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Third Oration Against Catiline: III. How the Conspiracy was Suppressed. () Before the People, DEC. 3.


    CHAP. 1. The citizens are congratulated on their deliverance.
    2, 3. Story of the arrest: the conspirators' plans were watched: arrest of certain leaders at the Mulvian Bridge.
    4. The conspirators before the Senate: testimony of Volturcius and the Gauls.
    5. The letters produced. Confession of Cethegus, Lentulus, and Gabinius.
    6. The Senate decrees that the traitors be kept in custody, and that a general thanksgiving be held.
    7. Now all is safe: Catiline alone was to be feared, and that only while in the city. Character of Catiline.
    8, 9. The divine aid manifest in sundry omens: Jupiter watches over the city.
    10. Exhortation to keep the thanksgiving: this bloodless victory compared with others more costly.
    11. Cicero claims no reward but a grateful remembrance.
    12. But he is less fortunate than victors in foreign war, since the conquered are still citizens. He relies on the devotion of his countrymen, and has no fear for the future. The assembly dismissed.

Now that Catiline had been driven into open war, the conspiracy within the city was in the hands of utterly incompetent men. Lentulus, who claimed the lead by virtue of his consular rank, was vain, pompous, and inefficient. The next in rank, Cethegus, was energetic enough, but rash and bloodthirsty. The consul easily kept the run of events, and at last succeeded in getting the conspirators to commit themselves in writing, when he had no difficulty in arresting them and securing the documents. How this was accomplished is told in the third oration. 1.

I. Exordium

The citizens congratulated on their deliverance.

vitam, lives: the plural would rarely be used in Latin.

bona, estates (landed property); fortunas, goods (personal property).

nascendi . . . condicio, the lot of birth.

illum: Romulus, who, after his death, was deified and identified with the Sabine god of war, Quirinus.

urbi, etc.: dat. with subjectos.

idem (plun), I. . . have also, etc.: § 298, b (195, e); B. 248, I G. 310; H. 508, 3 (451, 3); H-B. 270, a.

eorum, i.e. of the swords.

II. Narratio

Story of the arrest. The conspirators watched: their attempts to tamper with the Allobroges disclosed to Cicero: the arrest at the Mulvian Bridge: seizure of incriminating letters.

inlustrata, patefacta, comperta: the anticlimax is only apparent, for comperta expresses the most difficult as well as the most important of the three acts.

vobis: opposed to in senatu (1.8).

investigata, traced out (observe the figure).

exspectatis, are waiting to hear.

ut, ever since.

possemus: § 575, b (334, b); B. 300,2; G.467; cf. H. 642, 3 (523, ii, i, N.). 2.

cum . . . eiciebam: notice the tense (at the time I was engaged in driving out, etc., also volebam, below), as compared with erupit (burst forth, once for all). Notice also the difference in mood (at the time, etc.), compared with cum reliquisset in ll.13, 14 (not referring to time at all, but to circumstance: having left behind, etc.): see § 545,546 (323, 325. a); B. 288, I; G. 580, 585; H. 600, 601 (521, i, ii); H.-B. 550, a and N.1.

invidiam: see Cat. 1, p. 108, l. 27, and note.

illa, sc. invidia.

quod . . . exierit: § 592, 3 (341, d); B. 323; G. 539; H. 588, ii (516, ii); H.-B. 535, 2, a.

restitissent: in direct disc. this would be restiterint (fut. perf.).

quoniam . . . faceret, because (as I thought), etc.: hence the subj. rather than faciebat: § 592, 3, N. (34 i, d, R.); G. 541; H. 588, ii (516, ii); H.-B. 535, 2, a, N.2.

fidem faceret, gain credence.

oratio, argument

rem comprehenderem, get hold of the matter.

ut . . . provideretis: purpose.

cum . . . videretis: subj. of integral part (otherwise it would be videbitis).

