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Cicero and Clodia II by suburbanbeatnik Cicero and Clodia II by suburbanbeatnik
I painted this last summer for my friend E. who runs a classics blog, who is as intrigued by Cicero and Clodia as I am, and who wrote some very amusing reviews about various Clodia-centric historical novels.

For those not as geeky as us, Cicero was a super famous Roman orator who really liked to talk about himself, almost as much as he liked to talk about Clodia (she is mentioned quite a lot in his letters). He, of course, liked to pose as the Defender of Roman Virtue, and she was a Bad, Bad Girl (he was quite fascinated with her badness, trust me). E. and I are of the opinion that this mismatched pair had a Thing, although the exact nature of this Thing is unfortunately lost to the mists of time. But by golly, they sure did clash a lot! And if there's anything I learned from TV Tropes, that means only one thing.

I would love to see a romantic comedy written about these two, but of course it would end with a pile of corpses. Ah, those Romans.

Here's a previous sketch I did of Cicero and Clodia: [link]
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:iconlibra1010:
Libra1010 Featured By Owner May 4, 2014
 If I had to take a guess, my best is that anyone who devotes quite as much energy and ingenuity to libelling a lady has almost certainly never come within sweating distance of her bedchamber (except perhaps in the privacy of his own thoughts!).;) (Wink) 
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, Plutarch did say they were engaged at one point before they had a falling out. I kind of figure they had a bit of a War of the Roses energy going on.
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:iconlibra1010:
Libra1010 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014
 … ENGAGED?!? (How the heck do you think a 'New Man' like Cicero would have managed to wangle his way into an engagement to a daughter of the highest and mightiest family in Rome?).:o (Eek) 
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 2, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
That is a very good question! But hey, I didn't make it up, Plutarch did! Maybe Clodia's family was dead broke? It's an old story... 
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:iconlibra1010:
Libra1010 Featured By Owner May 6, 2016
 Well that's true enough, but from what I understand Cicero's people weren't obscenely-rich enough to win over a daughter of the Gens Claudia (especially given that they were hayseeds from Arpinum and therefore "Half-Italian" to boot!).
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 8, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
At this point, who knows? Maybe they had a crazy affair and the 'engagement story' was just a memory of that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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:iconlibra1010:
Libra1010 Featured By Owner May 11, 2016
 If they DID then you can be sure that someone would have recorded it for posterity and several millennia of someones would have passed it down for our entertainment; The Romans loved a nice, juicy Sex Scandal just as much as the "Reality" TV Generation!:D (Big Grin) 
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:icongreenrevan19:
GreenRevan19 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Beautiful! I really like it :D

Oh my! Poor Terentia... such an unfair, charming rival.

Have you ever read ROBERT HARRIS's books, Imperium and Cospirata? There's a scene in Conspirata, very very very intriguing regarding those two. ;)
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
No I haven't! I was wondering how Harris was going to handle those two. What happens exactly?
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:icongreenrevan19:
GreenRevan19 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
Spoiler? And there be spoiler!
Clodia's first appearence is in Conspirata, as Qiuntus Metellus' wife. To tell the truth, she's a side character, but it's clear that Cicero is quite fascinated by her charm and insolence: in at least two scenes they flirt, but that is all.
BUT, before Clodius'trial, Clodia visits Cicero "asking" him to defend her brother: at his refusal, she tries to seduce him showing herself completely naked in front of him. He swallow twice, but in the end refuses her, becouse of Terentia and the fact that he doesn't trust her.

I know, it's not a big role, but well, Conspirata ends with Cicero's exile: maybe in the next book their encounter would be interesting, becouse in "Pro Caelio" there's a lot of ideas from which to draw. ;)

Sorry for the bad summary, i don't speak English well. But the books here are really good, you may try them! And then, you know, maybe you may draw something about this sexy man of Cicero =D
Let me know if you read it!

Oh, I didn't say it, but i prefer Terentia with Cicero, though Clodia is really really cool.
Or maybe with Caesar, I don't know. Joking =P
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Hey, I did a new C/C pic! Let me know what you think. [link]
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:icongreenrevan19:
GreenRevan19 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012
Ah, I've forgotten: said as I've said it, it seems like Harris depicts Clodia just like a whore, but that's not so! It's clear she's a smart woman keen on politics.

