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date: 17 October 2019

Claudius Pulcher, Appiuslocked

(b c. 95 bc; d Euboia, Greece, 48 bc).
  • T. P. Wiseman

Extract

(bc. 95 bc; d Euboia, Greece, 48 bc).

Roman aristocrat, politician and patron. Active during the late Republic, he was consul in 54 bc, when he was involved in a notorious bribery scandal, and censor in 50 bc. Arrogant and overbearing, he was a byword for shameless effrontery (Cicero: ad Fam. V.x.2). As censor he took a strict line on luxury, provoking the irony of Cicero’s correspondent Caelius: ‘Get here as soon as you can to laugh at our frolics…Appius taking official action about works of art!’ (Cicero: ad Fam. VIII.xiv.4). Appius had a fine collection of his own, looted from Greece ten years earlier; one marble statue, allegedly from a tomb outside Tanagra, was used by his brother Publius, the radical tribune who got Cicero sent into exile, as the cult image in the shrine to Liberty erected on the site of the orator’s confiscated house (Cicero: On my House cxi–cxii). Appius was evidently a friend of King Antiochos I, who built the grandiose mountain-top monument on Nemrut Dagi (Cicero: ...

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