Allobrogum: the Allobroges were a Gallic nation between the Rhone and the Alps (in the modern Dauphine and Savoy); subdued B.C. 121, and united with the province Narbonensis. They were restless under their new masters (see sect. 22), and inclined to take up with Catiline's movement. Their ambassadors had come to complain of certain exactions of their provincial governor.

belli, i.e. when out of the range of the Roman jurisdiction; tumultus, rebellion, i.e. when nearer home.

Lentulo, see Introd., p. 126: he had been consul B.C. 71, but had been expelled from the Senate the next year, with sixty-three others, on account of his character, and he now held the praetorship with the view of beginning the career of office over again.

manifesto deprehenderetur, taken in the act: the words apply strictly to the criminals themselves.

praetores: although the regular duties of the praetors were judicial, yet they possessed the imperium, and in virtue of this could command troops in the absence of the consuls, or under their authority.

qui . . . sentirent (subj. of characteristic), as men who, etc.

pontem Mulvium: the bridge over the Tiber, about two miles above the city, by which the principal roads (the Flaminian and Cassian) led into north Italy.

inter eos, i.e. between the two divisions.

praefectura: the title given to the politically lowest class of Italian towns, which had lost their independence; cf. Vocab. under colonia and municipium.

Reatina: Reate was a very ancient town of the Sabines, about forty miles northeast of Rome. Cicero was the patronus of Reate, that is, acted as its attorney and legal counsel; which accounts for his having this body-guard of young men from that place. Besides, these simple mountaineers still retained something of the old Italian virtues, and therefore were well fitted for this service.

praesidio: dat. of service.

tertia. . . exacta, about 3 A.M.: the night, from sunset to sunrise, was divided by the Romans into four vigiliae of equal length.

magno comitatu: abl. of accomp.; § 413, a (248, a, N.); cf. B. 222, I ; G. 392, R.1; H. 474, 2 (419, I 1); cf. H.-B. 422, i.

res: the occasion of the attack.

ignorabatur, etc. Though the Allobroges had played the conspirators false, and knew that the consul had his plans ready, they did not know what these plans were, and therefore were as much taken by surprise as Volturcius himself. Even the troops would appear not to have known what special enterprise they were engaged in. 3.

machinatorem: Gabinius had been the go-between in this case; he and Statilius were to burn the city (Sall. Cat. 43, 44).

venit: of course he had been summoned like the others.

praeter, etc., since Lentulus was notoriously lazy.

viris, dat. after placeret, which has for subject litteras . . . aperiri, etc.

deferrem, integral part of aperiri; otherwise it would probably be defers; see § 551, c (327, a); cf. 'B. 291, I ; G. 574; H. 605, 2 (520); H-B. 571,507, 4, a.

esse facturum governs the result clause ut . . . deferrem: we may translate, I said I would not fail to lay before the public council a matter touching the public danger before it had been tampered with (integram).

etenim . . . si, for if you see.

reperta . . . essent: in dir. disc. this would be reperta erunt.

The Conspirators before the Senate. Evidence of Volturcius and the Allobroges. The letters produced. Confession of the conspirators.

si quid. . . esset, whatever weapons there might be. 4.

introduxi, sc. in senatum. fidem publicam, assurance of safity: he was to be used as state's evidence.

sciret: subj. of integral part.

servorum: the recollection of the terrible servile insurrections in Sicily, and especially that of Spartacus in Italy, less than ten years before, would make this shock and terrify Cicero's hearers beyond measure.

ut . . . uteretur: § 563 (331); B. 295,4; G. 546; H. 565 (498, i); H.-B. 502, 31 a; obj. of the verb of commanding implied in mandata, etc.

id: in a sort of apposition with at . . . accederet.

cam . . . incendissent: subj. because integral part of at praesto esset; otherwise it would be incenderimus (fut. perf.).

erat: § 583 (336, b); B. 314, 3; G. 628, R.; H. 643,4 (524, 2); H.-B. 535, I, d.

at . . . mitterent: purpose.

equitatum: the Roman cavalry was at this time chiefly composed of Gallic and other auxiliaries.

sibi (copias) refers to the conspirators; sibi (confirmasse) to the envoys: § 300, I and 2 (I 96, a, I and 2); B. 244, i, ii; H.-B. 262, 2.