However. It's WONDERFUL the way all this ancient VIPs are tangled with one another: Cicero chasing Clodia, Catullus idem, Cicero and Catullus bitching about poetry (and Clodia?), Terentia jelous of Clodia, Sallust marrying Terentia, Atticus friend of everyone. Such a soup! =P
My ancestors, I love you all!

P.s: You're posting your Clodia\Cicero novel somewhere on internet?
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:iconcatherine187:
Catherine187 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2012
Oh, I really, really like this one! So long ago I've seen your art of Cicero - well, I'm such a fan of him and did some research for pictures^^ - and found your art, but his coloured one I only found now! :)

The colours are so nice - blue and green for Clodie (I have to admit: I quite dislike her and her
brother ;) ) and the senators latus clavus for cicero - good contrast!

And by the way - I'm pretty sure you like history just like I am, and that's awesome, because so many people ain't interested in Roman history - which, for me, is the best. That's why I'm studying history and doing my examns in good old Roman Republic! ;)

I just write this one comment, but so many of your pictures in your history-gallery are so lovely! I really like your style, and I have a bit of a bad conscience for only commenting one picture ...
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! I'm sorry I'm the world's slowest commenter at times. (My life has been pretty crazy over the past few years.) The Cicero and/or Clodia fans I've found through dA have left the loveliest comments. I did a new pic of C&C here. [link] I hope you like it too!
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:iconcatherine187:
Catherine187 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013
And I'm one the slowest to look over my messages :) Thank you for answering my comment!

I LOVE your new picture! Cicero's face is a bit thinner than I imagined from busts, but I really like it! He looks younger and it seems more probable that there may be - well, whatever between them ;)

There are so few pictures wie C/C, I'm happy you did post a new one! Are there any more pics coming? Or at least anyones with Romans? ;) My fav era!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! But hey, you can't be as slow as answering comments as I am. :P

I don't know about new pics... at this point, the only art I'm doing is for pay. If you're interested in a commission, I might be able to sneak one in for you! :)
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:iconluscinea:
Luscinea Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011
Re the above question: Yes. If this print were available for sale, I would most certainly buy a copy.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Would you like to buy it through Cafepress? I really like the quality of the prints they have there.
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:iconluscinea:
Luscinea Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011
Cafe Press would be great!!! Maybe some other folks would want it also--I'll certainly alert people from Ancient Worlds to its availability. My sister and two of my friends have spent quite a bit of time viewing your artwork at DeviantArt. We have all enjoyed your works very much.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, you'll have the painting soon enough! Hopefully I'll have the problems with CafePress sorted out soon, so I can upload new prints. :)
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:iconluscinea:
Luscinea Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011
Actually, a star-crossed romance between Clodia and Cicero could explain the extreme viciousness of his Pro Caelio. I realize that Cicero was essentially a "hired gun" (bad anachronism that) and it was his job to thwart Clodia's attempts to regain her money etc. from her former special friend Caelius. Roman lawyers in general played to the crowd rather than worrying too terribly much about "actual facts." (As opposed to fake facts one supposes.) But Cicero's defense of Caelius was over the top even for Cicero. I'm very happy with this thwarted love theory. It could also explain the extreme nastiness of Terentia's divorce from Cicero.
__
I'm not really an ancient Roman, I just play one in a galaxy far far away.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Especially since there was the rumors, repeated by Plutarch, that the two of them were engaged... and Clodia was good friends with Atticus, and Cicero was always asking about her... and he ended up wanting to buy property from Clodia, post-trial... but not surprisingly, she blew him off. The more I think about it, the more it reeks of a love affair gone bad. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks so. :)
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:iconluscinea:
Luscinea Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011
I need to do more Cicero posts for the game. But that stupid bust of Augustus avatar is so uninspiring. LOL I did do a court case in the game, and won. As I should. Since I'm Cicero and all! And when you DO publish your novel let me know because I want to read it.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner May 9, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, Augustus doesn't seem very... Ciceronian. But you'll have your sketch of Cicero soon enough-- with all his hair too! :D
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:iconchaosfive-55:
Chaosfive-55 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome rendering! But I deeply doubt there was any romance brewing between those two...;)
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I dunno... I kind of think so. There's actually a lot of evidence that kind of points in that direction, IMO.
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:iconchaosfive-55:
Chaosfive-55 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
;)It must have gone sour in the end, though--that speech of his against her was quite blistering!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
But did you know that he tried to buy property from her years later? He sent her a lot of flattering letters. But she blew him off-- surprising, eh? ;P
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:iconchaosfive-55:
Chaosfive-55 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:lol:That sounds just like Cicero! His fatal flaw--a professional lawyer, he never seemed to understand that those who became the targets of his eloquent oratorical attacks tended to take them VERY personally! Marc Antony certainly did...:stab:
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Did you know that he frequently asked his BFF Atticus about Clodia in his letters? As in, "Oh, tell me all about Clodia since you saw her at this amazing party [which I was not invited to]!" (Apparently Atticus and Clodia were friends.) This in addition to the rumors, as reported by Plutarch, that C & C were once engaged and Terentia was wildly jealous of Clodia, makes me think there was something there.
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:iconchaosfive-55:
Chaosfive-55 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Interesting!!! I don't doubt that he was attracted--she was the Fascinatrix of her generation!:nod:
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
LOL, Fascinatrix? Is that word an invention of yours? :)
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(1 Reply)
:icon2138:
2138 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011
This is marvelous! I admit my mental image of Cicero has been somewhat altered by "Rome" (damn, I love that series) but this is an interesting new twist on a couple of equally interesting characters.

