilling. But close watch was kept upon the women's apartments, and Aurelia, Caesar's mother, a woman of discretion, would never let the young wife out of her sight, and made it difficult and dangerous for the lovers to have an interview.
Now, the Romans have a goddess whom they call Bona, corresponding to the Greek Gynaeceia. The Phrygians claim this goddess as their own, and say that she was the mother of King Midas; the Romans say she was a Dryad nymph and the wife of Faunus; the Greeks that she was the unnameable one among the mothers of Dionysus. And this is the reason why the women cover their booths with vine-branches when they celebrate her festival, and why a sacred serpent is enthroned beside the goddess in conformity with the myth. It is not lawful for a man to attend the sacred ceremonies, nor even to be in the house when they are celebrated; but the women, apart by themselves, are said to perform many rites during their sacred service which are Orphic in their character.
Accordingly, when the time for the festival is at hand, the consul or praetor at whose house it is to be held goes away, and every male with him, while his wife takes possession of the premises and puts them in due array. The most important rites are celebrated by night, when mirth attends the revels, and much music, too, is heard.