Clodia: A Sourcebook

Clodia: A Sourcebook
Author: Julia Dyson Hejduk
Language English
Pages: 288
ISBN10: 0806139072
Genre: Nonfiction
Goodreads Rating: 3.00
ISBN13: 9780806139074
Published: April 1st 2008 by University of Oklahoma Press

A striking portrait of one of the most fascinating women in Roman history Noble and notorious, the flamboyant Clodia Metelli was the object of passion in poetry and prose in ancient Rome and appears in more written sources than any other woman of her day. Cicero, in a famous oration, branded her a whore yet in private correspondence mentions seeking her help. Her stormy affair with the poet Catullus—the Western world’s first recorded romance with a real and richly characterized woman—had a profound influence on erotic literature. Bringing together works by Cicero, Catullus, and others in which Clodia plays a part, Julia Dyson Hejduk has produced a striking portrait of one of the most fascinating women in Roman history. Her accurate and accessible English translations include not only all the classical texts that mention Clodia, but also a substantial selection of Roman erotic poetry by Propertius, Tibullus, and Ovid. While many sourcebooks offer only small illustrative excerpts, Clodia provides most sources in their entirety, such as the Pro Caelio of Cicero, nineteen complete letters, all of Catullus’s poems on “Lesbia” (his pseudonym for Clodia), and many subsequent love elegies. Hejduk’s translations please the ear while remaining faithful to the original meaning. Her introduction reviews topics in classical culture and themes in Roman love poetry, placing the texts in their literary, social, and historical context and making them accessible to high school students and undergraduates. Notes, glossary, and bibliography make the book a well-rounded teaching tool.