How crucial was the murder of Clodius to subsequent events? As the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 is generally regarded as the spark that ignited World War I, so the murder of Clodius can be regarded as precipitating a chain of events that led to civil war between Pompey and Caesar and the final dissolution of the Roman Republic. As Michael Grant notes, the Pro Milone 'casts a lurid light upon the savage chaos and vendetta which signalized these last moribund years of the Republic, and helped to make it inevitable that this once mighty institution should come to an end and be replaced by an autocracy.'

Claude Nicolet argues the point even more explicitly in The World of the Citizen in Republican Rome (University of California Press, 1988): 'The intervention of Pompey's troops was indeed prophetic: it sounded the knell of the free Republic and, by the same token, of Roman political and forensic eloquence. The Roman mob thought it had gained a victory by intimidating Cicero and driving Milo into exile; but all it had done was to prepare the way for civil war and thereby the Empire.'

Most of my research was conducted at Doe Library and (somewhat surreptitiously) in the Classics Reading Room at the University of California at Berkeley. I want to express my personal thanks to Penni Kimmel for reading the manuscript; to Rick Solomon for various sorts of indulgence and inspiration; to Pat Urquhart, for his technical assistance with the map; to Terri Odom, for reading the galleys; and to my editor at St Martin's Press, Keith Kahla.

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