(surnamed Pulcher). Born c. 93 B.C. in Rome; died there c. 52 B.C. Roman political figure. Tribune of the people in 58 B.C.
Clodius was from the patrician clan of Claudius. He took part in the third Mithridatic war (74–64 B.C.). After 61 B.C. he drew close to Caesar, with whose help he joined the plebeians in 59 B.C. and was elected tribune. He secured laws on limiting the censors’ power and on distributing free grain to the Roman poor; he also succeeded in having Cicero and Cato the Younger exiled from Rome. In 57 B.C. he was not elected tribune, but he continued to play an important political role, relying for support on the plebeians. For some years a struggle went on in the streets of Rome between the armed detachments of Clodius and those of Milo, a protégé of the optimates and tribune in 57 B.C. Beginning in late 53 B.C., when Clodius was soliciting the office of praetor and Milo that of consul, especially bitter skirmishes flared up, and during one of them Clodius was killed.