11. [23]

As, then, this is the case, O conscript fathers, instead of my military command—instead of the army,——instead of the province 1 which I have neglected, and the other badges of honour which have been rejected by me for the sake of protecting the city and your safety,—in place of the ties of clientship and hospitality with citizens in the provinces, which, however, by my influence in the city, I study to preserve with as much toil as I labour to acquire them,—in place of all these things, and in reward for my singular zeal in your behalf, and for this diligence in saving the republic which you behold, I ask nothing of you but the recollection of this time and of my whole consulship. And as long as that is fixed in your minds, I still think I am fenced round by the strongest wall. But if the violence of wicked men shall deceive and overpower my expectations, I recommend to you my little son, to whom, in truth, it will be protection enough, not only for his safety, but even for his dignity if you recollect that he is the son of him who has saved all these things at his own single risk. [24]

Wherefore, O conscript fathers, determine with care, as you have begun, and boldly, concerning your own safety, and that of the Roman people, and concerning your wives and children; concerning your altars and your hearths your shrines and temples; concerning the houses and homes of the whole city; concerning your dominion, your liberty and the safety of Italy and the whole republic. For you have a consul who will not hesitate to obey your decrees, and who will be able as long as he lives, to defend what you decide on and of his own power to execute it. 2

1 Cicero, in order to tempt Antonius to aid him in counteracting the treasonable designs of Catiline, had given up to him the province of Macedonia, which had fallen to his own lot; and having accepted that or Cisalpine Gaul in exchange for it, he gave that also to Quintus Metellus; being resolved to receive no emolument, directly or indirectly, from his consulship.

2 This speech was spoken, and the criminals executed, on the fifth of December. But Catiline was not yet entirely overcome. He had with him in Etruria two legions,—about twelve thousand men; of which, however, not above one quarter were regularly armed. For some time by marches and counter marches he eluded Antonius, but when the news reached his army of the fate of the rest of the conspirators it began to desert him in great numbers. He attempted to escape into Gaul but found himself intercepted by Metellus who had been sent thither by Cicero with three legions. Antonius is supposed not to have been disinclined to connive at his escape if he had not been compelled as it were by his quaestor Sextus and his lieutenant Petreius to force him to a battle, in which, however, Antonius himself being ill of the gout did not take the command, which devolved on Petreius who after a severe action destroyed Catiline and his whole army, of which every man is said to have been slain in the battle.

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