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CHRONOLOGY OF THE CONSPIRACY OF CATILINE.

EXTRACTED FROM DE BROSSES.

    A.U.C.

    685
  • Coss. L. CÆCILIUS METELLUS, Q. MARCIUS REX.--Catiline is Prætor.
  • 686.
  • --C. CALPURNIUS PISO, M. ACILIUS GLABRIO.--Catiline Governor of Africa.
  • 687.
  • --L. VOLCATIUS TULLUS, M. ÆMILIUS LEPIDUS.--Deputies from Africa accuse Catiline of extortion, through the agency of Clodius. He is obliged to desist from standing for the consulship, and forms the project of the first conspiracy. See Sall. Cat., c. 18.
  • 688.
  • --L. MANLIUS TORQUATUS, L. AURELIUS COTTA.--Jan. 1: Catiline's project of the first conspiracy becomes known, and he defers the execution of it to the 5th of February, when he makes an unsuccessful attempt to execute it. July 17: He is acquitted of extortion, and begins to canvass for the consulship for the year 690.
  • 689.
  • --L. JULIUS CÆSAR, C. MARCIUS FIGULUS THERMUS.--June 1: Catiline convokes the chiefs of the second conspiracy. He is disappointed in his views on the consulship.
  • 690.
  • --M. TULLIUS CICERO, C. ANTONIUS HYBRIDA.--Oct. 19: Cicero lays the affair of the conspiracy before the senate, who decree plenary powers to the consuls for defending the state. Oct. 21: Silanus and Muræna are elected consuls for the next year, Catiline, who was a candidate, being rejected. Oct. 22: Catiline is accused under the Plautian Law de vi. Sall. Cat., c. 31. Oct. 24: Manlius takes up arms in Etruria. Nov. 6: Catiline assembles the chief conspirators, by the agency of Porcius Læca. Sall. Cat., c. 27. Nov. 7: Vargunteius and Cornelius undertake to assassinate Cicero. Sall. Cat., c. 28. Nov. 8: Catiline appears in the senate; Cicero delivers his first Oration against him; he threatens to extinguish the flame raised around him in a general destruction, and quits Rome. Sall. Cat., c. 31. Nov. 9: Cicero delivers his second Oration against Catiline, before an assembly of the people, convoked by order of the senate. Nov. 20, or thereabouts: Catiline and Manlius are declared public enemies. Soon after this the conspirators attempt to secure the support of the Allobrogian deputies. Dec. 3: About two o'clock in the morning the Allobroges are apprehended. Toward evening Cicero delivers his third Oration against Catiline, before the people. Dec. 5. Cicero's fourth Oration against Catiline, before the senate. Soon after, the conspirators are condemned to death, and great honors are decreed by the senate to Cicero.
  • 691.
  • --D. JUNIUS SILANUS, L. LICINIUS MURÆNA.--Jan. 5: Battle of Pistoria, and death of Catiline.

The narrative of Sallust terminates with the account of the battle of Pistoria. There are a few other particulars connected with the history of the conspiracy, which, for the sake of the English reader, it may not be improper to add.

When the victory was gained, Antonius caused Catiline's head to be cut off, and sent it to Rome by the messengers who carried the news. Antonius himself was honored, by a public decree, with the title of Imperator, although he had done little to merit the distinction, and although the number of slain, which was three thousand, was less than that for which the title was generally given. See Dio Cass. xxxvii., 40, 41.

The remains of Catiline's army, after the death of their leader, continued to make efforts to raise another insurrection. In August, eight months after the battle, a party, under the command of Lucius Sergius, perhaps a relative or freedman of Catiline, still offered resistance to the forces of the government in Etruria. Reliquiæ conjuratorum, cum L. Sergio, tumultuantur in Hetruriâ. Fragm. Act. Diurn. The responsibility of watching these marauders was left to the proconsul Metellus Celer. After some petty encounters, in which the insurgents were generally worsted, Sergius, having collected his force at the foot of the Alps, attempted to penetrate into the country of the Allobroges, expecting to find them ready to take up arms; but Metellus, learning his intention, pre-occupied the passes, and then surrounded and destroyed him and his followers.

At Rome, in the mean time, great honors were paid to Cicero. A thanksgiving of thirty days was decreed in his name, an honor which had previously been granted to none but military men, and which was granted to him, to use his own words, because he had delivered the city from fire, the citizens from slaughter, and Italy from war. "If my thanks-giving," he also observes, "be compared with those of others, there will be found this difference, that theirs were granted them for having managed the interests of the republic successfully, but that mine was decreed to me for having preserved the republic from ruin." See Cic. Orat. iii., in Cat., c. 6. Pro, Syllâ, c. 30. In Pison. c. 3. Philipp. xiv., 8. Quintus Catulus, then princeps senatûs, and Marcus Cato styled him, several times, the father of his country.

Roma parentem,
Roma patrem patriæ Ciceronem libera dixit.

Juv. Sat., viii. 244,

Of the inferior conspirators, who did not follow Sergius, and who were apprehended at Rome, or in other parts of Italy, after the death of the leaders in the plot, some were put to death, chiefly on the testimony of Lucius Vettius, one of their number, who turned informer against the rest. But many whom he accused were acquitted; others, supposed to be guilty, were allowed to escape.

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690 AD (1)
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