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14.
sententia, i.e. a formal proposition for a decree (analogous to "a motion reduced to writing " in a modern deliberative assembly). In the Roman Senate questions were proposed only by a magistrate; and this was done not in the form of a set motion, as with us, but the whole question was presented (de re referre) for discussion. The result of the deliberation might be several formal propositions for a decree, all, any, or none of which might be formally put to vote by the presiding officer. If one of these was carried, it would stand as the senatus consultum. (Cf. Introd., p. lvii, above).

complectar, i.e. my views on the whole question.

What follows is a somewhat rare example of a regular resolution of the Senate. The stately and formal character of the language is noteworthy.

cum, whereas.

occidione occident: notice the set phrase, not used in ordinary language. Translate, cut to pieces with great slaughter.


senatum. . . judicare, indir. disc. depending on censeo (l. 7); in the decree it would be senatus . . . judicat

uti . . . constituat: in the decree this would depend on some word of commanding (like decernit) in the heading; hence it stands unchanged in Cicero's indirect statement.

alter ambove: the imperium of the two consuls was absolutely equal, and the power of neither was impaired by the special assignment of any duty to the other. Any such special assignment of functions was only made by mutual consent, and either had a legal right to interfere in the other's province. Of course, however, any such interference was regarded as unwarranted, and in practice the two colleagues either took turns in the administration or agreed upon a division of functions between them.

pulvinaria: see note on Cat. 3, sect. 23 (p. 137, l. 14). A supplicatio was one of the few religious rites of the Romans in which the whole people took part. The proper temples were opened and the gods symbolically served with a feast The citizens repaired to these temples and paid their individual devotions to the gods in peculiar forms of humiliation not ordinarily observed in the public sacrifices.


senatum . . . soluturum: here the statement returns to the form of the indir. disc., — in the decree, senatus . . solvet.

cum . . . caederent, concessive.

locandum. . . curent: see note on Cat. 3, sect. 20 (p. 136, l. 8).

si vivi vicissent, if they had survived their victory.


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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 3.20
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 3.23
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