Tell me--have you read the "SPQR" mystery novels by John Maddox Roberts? Clodia is something of a bad girl in those, but they definitely cover her intelligent, scheming side as well, and it gives a great worm's-eye view of the Roman political struggles in the last days of the Republic. I think you'd like 'em.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks-- I'm glad you like the pic!

I love John Maddox Roberts! That series is quite possibly my favorite Roman mystery series ever. The characterization is really well done. (BTW, I've been reading it since the first book came out in the late '80s. ;P )
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:icon2138:
2138 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011
Fantastic! I only came to the series lately (looking for something in the I, Claudius vein, and stumbled across the first SPQR on Amazon) but I really love 'em. I even searched DA for pictures of Decius and Julia . . . alas, 'twere not to be. But I'm thrilled to see that someone else reads 'em too!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, I've been a fan forever. IMO, the other Roman mystery series I've read just can't compare. :D
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:iconingsoc85:
Ingsoc85 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011
Cicero and Clodia, eh? I must admit that I never thought of them as a couple, Cicero portray her as a vacant whore, which was probably due to the fact her brother Clodius had him exiled from Rome and until his death was Cicero most bitter enemy in all of Rome.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Have you ever read "Clodia: A Sourcebook" by Julia Dyson Hejduk? That's a pretty comprehensive compilation of all the existing mentions of Clodia, and she reinterprets the information in a very convincing way.
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:iconiaiusjello:
iaiusjello Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2011
Hah, I think I've seen your Cicero and Clodia like a zillion times while searching for various Roman-inspired art on DA. It's probably the piece I've seen most often on DA--or at least, it's the one that best stands out.

I have to admit I've never been particularly interested in Clodia; I found Catullus horribly jarring and awful to translate aloud, and Cicero got on my nerves with his endless periodic ramblings. I am much more fascinated by Augustan literature and Augustan women in general: whether literary, like Corinna (I've yet to read Propertius or Tibullus, alas) or real, like Julia or Sulpicia. Aside from my general previous for that period, I think it's also that there was always much ado about Clodia yet Julia and Sulpicia seem to get a historical raw deal; I don't think they had the ability to break out of their strictures as well as Clodia did. Well, Julia tried (allegedly) and look where it got her . . .

Anyway, I ramble. Fine work here; I wonder if it's showing a more peaceful coexistence than the sort we see in your older sketch. I love Clodia's stylus--puella docta indeed.

As for your friend, it's a shame that blog looks like it hasn't been updated in years. I was quite entertained by what I read.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! I like to think I've made a good argument for a canon Cicero/Clodia pairing... This would be before they fell out (at least, the way it happens in my as-yet unfinished novel).

Puella docta indeed! All in all, Clodia seems like a pretty smart, classy lady, and it's annoying in most novels she's portrayed as a trashy nympho. Blah!

I wish Corinna would go back to her blog-- but she's just started teaching, so that's probably distracting. I think she has another blog, but I need to get the address of that.
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:iconiaiusjello:
iaiusjello Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2011
Canon? Heh, I've never seen history referred to in those terms. I guess it does work by analogy. I see some of your other work includes ASOIAF and SW, so perhaps that explains the use of the term!

