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During these proceedings at Rome, Catiline, out of the entire force which he himself had brought with him, and that which Manlius had previously collected, formed two legions, filling up the cohorts as far as his number would allow;1 and afterward, as any volunteers, or recruits from his confederates,2 arrived in his camp, he distributed them equally throughout the cohorts, and thus filled up his legions, in a short time, with their regular number of men, though at first he had not more than two thousand. But, of his whole army, only about a fourth part had the proper weapons of soldiers; the rest, as chance had equipped them, carried darts, spears, or sharpened stakes.

As Antonius approached with his army, Catiline directed his march over the hills, encamping, at one time, in the direction of Rome, at another in that of Gaul. He gave the enemy no opportunity of fighting, yet hoped himself shortly to find one,3 if his accomplices at Rome should succeed in their objects. Slaves, meanwhile, of whom vast numbers4 had at first flocked to him, he continued to reject, not only as depending on the strength of the conspiracy, but as thinking it impolitic5 to appear to share the cause of citizens with runagates.

LVII When it was reported in his camp, however, that the conspiracy had been discovered at Rome, and that Lentulus, Cethegus, and the rest whom I have named, had been put to death, most of those whom the hope of plunder, or the love of change, had led to join in the war, fell away. The remainder Catiline conducted, over rugged mountains, and by forced marches, into the neighborhood of Pistoria, with a view to escape covertly, by cross roads, into Gaul.

But Quintus Metellus Celer, with a force of three legions, had at that time, his station in Picenum, who suspected that Catiline, from the difficulties of his position, would adopt precisely the course which we have just described. When, therefore, he had learned his route from some deserters, he immediately broke up his camp, and took his post at the very foot of the hills, at the point where Catiline's descent would be, in his hurried march into Gaul.6 Nor was Antonius far distant, as he was pursuing, though with a large army, yet through plainer ground, and with fewer hinderances, the enemy in retreat.7

Catiline, when he saw that he was surrounded by mountains and by hostile forces, that his schemes in the city had been unsuccessful, and that there was no hope either of escape or of succor, thinking it best, in such circumstances, to try the fortune of a battle, resolved upon engaging, as speedily as possible, with Antonius. Having, therefore, assembled his troops, he addressed them in the following manner:

1 LVI. As far as his numbers would allow] “Pro numero militum.” He formed his men into two bodies, which he called legions, and divided each legion, as was usual, into ten cohorts, putting into each cohort as many men as he could. The cohort of a full legion consisted of three maniples, or six hundred men; the legion would then be six thousand men. But the legions were seldom so large as this; they varied at different periods, from six thousand to three thousand; in the time of Polybius they were usually four thousand two hundred. See Adam's Rom. Ant., and Lipsius de Mil. Rom Dial. iv.

2 From his confederates] “Ex sociis.” “"Understand, not only the leaders in the conspiracy, but those who, in c. 35, are said to have set out to join Catiline, though not at that time exactly implicated in the plot."” Kritzius. It is necessary to notice this, because Cortius erroneously supposes sociis to mean the allies of Rome. Dahl, Longius, Muller, Bernouf, Gerlach, and Dietsch, all interpret in the same manner as Kritzius.

3 Hoped himself shortly to find one] “Sperabat propediem sese habiturum.” Other editions, as those of Havercamp, Gerlach, Kritzius, Dietsch, and Bernouf, have the words magnas copias before sese. Cortius struck them out, observing that copiæ occurred too often in this chapter, and that in one MS. they were wanting. One manuscript, however, was insufficient authority for discarding them; and the phrase suits much better with what follows, si Romæ socii incepta patravissent, if they are retained.

4 Slaves--of whom vast numbers, etc.] “Servitia--cujus--magnæ copiæ."Cujus," says Priscian (xvii. 20, vol. ii., p. 81, ed. Krehl), "is referred ad rem, that is cujus rei servitiorum." Servorum or hominum genus, is, perhaps, rather what Sallust had in his mind, as the subject of his relation. Gerlach adduces as an expression most nearly approaching to Sallust's, Thucyd., iii. 92; Καὶ Δωριείζ, μητρόπολιζ τῶν &αακεδαιμονίων.

5 Impolitic] “Alienum suis rationibus.” Foreign to his views; inconsistent with his policy.

6 LVII. In his hurried march into Gaul] “In Galliam properanti.” These words Cortius inclosed in brackets, pronouncing them as a useless gloss. But all editors have retained them as genuine, except the Bipont and Bernouf; who wholly omitted them.

7 As he was pursuing, though with a large army, yet through plainer ground, and with fewer hinderances, the enemy in retreat] “Utpote qui magno exercitu, locis æquioribus, expeditus, in fugâ sequeretur.” It would be tedious to notice all that has been written upon this passage of Sallust. All the editions, before that of Cortius, had expeditos, in fugam, some joining expeditos with locis æquioribus, and some with in fugam. Expeditos in fugam was first condemned by Wasse, no negligent observer of phrases, who said that no expression parallel to it could be found in any Latin writer. Cortius, seeing that the expedition, of which Sallust is speaking, is on the part of Antonius, not of Catiline, altered expeditos, though found in all the manuscripts, into expeditus; and in fugam, at the same time, into in fugâ; and in both these emendations he has been cordially followed by the subsequent editors, Gerlach, Kritzius, and Dietsch. I have translated magno exercitu, "though with a large army," although, according to Dietsch and some others, we need not consider a large army as a cause of slowness, but may rather regard it as a cause of speed; since the more numerous were Metellus's forces, the less he would care how many he might leave behind through fatigue, or to guard the baggage; so that he might be the more expeditus, unincumbered. With sequeretur we must understand hostes. The Bipont, Bernouf's, which often follows it, and Havercamp's, are now the only editions of any note that retain expeditos in fugam.

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • John Conington, Commentary on Vergil's Aeneid, Volume 2, 11.682
    • John Conington, Commentary on Vergil's Aeneid, Volume 2, 12.375
  • Cross-references to this page (6):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), HASTA
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, C. Antonius
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, C. Manlius
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Gallia
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, L. Sergius Catilina
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Roma
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (19):
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