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Fulvia

Clodius

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It seems that I have been taught slightly amiss, without ill intent no doubt. I had been taught that P. Clodius changed his name "Claudius" to the now famous nick-name, so to speak though it is indeed no cognomen or agnomen, from the way the plebs would pronounce "Claudius" with their accent. This, of course, makes Clodius look more friendly towards the people he is winning into his services and like his sister Clodia, makes their name wholly, entirely and without exception unique. You can say "Clodius" and you know exactly who is being talked about, unlike the less fortunate man with the name "Metellus" or some such.

 

Recently, this simple fact has been called into question slightly with a fellow by the name of C. Cornelius Lentulus Clodianus. I came across Clodianus in the early-midish first century BC, specifically in reference to his consulship in 72 BC. Along with his fellow consul L. Gellius Publicola they passed a law ratifying Pompeius' and Metellus Pius' grants of citizenship to some of the Spanish fellows they had come across in the Sertorian war. The point of this is that, so long as I am remembering my Republican naming system correctly, "Clodianus" shows that Cornelius Lentulus was adopted into the "Clodii" gens.... :clapping: Forgive my ignorance, but was there indeed a "Clodii" gens or was there another Claudius who altered his name to Clodius? If this is so, was this a naming trend within a specific branch of the Claudii? Maybe just something P. Clodius picked up thinking it was a cool idea and therein made famous? Since there does seem to be another Clodius, and saying that he changed his name rather than being born with it, what would be his motivation to change his name? Certainly it was far below most all Claudians to be so closely associated with the lowly commoners.

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"Clodius" is a spelling and pronunciation variation of "Claudius," same as "Plotius" is a variation of "Plautius," and "Coelius" of "Caelius." I believe P. Clodius' styling of himself as such was a matter of personal preference, and there were other Clodii, as well. His name, following his adoption into the plebeian Fonteii, should have been P. Fonteius Clodianus (or Claudianus). But towards the end of the Republic, Romans didn't always follow the traditional naming rules.

 

"Clodianus" shows that Cornelius Lentulus was adopted into the "Clodii" gens....

 

I believe you may have that the wrong way around -- that would have been a Claudius/Clodius adopted into the family of the Cornelii Lentuli.

 

Since there does seem to be another Clodius, and saying that he changed his name rather than being born with it, what would be his motivation to change his name? Certainly it was far below most all Claudians to be so closely associated with the lowly commoners.

 

Again, I believe it's just a name variation, and a matter of preference. M

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"Clodianus" shows that Cornelius Lentulus was adopted into the "Clodii" gens....
I believe you may have that the wrong way around -- that would have been a Claudius/Clodius adopted into the family of the Cornelii Lentuli. -- Nephele

Nephele is right; Fulvia is talking about Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Clodianus, a distinguished orator, an active legislator as consul in 72 BC and a severe censor since 70 BC, repeatedly quoted by Cicero and Gellius.

 

He was a Claudius adopted by a Lentulus, possibly by the consul of 97 BC.

 

Analogous to Claudius/Clodius, Clodianus should probably be considered just a textual variant of Claudianus.

Edited by sylla

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"Clodianus" shows that Cornelius Lentulus was adopted into the "Clodii" gens....

 

I believe you may have that the wrong way around -- that would have been a Claudius/Clodius adopted into the family of the Cornelii Lentuli.

 

Oh, you are right. I remember now.

 

Since there does seem to be another Clodius, and saying that he changed his name rather than being born with it, what would be his motivation to change his name? Certainly it was far below most all Claudians to be so closely associated with the lowly commoners.

 

Again, I believe it's just a name variation, and a matter of preference. M

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So the use of "Clodius" vs. "Claudius" was indeed in wide spread practice long before P. Clodius...that is fascinating. The pronunciation difference that M

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So the use of "Clodius" vs. "Claudius" was indeed in wide spread practice long before P. Clodius...that is fascinating. The pronunciation difference that M

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So the use of "Clodius" vs. "Claudius" was indeed in wide spread practice long before P. Clodius...that is fascinating. The pronunciation difference that M

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The usage of "Clodius" as opposed to "Claudius" was still a matter of preference and family custom, and not necessarily indicative of social standing.

 

Very interesting. Another point made by the author of Clodius is that Cicero never says 'boo' about the issue -- and he was certainly eager to invent any outrage in the world to lay at Clodius' feet (though, I suppose, Clodia may have been crowding that particular space).

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The usage of "Clodius" as opposed to "Claudius" was still a matter of preference and family custom, and not necessarily indicative of social standing.

 

Very interesting. Another point made by the author of Clodius is that Cicero never says 'boo' about the issue -- and he was certainly eager to invent any outrage in the world to lay at Clodius' feet (though, I suppose, Clodia may have been crowding that particular space).

She certainly did do her brother a favour in that area! :D

 

 

I also found this point that Tatum makes interesting, in discrediting the commonly accepted claim of Clodius' name change:

"...popularitas was not won by politicians who eliminated the social distance between themselves and the plebs urbana....the mob valued nobility."

 

And yet Cicero is quoted as giving this very reason, to win favour with the plebs, as Clodius' motivation (the politician, 46). Then again, what would Cicero know about the thought process of this young fellow who had been relatively unknown to Cicero, as compared to later in life, when he first began politics and was known as Clodius even then. This contradicts, as Cato pointed out above, Cicero's silence on the matter later on.

 

I think this paragraph in Tatum pretty much sums up the problem in my mind: "The pronunciation of o for original au was, by the first century of our era, so common that au-forms could be treated as pedantic. The situation was not quite the same in Publius' day, but o-forms of certain nouns were used colloquially by Cicero. It may well be that the use of Clodius and Clodia by Publius and his sisters (if not also by Gaius) was one manifestation of contemporary fashion among their stylish circle."

Tatum continues this thought further on pg. 248 with the urban diction becoming rather in vogue during the 50's based on Catullus' poetry being the guide for popular and trendy.

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