II. NARRATIO (Sect. 3-22)
inlustrata, patefacta, comperta:
the anticlimax is only apparent, for comperta expresses the most
difficult as well as the most important of the three acts.
vobis, opposed to in senatu.
investigata, traced out (observe
exspectatis, are waiting to hear.
ut, ever since.
possemus: 334, b; G. 467, o;
H. cf. 523, ii, i, N. cum . . . eiciebam:
notice the tense (at the time I was engaged in driving out, etc., also volebam,
below), as compared with erupit (burst forth, once for all).
Notice, also the difference in mood (at the time, etc.) compared with cum
reliquisset (not referring to time at all, but to circumstance: having left
behind, etc.): see § 323, 325, a; G. 580, 585; H. 521, i, ii.
invidiam: see Cat. I., sect. 23, and note.
illa, sc. invidia. quod
. . . exierit: § 341, d; G. 539; H. 516, ii.
restitissent: in direct discourse this
would be restiterint (future perfect).
quoniam . . . faceret, because
(as I thought), etc.; hence the subjunctive rather than faciebat (§ 341,
d, R.; G. 541; H. 516, ii).
oratio, argument, fidem
faceret, gain credence.
rem comprehenderem, get hold of the
matter. ut . . . provideretis, purpose.
cum . . . videretis, subjunctive of
integral part (otherwise it would be videbitis).
Allobrogum: the Allobroges were a Gallic
nation, between the Rhone and the Alps (in the modern Dauphine and Savoy);
subdued B.C. 121, and united with the province Narbonensis. They were restless
under their new masters (see sect. 22), and inclined to take up with Catiline's movement.
Their ambassadors had come to complain of certain exactions of their provincial governor. belli, i.e. when out of the range of the Roman
jurisdiction; tumultus, rebellion, i.e. when
Lentulo, see Introduction: he had been
consul B.C. 71, but had been expelled from the Senate the next year, with sixty-three
others, on account of his character, and he now held the praetorship with the view of
beginning the career of office over again.
manifesto deprehenderetur, taken in
the act: the words apply strictly to the criminals themselves.
praetores: although the
regular duties of the praetors were judicial, yet they possessed the imperium,
and in virtue of this could command troops in the absence of the consuls, or under their
qui . . . sentirent (subjunctive of
characteristic), as men who, etc.
pontem Mulvium: the bridge over the Tiber,
about two miles above the city, by which the principal roads (the Flaminian and Cassian)
led into north Italy.
inter eos, i.e. between the two divisions.
praefectura: the title given to the
politically lowest class of Italian towns, which had lost their independence. Reatina: Reate was a very ancient town of the Sabines,
about forty miles northeast of Rome. Cicero was the patronus of Reate; that is,
acted as its attorney and legal counsel: which accounts for his having this bodyguard of
young men from that place. Besides, these simple mountaineers still retained something of
the old Italian virtues, and therefore were well fitted for this service.
praesidio, dative of service.
tertia . . . exacta, about
3 A.M.: the night, from sunet to sunrise, was divided by the Romans into four vigiliae
of equal length.
magno comitatu, ablative of accomplishment
(§ 248, a, N.; G. 392, R.¹; H. 419, 1¹).
res, the occasion of the attack.
ignorabatur, etc. Though the Allobroges
had played the conspirators false, and knew that the consul had his plans ready, they did
not know what these plans were, and therefore were as much taken by surprise as Volturcius
himself. Even the troops would appear not to have known what special enterprise they were
machinatorem: Gabinius had been the
go-between in this case; he and Statilius were to burn the city (Sall. Cat. 43, 44).
venit: of course he had been summoned like
praeter, etc., since Lentulus was
viris, dative after placeret,
which has for subject litteras . . . aperiri, etc.
deferrem, integral part of aperiri;
otherwise it would probably be defers (see § 327, a; G. 574; H.
esse facturum governs the result clause ut
. . . deferrem: we may translate, I said I would not fail to lay before the
public council a matter touching the public danger before it had been tampered with (integram).
etenim . . . si, for if, you see.
reperta . . . essent: in direct discourse
this would be reperta erunt.
si quid . . . esset, whatever
weapons there might be.
introduxi, sc. in senatum. fidem publicam, assurance of safety: he was to be
used as state's evidence.
sciret, subjunctive of integral part.
servorum: the recollection of the terrible
servile insurrections in Sicily, and especially that of Spartacus in Italy, less than ten
years before, would make this shock and terrify Cicero's hearers beyond measure. ut . . . uteretur (§ 331; G. 546; H. 498, i), object of
the verb of commanding implied in mandata, etc.
id, in a sort of apposition with ut
. . . accederet.
cum . . . incendissent, subjunctive
because integral part of ut . . . praesto esset; otherwise it would be incenderimus
erat: § 336, b; G. 628, R.;
H. 524, 2.
ut . . . mitterent,
purpose. equitatum: the Roman cavalry was at this time
chiefly composed of Gallic and other auxiliaries.