defuturas [esse] depends on the idea of saying implied in praescriptum.

fatis: the books bought by Tarquinius Superbus of the Cumaean Sibyl. They were kept in charge of a board, collegium, the quindecemviri sacris faciundis, and consulted in cases of great public emergency (cf. Aeneid 6. 71).

haruspicum: the haruspices were Etruscan soothsayers, who interpreted the will of the gods, chiefly from the entrails of animals sacrificed. They were a private class, of low standing, and are not to be confounded with the augurs, who were a board of Roman noblemen, of high rank, who interpreted the auspices according to the native Roman rules, chiefly by the flight of birds, by lightning, etc.

Cinnam, etc.: L. Cornelius Cinna was colleague of Marius, and ruled Rome after his death, B.C. 86. L. Cornelius Sulla ruled Rome B.C. 82-79 (see sect. 24).

virginam: the Vestal Virgins, six in number, maidens of high rank, consecrated to chastity and the service of Vesta. They were peculiarly sacred, and were highly privileged. Violation of their vow of chastity was incestus, and was regarded as a prodigium of very bad omen. Of the incident referred to here nothing further is known.

Capitoli: the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus (see "Plunder of Syracuse," sect. 15) was burned during the rule of the Marian faction, B.C. 83.

Saturnalibas: a very ancient festival in honor of Saturn, the god of seed sowing, celebrated Dec.19. During this festival every serious business was suspended; and it was so complete a holiday that slaves feasted at the same tables with their masters. No better opportunity could be found for the outbreak of an insurrection than this season of unrestrained jollification. 5.

tabellas, tablets of wood: wax was spread on the inside, and on this the writing was scratched with a stilus. When used for letters, the tablets were tied about with a linen thread, linum, and sealed. See Fig. 35 (from a Pompeian wall-painting) and Fig. 44.

ipsias mana: the ambassadors had made sure to get all the conspirators committed in writing except Cassius, who alone had the sagacity to keep out of it.

senatai: the Gallic tribes were governed by an aristocracy, having a council or senate as its mouthpiece. etc.: in direct disc., faciam quae vestris legatis confirmavi.

at... illi, etc.: in the direct form, - vos facite quae sibi vestri legati receperunt Note the change of pronouns as well as of moods and tenses.

sibi recepissent, had taken upon themselves.

qui . . . respondisset: qui concessive.

tamen, i.e. in spite of the strong evidence against him.

est vero, etc., i.e. you may well recognize it: it is, etc.

avi tui: Cornelius Lentulus, cos. B.C. 162. He was princeps senatus, that is, designated by the censors as first man of the Senate: an honorary office, held ordinarily by patricians.

debuit, ought to have recalled: § 486, a (288, a); B. 270, 2; G. 254, R.1; H. 618, 2 (537, I) H.-B. 582, 31 a, and footnote. (The joining of such opposites as mata and revocare is called oxymoron, or paradox.)

eadem ratione, to the same purport

si vellet: § 592, 2 (341, c); Cf. B. 323; G. 663, 2, b; H.-B. 536, a (direct, si vis).

feci potestatem, I gave him leave.

nihilne: equiv. to nonne aliquid.

esset, is: imperf. by seq. of tenses; § 485, d (287, d); H. 549 (495, v); H.-B. 482, I.

qais sim, etc.: this letter is given with slight variations by Sallust, Cat. 44.

qaem in locam, etc., how far you have gone (alluding to the fact that he was thoroughly compromised).

infimoram, i.e. slaves; see note, p. 130, l. 3, above.

illa, the following: § 297, b (102, b); B. 246, 2; G. 307, 3; H. 507(450, 3).

furtim, stealthily ("like thieves"); so English stealth from steal. 6.

senatum consului: deliberative assemblies in ancient times were under the control of the presiding officer, and members could not speak or introduce business except when called upon by him. He laid a subject before them (consulere senatum, referre ad senatum), and asked their opinions individually, in a definite order, usually according to their rank or dignity. In the case of a general question he was said referre (consulere) de summa re publica. The form would be, dic, C. Juli, sententiam. (See Introd., p. lvii.)

a principibus, the leading men.

sententiae: the views of the individual Senators (see note on l.23, above).

perscriptum: the opinions (sententiae) of the Senators (given as just described) merely determined the substance of the ordinance, which was afterwards written out in regular form by the secretaries in the presence of some of its advocates and under the direction of the presiding officer.

