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Titus Annius Milo, (died 48 BC, near Thurii, Bruttium [Italy]), Roman politician, a supporter of the
Optimates and bitter rival of Publius Clodius Pulcher and Julius Caesar.
Milo supported Pompey and thus became pitted against Clodius, a reckless and disruptive politician
who had allied himself with Julius Caesar. Milo organized gangs of mercenaries and gladiators and led
them in clashes against the partisans of Clodius in Rome from 57 to 52 BC. As tribune of the plebs in
57, Milo actively promoted the recall of Cicero, whom Clodius had managed to have exiled. Milo tried
unsuccessfully to prosecute Clodius and prevent his election to the aedileship, and Clodius, in turn,
failed in an attempt to press charges against Milo. After serving as praetor in 55, Milo in 53 was a
candidate for the consulship, while Clodius was seeking the praetorship. A confrontation between the
two leaders at Bovillae ended with the murder of Clodius (January 52).
Milo’s guilt in the murder was clear. Pompey was made sole consul for 52 and passed a strict law
against public violence (vis), under which charges were brought against Milo. He was impeached and
prosecuted, his enemies using a variety of means to intimidate the judges and his supporters. Cicero
broke down and was unable to deliver an effective defense at the trial; his extant oration Pro Miloneis
an expanded form of the unspoken defense. Milo retired into exile at Massilia (now Marseille,
France). He joked that if Cicero had delivered the speech in his defense, he would never have been
able to enjoy the fine mullets of Massilia. Milo was the only man barred from Julius Caesar’s general
amnesty. Joining Marcus Caelius Rufus in 48 in an uprising against Caesar, Milo was killed near Thurii.
--Milo gladiator in history
…Milo, a rival bully, who espoused the patrician cause, was always surrounded with a
troop of gladiators. In the year B.C. 53, both were candidates for public office; Milo for the
consulate, Clodius for the praetorship. We may imagine the scenes of violence that
occurred between two such ruffians. Cicero, in a letter to Atticus, describes how he saw a
band of tatterdemalions with a lantern assembled at Clodius’ door during the night;
meanwhile Mile with his gladiators occupied the Campus Martius, and effectually hindered
the Comitia being held there the following day. A little before, Clodius had besieged Milo in
his house on the Germalus, or that part of the Palatine which overhangs the Velabrum; and
Milo, to save his life, had been compelled to fly to the house of Sulla.
In January, B.C. 52, Milo and Clodius with their trainf accidentally met near Bovilla,
what a quarrel ensued among their retainers, in which Clodius was killed. His dead body
was taken and exposed to the people. Pompey arrived in Rome and was named sole
consule. He made an order that Clodius’ son rebuild his monument to honor his family.
Pompey caused Milo to be brought to trial which caused a riot in Rome (which caused
shops to be closed). Cicero rose to defend Milo; Cicero addressed Pompey as he exclaimed,
“I appeal to you, and I raise my voice to you may hear me.”
--Milo gladiator in history