What's the setting/scope of your novel? Is it about Cicero and Clodia, or do they just feature in it? I wrote near 100 pages or so of a work on Julia before abandoning it for being too juvenile in the earlier chapters (I can't draft, really--if it's not good when I wrote it, then I'ms stuck with it). I've started somethign less (or perhaps more) ambitious: an epic poem in Latin with Julia as the heroine. I have about 20 or so lines now. Females didn't get a lot of credit in those days and have almost no independent agency without a male reference--even Cornelia is only relevant as the mother of the Gracchi. I suppose Cloelia's the only exception to this rule, and she'd be an exciting subject for either a novel or a poem.

As far as being trashy, I have two minds on that.

I. We can take the love elegists at their word: it's possible to be both educated and sexually liberated, and both could represent aspects of her that want to break out of the traditional mold. It'd surely be trashy from a senatorial perspective, but then that might be the point. Of course it's all a question of portrayal: a male with a similar reputation, like Caesar, would never be characterized as a skank.

II. Female sexuality as a weapon. I've long felt that this was how Roman senators brought down the women they feared: transgressive sexuality. They were either whorish or they were acting like men, and that was a terrifying thought for a patriarchal society. So on one hand, they might say they had a deep, unfeminine lust for power (admirable in a man, of course) like Agrippina the Elder. Or, they might say she was slutty, as employed against Clodia, Julia, Agrippina the Younger, and so on down to Pulcheria. Alternatively, the idea of female sexuality just scared them too, whether it was a younger woman or someone like that old matrona in Horace's Epode 8. Emily H. (I really can't spell her last name!) explores both in her wonderful book, [i]Matrona Docta[/i] (I highly recommend it; I enjoyed it because her thoughts paralleled mine on the matter).

As for your friend's blog, let me know if you find anything!
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:iconverecunda:
verecunda Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2010
Oh, wow. This is gorgeous. I just love the colours! And their expressions - he looks so very annoyed at being... distracted, and she's loving it!

Yeah, I can see this happening, definitely! It would be possibly the most - er - dysfunctional romance ever, but it would be intense. Oh, Cicero. You are so not fooling anyone with any of that stuff you said in the Pro Caelio. Also, I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I've read that Terentia had her suspicions...

Really, I'm surprised that this idea hasn't been snapped up for a historical novel before now!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Plutarch actually said that Cicero wanted to marry Clodia, and Terentia was wildly jealous. Some of Cicero's biographers have said this is nonsense, but they're probably just biased. I think it's certainly more probable than many of the other, far more absurd things in Roman histories that people have accepted without question.

Re: a Cicero/Clodia novel, I've done some work on one, but I'm afraid it would take years to finish (I'm not very swift at these things). Maybe someday...

Would you be interested in a print of this? I've been considering putting it up for sale in my Cafepress store.
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:iconcupcake-daydreams:
cupcake-daydreams Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2010
this is a really great drawing :) i love your use of colour.
and i love your theories!!! The two of them probably did have a thing; didn't she have a thing with half of Rome? haha.
Have you read Lustrum by Robert Harris? (there's one before it; Imperium) it's about cicero's life, so naturally it has clodia in it.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! I'm quite pleased with my theories, actually. :)

Would you be interested in buying a print of this? I'm considering putting it up for sale in my Cafepress store.
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:iconcallthepatentoffice:
CallThePatentOffice Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2010
"...that means only one thing." XD

you should be an illustrator
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Uh, I am an illustrator. I have an agent and everything. :P
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:iconcallthepatentoffice:
CallThePatentOffice Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2010
haha em, ... why are you licking me in your reply?

"Uh, I am an illustrator. I have an agent and everything. :P "

anywho, it was supposed to be a compliment :P
;D
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:iconluanna255:
Luanna255 Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2010
That is wonderful. I love how accurately you draw the Roman clothes, even with the small details. And, believe it or not, I'd never heard of Clodia before seeing this drawing. I love history, but Roman history is not really my forte. Now that I've heard about her I;ve started doing some research as she seems fascinating. So, in addition to making a gorgeous picture, thanks for introducing me to a new figure from history!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
That's awesome! Thank you so much! That really makes my day. :hug:

Are you looking for any recommendations for books?
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