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16. On receiving this power Cicero entrusted matters outside to Quintus Metellus, while he himself kept the city in hand and daily went forth attended by so large a bodyguard that a great part of the forum was occupied when he entered it with his escort. Thereupon Catiline, no longer able to endure the delay, resolved to hasten forth to Manlius and his army, [2] and ordered Marcius and Cethegus1 to take their swords and go early in the morning to the house of Cicero on pretence of paying him their respects, and there to fall upon him and dispatch him. This scheme Fulvia, a woman of high rank, made known to Cicero, coming to him by night and urging him to be on his guard against Cethegus and his companion. The men came at break of day, and when they were prevented from entering, they were incensed and made an outcry at the door, which made them the more suspected. [3] Then Cicero went forth and summoned the senate to the temple of Jupiter Stesius (or Stator, as the Romans say), which was situated at the beginning of the Via Sacra, as you go up to the Palatine hill. Thither Catiline also came with the rest in order to make his defence; no senator, however, would sit with him, but all moved away from the bench where he was. And when he began to speak he was interrupted by outcries, and at last Cicero rose and ordered him to depart from the city, saying that, since one of them did his work with words and the other with arms, the city wall must needs lie between them.2 [4] Catiline, accordingly, left the city at once with three hundred armed followers, assumed the fasces and axes as though he were a magistrate, raised standards, and marched to join Manlius; and since about twenty thousand men altogether had been collected, he marched round to the various cities endeavouring to persuade them to revolt, so that there was now open war, and Antonius was sent off to fight it out.

1 From Cicero's oration pro Sulla (6, 18) and Sallust's Catiline (28) it appears that the names of these would-be murders were Caius Cornelius and Lucius Vargunteius.

2 Cf. Cicero, in Catil. i. 5, 10.

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (3):
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 1.10
    • Cicero, For Sulla, 18
    • Sallust, Catilinae Coniuratio, 28
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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