Claudia Pulchra was the name of several women of Roman gens of Claudii during the 1st century BC and 1st century AD. The Latin pulchra (meaning 'beautiful') is the root of the English word pulchritude (meaning 'beauty').
Wife of Tiberius Gracchus
Relatives of Publius Clodius
Claudia Pulchra was the name of the three daughters of Appius Claudius Pulcher, praetor of 88 BC, and his wife Caecilia Metella Balearica. Claudia Prima and Claudia Secunda we know little of. The youngest daughter, Claudia Tertia, is better known as Clodia Pulchra. They were the elder sisters of Publius Clodius Pulcher.
Clodia Pulchra, also known simply as Clodia or Claudia, was the daughter of Publius Clodius Pulcher and Fulvia Flacca Bambula (Later married to Mark Antony). Clodia was briefly married to Octavian (later Augustus).
Daughters of Appius Claudius Pulcher (praetor 57 BC)
Claudia Pulchra Major was the elder daughter of Appius Claudius Pulcher (consul 54 BC), praetor of 57 BC, elder brother of Publius Clodius. She was the first wife of Marcus Junius Brutus, who was praetor of 44 BC and the most famous of Julius Caesar's assassins. This marriage was very useful to Claudia's father as Brutus was very wealthy and it allied him with the leader of Optimates, Cato the Younger, who was Brutus' uncle. When Claudia's father was accused of bribery by Publius Cornelius Dolabella in 50 BC, Brutus was part of the faction that helped have him acquitted. In 45 BC Brutus divorced Claudia, without stating his reasons, in order that he could marry Porcia Catonis, who was the daughter of Cato and his first cousin. Claudia is not mentioned again.
Claudia Pulchra Minor was the younger daughter of Appius Claudius Pulcher. She was married to Gnaeus Pompeius who was the son of Pompey the Great and his third wife Mucia Tertia. Little is known of her life.
Great-niece of Augustus
Claudia Pulchra (PIR2 C 1116, 14 BC-26) was a patrician woman of Ancient Rome who lived during the reigns of Emperors Augustus and Tiberius. She was the daughter of Claudia Marcella Minor and Claudius Pulcher, by adoption Marcus Valerius Messala Barbatus Appianus, who was Consul in 12 BC and died in office. Her maternal grandparents were Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor and Octavia Minor, sister of Augustus. Her father, Marcus Valerius Messala Barbatus Appianus was a son of consul Appius Claudius Pulcher, Consul in 38 BC. Her mother married Roman senator Marcus Valerius Messalla Messallinus. She was the elder half sister of Marcus Valerius Messalla Barbatus (who would later become the father of Valeria Messalina, third wife of Roman Emperor Claudius).
She became the second wife of Roman General and Politician Publius Quinctilius Varus. He was the widower of Vipsania Marcella, who was a daughter of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa by his second wife Claudia Marcella Major, niece of Augustus. Pulchra and Varus had a son, a younger Publius Quinctilius Varus. Her husband committed suicide in September 9 during the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, Germania Inferior. She never remarried.
Pulchra was always a close friend to her second cousin Agrippina the Elder. Through her friendship with Agrippina, she became the victim of the intrigues of Sejanus' treason trials in 26. She was accused of an attempt to poison Tiberius, casting magic, and immorality; she died in exile. Tacitus considered the trial to be an indirect political attack against Agrippina.
Her son became wealthy through the inheritance of both his parents. In 27, however the younger Varus found himself facing accusations of treason and was formally condemned. His trial has been attributed to the increasing distrust of Tiberius towards his environment and the machinations of Sejanus.
- Plutarch, Tiberius Gracchus
- Cicero. ad Fam. iii. 4.
- Plutarch, Marcus Brutus, 13.3.
- Cicero. Brutus. 77, 94
- E. Klebs, H. Dessau, P. Von Rohden (edd.), Prosopographia Imperii Romani, 3 vol., Berlin, 1897-1898. (PIR1)
- E. Groag, A. Stein, L. Petersen - e.a. (edd.), Prosopographia Imperii Romani saeculi I, II et III, Berlin, 1933 - . (PIR2)
- Raepsaet-Charlier M.-Th., Prosopographie des femmes de l'ordre sénatorial (Ier-IIe siècles), 2 vol., Louvain, 1987, 633 ff.