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Durham University

Department of Classics and Ancient History

Current Research Students

Publication details for Dr Amy Russell

Russell, A. (2016). Why did Clodius shut the shops? The rhetoric of mobilizing a crowd in the Late Republic. Historia 65(2): 186-210.

Author(s) from Durham


When Publius Clodius ordered Rome’s tabernae to be shut for one of his meetings in 58, he was not only trying to gather a crowd by forcing tabernarii onto the street. Shutting the shops was a symbolic move alluding to the archaic iustitium and to the actions of Tiberius Gracchus. It allowed Clodius to claim both that his meeting was vital to the safety of the res publica and that he (and not Cicero) had the support of the entire Roman people, including the lowliest