Orationes in Catilinam
by Marcus Tullius Cicero


   The Catiline Orations are four speeches that Cicero gave as he presented evidence and prosecuted Catiline in the Senate and gave explanations to the people for Catiline's alleged attempts to seize power by force of arms against the Senate. Their polished rhetoric and the skill with which Cicero delivered the speeches gave them the means to survive to the present day, with supporting material that allows us to pinpoint the exact days that they were presented. For a thorough description of the events that transpired during this tumultuous time, the introductions in the Loeb Classical Volume of Cicero's Orationes In Catalinam are highly recommended. Included here is a brief summary of the events in the order that they occurred. Below that you can find a table with hyperlinks to the individual speeches.

July: The consular elections are held after a delay to enable the Senate to debate Catiline's election address. Decimus Junius Silanus and Lucius Licinius Murena are elected. Catiline starts to implement plans to seize power by force of arms.
18 Oct.: Crassus brings anonymous letters to Cicero.
19 Oct.: Cicero informs the Senate. The consuls are ordered to make a special investigation.
19-20 Oct.: Cicero receives more detailed information.
21 Oct.: The Senatus consultum ultimum is passed.
27 Oct.: Manlius in open insurrection.
1 Nov. (approx.): The Senate is informed about Manlius.
6 Nov.: The conspirators meet at Laeca's house.
7 Nov.: Abortive attempt on Cicero's life.
8 Nov.: Cicero delivers First Speech against Catiline in the Senate. Catiline leaves Rome.
9 Nov.: Cicero delivers Second Speech against Catiline to the people.
17 Nov. (approx.): Catiline and Manlius outlawed.
Late Nov. or
early Dec.:
Trial and acquittal of Murena on a charge of electoral corruption.
(See Pro Murena).
2/3 Dec.: Arrest of the conspirators at the Mulvian Bridge.
3 Dec.: Examination of the arrested conspirators before the Senate. Cicero delivers Third Speech against Catiline to the people.
5 Dec.: Debate in the Senate to decide the fate of the arrested conspirators. Cicero delivers Fourth Speech against Catiline. Execution of the conspirators.
Oratio in Catilinam I: Latin Text The source of these Latin texts and Translation Notes is Select Orations and Letters of Cicero, ed. J.B. Greenough, G.L. Kittredge, Ginn & Co.: Boston, 1902.
English Text
Translation Notes
Oratio in Catilinam II: Latin Text
English Text
Translation Notes
Oratio in Catilinam III: Latin Text
English Text
Translation Notes
Oratio in Catilinam IV: Latin Text
English Text
Translation Notes
Go to Cicero's Page
[Cicero Page]
  Go to top of page
[Top of Page]
Go to first Catiline Oration
[Catiline Oration #1]