Action of the Senate: the chief conspirators are given into custody and a thanksgiving is voted.

L Flaccas: see note on p. 128, l. 7.

conlegae: C. Antonius; see Introd. to Cat. 1, p.99.

rei pablicae consilus, the public counsels, i.e. his own (officially) as consul.

cam se abdicasset, after abdicating. Lentulus could not properly be called to account during his magistracy; but he might be forced to resign, and could then be proceeded against.

erant: notice that this and similar clauses in this section, since they are explanations made by Cicero and not parts of the decree, take the indicative.

L. Cassiam, etc.: these last mentioned had not yet been arrested, but Ceparius was caught in his flight and brought back.

pastores: Apulia was, as now, used chiefly for pasturage. In the summer, when these broad plains were dried up, the flocks were driven to the mountain pastures of Samnium and Lucania. These pastoral regions have always been the home of a lawless and restless population, prone to brigandage.

colonis, etc.: Cf. sect. 20, above (pp.121, 122).

sapplicatio: a day of prayer, proclaimed by the Senate, either in thanksgiving (gratulatio) as in the present case, or in entreating favor of the gods.

eoram, i.e. the gods.

togato, as a civilian: cf. Cat. 1, p. 125, l. 17 and note. See Fig. 33.

liberassem: in the decree, liberavit,

hoc interest, there is this difference.

bene gesta, as well as conservata, agrees with re publica (abl. abs.).

faciendam . . . fuit: observe that this form has not here its usual cont. to fact implication.

jas, rights.

tamen: he was allowed to resign instead of being put to death without resigning (as in the case below).

qaae . . . faerat, what had not been a scruple to Afarius a scruple which had not prevented M. from (quo minus, etc.).

qao minas . . occideret, to prevent his killing, following religio: § 558, b (319, c); Cf. B. 295, 3; G. 549; H. 568, 8 (499, 3, N.1); H-B. 502, 31 b.

C. Glauciam: see note on Cat. 1, p. 101, l. 1.

nominatim, i.e. Marius acted merely under the general authority conferred on him by the Senate in the formula, Videatit consules, etc. (see note on Cat. 1, p. 100, l. 12).

The conspiracy is now crashed. Character of Catiline. 7.

pellebam: conative imperf.; cf. p. 127, l. 16 and note.

pertimescendam: observe the intensive force of per.

ille erat, etc.: with this character of Catiline, cf. notes on Cat. 1, 26 (p. 109, l. 23), and ii, 9 (p.117, t 4).

continebatur: for tense, see § 556, a (276, e, N.); G. 569; H. 603 (519, i); H-B. 550, b.

consiliam, ability to plan.

mandarat: for mood and tense, see § 542, 518, b (322, 309, c); B. 287, 2; G. 567; H. 539, 2 (472, 2); H.-B. 577 and footnote I, 579.

depalissem, pushed aside: the image is of averting a crushing weight (molem), just ready to fall.

non ille, etc., i.e. as Cethegus did.

Saturnalia, i.e. so distant a date.

constituisset: the prot. (cont. to fact) is implied in ille; § 521, a (310, a); B. 305, 2; G. 593,3; H. 575, 9 (507, N.7); H.-B. 578, 6.

rei pablicae: dat. after denuntiavisset.

testes: in appos. with both signum and litterae.

qaae: referring to Cicero's success in securing (lit. capturing) the evidence of guilt.

hostis (pred. appos.), as an enemy.

