Proterva

Suburbanbeatnik - Cicero and Clodia II
Suburbanbeatnik, Cicero and Clodia II

Si quae non nupta mulier domum suam patefecerit omnium cupiditati palamque sese in meretricia vita collocarit, virorum alienissimorum conviviis uti instituerit, si hoc in urbe, si in hortis, si in Baiarum illa celebritate faciat, si denique ita sese gerat non incessu solum, sed ornatu atque comitatu, non flagrantia oculorum, non libertate sermonum, sed etiam complexu, osculatione, actis, navigatione, conviviis, ut non solum meretrix, sed etiam proterva meretrix procaxque videatur: cum hac si qui adulescens forte fuerit, utrum hic tibi, L. Herenni, adulter an amator, expugnare pudicitiam an explere libidinem voluisse videatur? obliviscor iam iniurias tuas, Clodia, depono memoriam doloris mei; quae abs te crudeliter in meos me absente facta sunt, neglego; ne sint haec in te dicta, quae dixi. sed ex te ipsa requiro, quoniam et crimen accusatores abs te et testem eius criminis te ipsam dicunt se habere. si quae mulier sit eius modi, qualem ego paulo ante descripsi, tui dissimilis, vita institutoque meretricio, cum hac aliquid adulescentem hominem habuisse rationis num tibi perturpe aut perflagitiosum esse videatur? ea si tu non es, sicut ego malo, quid est, quod obiciant Caelio?
(Cicero, Pro Caelio 49-50)

If any woman, not being married, has opened her house to the passions of everybody, and has openly established herself in the way of life of a harlot, and has been accustomed to frequent the banquets of men with whom she has no relationship; if she does so in the city in country houses and in that most frequented place, Baiae, if in short she behaves in such a manner, not only by her gait, but by her style of dress, and by the people who are seen attending her, and not only by the eager glances of her eyes and the freedom of her conversation, but also by embracing men, by kissing them at water parties and sailing parties and banquets so as not only to seem a harlot, but a very wanton and lascivious harlot, I ask you, O Lucius Herennius, if a young man should happen to have been with her, is he to be called an adulterer or a lover? does he seem to have been attacking chastity or merely to have aimed at satisfying his desires? I forget for the present all the injuries which you have done me, O Clodia; I banish all recollection of my own distress; I put out of consideration your cruel conduct to my relations when I was absent. You are at liberty to suppose that what I have just said was not said about you. But I ask you yourself, since the accusers say that they derived the idea of this charge from you, and that they have you yourself as a witness of its truth; I ask you, I say, if there be any woman of the sort that I have just described, a woman unlike you, a woman of the habits and profession of a harlot, does it appear an act of extraordinary baseness, or extraordinary wickedness, for a young man to have had some connection with her? If you are not such a woman,—and I would much rather believe that you are not—then, what is it that they impute to Caelius?

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