I. Propositio

Effrontery of Catiline in appearing in the Senate. Weakness of the consuls in allowing him to live contrasted with the vigorous action of former times in less flagrant cases. Reasons for the delay.

etiam (et jam), still,

eludet, baffle, i.e. his mad conduct makes fools of the Roman people, as it were, by continuing to escape the just punishment that would suppress it.

quem ad finem: almost equivalent to quamdiu, but implying some shock or crisis (finem) which must follow.

sese jactabit, insolently display itself

nihil (adv. acc.), not at all.

Palati: one of the strongest positions in the city, commanding the Forum, and so most likely to be seized by the conspirators. The Palatium, an isolated hill, of a rudely quadrangular shape, was the original seat of the city of Rome, from which the city spread gradually over the other hills. In the last years of the Republic, the Palatine became the fashionable place for residences. Here was Cicero's house as well as Catiline's. It was because of its nearness to his house, as well as because of the strength of its position, that Cicero selected this temple for the meeting of the Senate on this occasion. Under the Empire the Palatine became the seat of the imperial residence, and its name, palace, has passed in this sense into most modern languages.

bonorum: the Senate was surrounded by a crowd of equites and other citizens (see sect. 21, below).

locus: the Senate was assembled, not, as usual, in the Curia Hostilia, but in the Temple of Jupiter Stator, which occupied a commanding position on the brow of the Palatine Hill and faced the Sacred Way. The ruins of this temple were discovered some years ago (see view in text).

horum (with a gesture), i.e. the Senators present.

ora, features; voltus, expression: the phrase is a sort of hendiadys, almost equivalent to expression of their features; § 640 (385); B. 374, 4; G. 698; H. 751,3, N.1 (636, iii, 2); H-B. 631,5.

patere: note the emphatic position.

non: observe the abruptness and force given by omitting the interrog. particle -ne.

constrictam . . . teneri, is held fast bound; § 497, b (292, c) ; cf. B. 337, 6; G. 238; H.431,1(385, 1, N.); H.-B. 605,5.

proxima, superiore: for what was done on the night of Nov. 6, see sect. 4; as to proxima, last night, we meet with nothing but general assertions.

tempora, etc., what a time! what a state of things! (mores customs of the time.)

immo, nay more: immo here negatives not the fact of the preceding statement (vivit), but only its form as not being strong enough; nay is similarly used in English, as in Midsummer-Night's Dream, iii, 2, 313: "To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too."

videmur, etc. think we do enough for (i.e. fulfil our duty to the state).

si . . . vitemus: in the dir. form, satisfacimus si vitamus.

ad mortem: the consuls originally possessed full powers of judgment in criminal cases, including punishment by death. These highest powers of the imperium were suspended within the city by laws which gave the right of appeal to the people (note, p. 110, l. 16), but the Senate could revive them in cases of danger by the formula Videant consules ne quid res publica detrimenti capiat, — a proceeding analogous to the proclamation of martial law. This action the Senate had taken Oct.21, nearly three weeks before.

oportebat, apod. of an implied cond.: § 522, a (311, c); B. 304, 3, a; G. 254, R1; H. 583 (511, I, N.1); H-B. 582, 3, a; the imperf. is used with jam pridem, where in English we might expect the pluperf.; § 471, b (277, b); B. 260,4; G. 234; H. 535(469,2); H.-B. 485; oportebat alone would mean "you ought [now] to be [but are not]"; with jam pridem it means "you ought to have been long ago and still ought to be."

jam diu: words in brackets are thought to be spurious insertions in the text.

an vero properly belongs both to interfecit and perferemus; in English we should connect the two clauses by and. On the force of an, see § 335, b (211, b); B. 162, 4, a; G. 457, 1 ; H. 380, 3 (353, N.4); H.-B. 236.

vir amplissimus, pontifex maximus: observe how these words strengthen the force of the example.

Ti. Gracchium: Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, a young man of high rank and great purity of character, attempted to carry through some important reforms, particularly touching the tenure of the public lands, B.C. 133. Requiring more time to make his legislation effective, he attempted illegally to secure his own re-election as tribune, when he was attacked and killed by a mob of Senators headed by P. Scipio Nasica.

privatus: at the time referred to, Nasica was only a private citizen of consular rank. He afterwards went into exile, and was made Pontifex Maximus in his absence. The word privatus is rhetorically opposed to nos consules.

illa, that case, plural for singular as referring to the circumstances of the case.

Ahala: the magister equitum of the famous Cincinnatus; he killed without legal process the eques Maelius, on suspicion that the latter was aiming at royal power (B.C. 439);

novis rebus (the classic expression for a violent change of government), revolution: dat. after studentem.

fuit (emphat.), there was, etc., implying that it is so no longer; § 598, d (344 d, 3). Cf. fuit Ilium, Aeneid 2.325.

habemus (emphat.), i.e. it is not that we lack, etc.

senatus consultum: i.e. the decree conferring dictatorial power on the consuls (see note on sect. 2, 1.12, above), ut videant consules, etc.

vehemens, severe, as regards Catiline; grave, carrying weight, and so justifying the consuls in any extreme measures.

non deest, etc., it is not that the state lacks wise counsels, etc., but that the consuls are remiss in executing them.

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hide References (10 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 1.2
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 1.21
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 1.4
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 2.325
    • A. A. Howard, Benj. L. D'Ooge, G. L. Kittredge, J. B. Greenough, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar, 335
    • A. A. Howard, Benj. L. D'Ooge, G. L. Kittredge, J. B. Greenough, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar, 471
    • A. A. Howard, Benj. L. D'Ooge, G. L. Kittredge, J. B. Greenough, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar, 497
    • A. A. Howard, Benj. L. D'Ooge, G. L. Kittredge, J. B. Greenough, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar, 522
    • A. A. Howard, Benj. L. D'Ooge, G. L. Kittredge, J. B. Greenough, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar, 598
    • A. A. Howard, Benj. L. D'Ooge, G. L. Kittredge, J. B. Greenough, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar, 640
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