Thanks due to the gods. Signs and omens. Jupiter watches over the city. 8.

cam (correl. with tam vera, 1.9), i.e. we cannot merely guess it (for the reason in the quod-clause following), but still more we can almost see it with our own eyes.

quod . . . potuisse (parenthetical), because, etc.

consili (pred. gen. limiting gubernatio), to belong to human wisdom.

possemas: for tense, see § 485, a (287, a); B. 268, 7; G. 511, a.3; H. 546 (495, i); H.-B. 481.

faces, etc.: these omens are such as the Romans observed and noted carefully. Livy's history is full of them.

praetermittendam, inadvertently; relinquendam, intentionally.

Cotta et Torquato: consuls B.C. 65, the year in which Catiline first intended to carry out his conspiracy.

aera: the laws were engraved on bronze tables.

ille . . . Romulas: there is a bronze statue of the wolf suckling the infants in the Capitoline Museum at Rome, which bears marks either of lightning seaming one of its hind legs, or of some defect in the casting (Fig. 36). This is probably identical with that here mentioned.

haruspices: see note on p. 130, l. 14.

flexissent: in direct disc. flexerint, following appropinquare, which points to the future; § 516, d (307, d) ; G. 595; H. 580 (508, 4); cf. H.-B. 582, 1.

illoram, i.e. the haruspices.

ladi: festivals in which races and theatrical performances were celebrated in honor of the gods ; such festivals were especially appointed to appease the deities in times of danger and distress; Cf. Verres, 1, sect. 31.

idem (plur.), they also.

contra atqae, opposite to what: § 324, c (156, a); B. 341, I, c; G. 643; H. 516, 3 (459, 2); H.-B. 307, 2, a.

solis . conspiceret: the Forum and the Senate house (curia) were east of the south end of the Capitoline Hill, on which stood the Capitolium, or temple of Jupiter Capitolinus (see Plan of Forum).

inlustrarentur: the word is chosen with reference to the omen of Jupiter looking toward the rising sun.

conlocandam . . . locaverant: locare with the gerundive is the regular expression for giving out a contract; § 500, 4 (294, d); B. 337, 7, b, 2; G. 430; H. 622 (544, N.2); H-B. 612, iii.

illi, i.e. of year before last.

consulibas and nobis: abl. abs. expressing the date. 9.

praeceps, headstrong; mente captus, insane.

haec omnia, i.e. the universe.

ita is explained by caedes . . . comparari, below.

responsam: the regular expression for any prophetic answer as of an oracle or seer.

rei pablicae (dat.), against the state.

et ea, and that too (cf. καὶ ταῦτα).

ea: referring to caedes, etc, above.

iliad: referring forward to the result at . . . statueretur (ll.21-23).

in aedem Concordine: one of the principal temples at the northern end of the Forum (see Plan), where the Senate had held its session on this day. It was built by the consul L. Opimius, B.C. 121, after his bloody victory over C. Gracchus.

quo, wherefore: § 414, a, N. (250, N.); H.-B. 424, a.

vestris, etc.: observe the contrast between vestris and deorum, which is emphasized by their respective positions.

non ferendas, intolerable for arrogance.

ille, etc.: anaphora; § 641 (386); B. 350, II, b; cf. G. 682; H. 666, I (636, iii, 3); H.-B. 632,5.

illa, etc.: omit the words in brackets as being a manifest gloss.

consilium, etc.: cf. the proverb, quem deus perdere volt, prius dementat

at introduces the result clause at . . . neglegerent, with which id is in apposition, the whole forming the subject of esse factum.

gens refers here to the Gauls as a whole, not to the Allobroges in particular.

patricus: the old patricians, though having no special political privileges, still retained considerable prestige as an hereditary aristocracy. cf. note on Verres 1.1 (p. 28, l. 2). Of the conspirators, Catiline, Lentulus, and Cethegus were patricians.

qui . . . saperare potuerint: cf. note on p. 131, l. 8; qui, as subject of the charact. clause, may be translated by when they.


III. Peroratio

Citizens exhorted to thanksgiving.

pulvinaria, shrines: properly cushions, upon which the statues of the gods were laid, when a feast was spread before them. This was called lectisternium, and was usually connected with the supplicatio (see note on p. 133, l. 19). Only certain gods, chiefly Grecian, had pulvinaria, and the rite was established by direction of the Sibylline books (see note, sect. 9).

celebratote: the future imperative is used on account of its reference to a set time in the future; § 449 (269, d); G. 268, ; H. 560, 4 (487, 11); H.-B. 496. The figure in the text (from an ancient altar relief) represents a procession such as was usual on occasions of this kind. Fig. 37 (from an ancient lamp) shows the images at such a feast.

duce, i.e. in actual command; imperatore, i.e. holding the sovereign power, whether actually commanding that particular operation or not.

dissensiones: for case, see § 350, d (219, b); G.376, a.2; H. 455 (407, N.1); H.-B. 350, b.

P. Sulpicium [Rufum], a young man of remarkable eloquence, a leader in the reforming party among the aristocracy. He was tribune B.C. 88, and his quarrel with C. Caesar was the first act of the Civil War. By his proposition, the command in the Mithridatic War was transferred from Sulla to Marius; and when Sulla refused to obey, and marched upon the city, Sulpicius was one of the first victims.

conlegam: Lucius Cornelius Cinna, the Marian partisan (see note on p. 130, l. 16). He and Cn. Octavius, a partisan of Sulla, were consuls B.C. 87, after the departure of Sulla for the East, and in their dissensions the Civil War broke out afresh. The victory of Cinna later recalled Marius from exile.

lumina: among these were Octavius; C. Caesar (see above) and his brother Lucius; Q. Catulus, father of the opponent of the Manilian Law (see below); M. Antonius, the great orator; and the pontifex maximus, Q. Scaevola.

ultus est: to preserve the emphasis, render the cruelty, etc., was avenged by Sulla.

dissensit, there was a quarrel between, etc.

M. Lepidus, father of the triumvir, was consul B.C. 78 (after Sulla's death), with Q. Catulus, son of the one murdered by Cinna. The scheme of Lepidus to revive the Marian party resulted in a short civil war, in which he was defeated by his colleague and killed.

ipsias: he was the victim of his own violence, and therefore less regretted.

Cicero asks for no reward except the memory of this day. He relies on the devotion of the citizens, and has no fears for the future. The assembly dismissed.

tamen: i.e. though these disturbances cost a great many lives, yet they were not so revolutionary as this conspiracy, which has been put down without bloodshed.

commatandam rem publicam, a change of government

quale bellum, a war such as.

quo in bello: § 307, a (200, a); B. 351, 4; G. 615; H.-B. 284, 4.

omnes, etc., i.e. everybody except the desperate.

tantum, only so many.

restitisset (resisto), should survive. 11.

matum: such as a statue, for example.

eandem diem, etc., the same period of time—eternal as I hope — is prolonged, both for the safety of the city, etc.

duos civis, i.e. Pompey and himself. 12.

qaae, as: § 308, h (201,g); H-B. 270, b.

isti (contrasted with mihi) refers to illorum (1.20).

mentes, counsels.

nihil . . . noceri potest, no harm can be done.

dignitas, etc., i.e. the majesty of the Roman state will be an invisible safeguard for me; cf. "the divinity "that" doth hedge a king" (Hamlet iv, 5, 123).

conscientiae, etc., i.e. my enemies, conscious of their guilty sympathy with this conspiracy, will, in their attempts to injure me, inevitably commit some act which will show them to be traitors to the state.

altro, i.e. without waiting to be attacked.

domesticoram hostiam: oxymoron; § 641 (386); B. 375, 2; G. 694; H. 752, 12 (637, xi, 6); H.-B. 632, 3. cf. the same figure in Cat. 1, sect. 21 (p. 108, l. 4): cum tacent, clamant.

convertit: pres. for fut., as often, especially in protasis.

obtulerint: subj. of integral part.

in honore vestro: honor is used here, as usual, to denote external honors (offices) conferred by the people. Holding the consulship, he had nothing to look forward to.

conservanda re publica: abl. of means.

in re publica, in public life.

virtute, non casa, etc., i.e. he will show this by such conduct as shall be consistent with this glorious achievement.

Jovem: the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus is shown in the background of the illustration opposite p.136; the figure in the text at p.140 is a restoration of this temple.

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