sibi (copias) refers to
the conspirators; sibi (confirmasse) to the envoys of
the Allobroges (196, a, 1 and 2). defuturas [esse]
depends on the idea of saying implied in praescriptum.
fatis: the books bought by Tarquinius
Superbus of the Cumaean Sibyl. They were kept in charge of a board, collegium,
the quindecimviri sacris faciundis, and consulted in cases of great public
emergency (cf. Aeneid, VI. 71, and note). haruspicum:
the haruspices were Etruscan soothsayers, who interpreted the will of the gods,
chiefly from the entrails of animals sacrificed. They were a private class, of low
standing, and are not to be confounded with the augurs, who were a board of Roman
noblemen, of high rank, who interpreted the auspices according to the native Roman rules,
chiefly by the flight of birds, by lightning, etc.
Cinnam, etc.: L. Cornelius Cinna was
colleague of Marius, and ruled Rome after his death, B.C. 86. L. Cornelius Sulla ruled
Rome B.C. 82-79 (see sect. 24).
virginum: the Vestal Virgins, six in
number, maidens of high rank, consecrated to chastity and the service of Vesta. They were
peculiarly sacred, and were highly privileged. Violation of their vow of chastity was incestus,
and was regarded as a prodigium of very bad omen. Of the incident referred to
here nothing further is known. Capitoli: the temple of
Jupiter Capitolinus was burned during the rule of the Marian faction, B.C. 83.
Saturnalibus: a very
ancient festival in honor of Saturn, the god of seed-sowing, celebrated Dec. 19. During
this festival evey serious business was suspended; and it was so complete a holiday that
slaves feasted at the same tables with their masters. No better opportunity could be found
for the outbreak of an insurrection than this season of unrestrained jollification.
tabellas, tablets of wood: wax
was spread on the inside, and on this the writing was scratched with a stilus.
When used for letters, the tablets were tied about with a linen thread, linum,
ipsius manu: the ambassadors had made sure
to get all the conspirators committed in writing except Cassius, who alone had the
sagacity to keep out of it. senatui: the Gallic tribes
were governed by an aristocracy, having a council or senate as its mouthpiece.
sese, etc.: in direct discourse, faciam
quae vestris legatis confirmavi.
ut . . . illi, etc.: in the direct form, vos
facite quae sibi vestri legati receperunt. Note the change of pronouns as well as of
moods and tenses. sibi recepissent, had taken upon
qui . . . respondisset, qui
concessive. tamen, i.e. in spite of the strong evidence
est vero, etc., i.e. you may well
recognize it: it is, etc.
avi tui: Cornelius Lentulus, consul B.C.
162. He was princeps senatus, that is, designated by the censors as first man of
the Senate: an honorary office, held ordinarily by patricians.
debuit (§ 288, a; G. 254, R.¹;
H. 537, 1), ought to have recalled. (the joining of such opposites as muta
and revocare is called oxymoron, or paradox.)
eadem ratione, to the
si . . . vellet: § 341, c; G.
663, 2, b (direct, si vis). feci
potestatem, I gave him leave.
per quem, i.e. who had conducted them.
nihilne, equivalent to nonne
esset, is (imperfect by sequence
of tenses, § 287, d; H. 495, v).
quis sim, etc.: this
letter is given with slight variations by Sallust, Cat. 44.
quem in locum, etc., how far you have
gone (alluding to the fact that he was thoroughly compromised).
infimorum, i.e. slaves; see note above.
illa, the following
(§ 102, b; G. 307, 3; H. 450, 3).
furtim, stealthily ("like
thieves"); so English stealth from steal.
senatum consului: deliberative assemblies
in ancient times were under the control of the presiding officer, and members could not
speak or introduce business except when called upon by him. He laid a subject before them
(consulere senatum), referre ad senatum, and asked their opinions
individually, in a definite order, usually according to their rank or dignity. In the case
of a general question he was said referre (consulere) de summa re
publica. The form would be, dic, C. Iuli, sententiam.
a principibus, the leading men. sententiae: the views of the individual Senators(see note above).
perscriptum: the opinons (sententiae)
of the Senators (given as just described) merely determined the substance of the
ordinance, which was afterwards written out inregular form by the secretaries in the
presence of some of its advocates and under the direction of the presiding officer.
L. Flaccus: see note in sect. 5.
conlegae, C. Antonius: Cicero's co-consul.
rei publicae consiliis, the public
counsels, i.e. his own (officially) as consul.
cum se abdicasset, after abdicating.
Lentulus could not properly be called to account during his magistracy; but he might be
forced to resign, and could then be proceeded against.
erant: notice that this and similar
clauses in this section, being explanations by Cicero and not parts of the decree, take
L. Cassium, etc.: these last mentioned had
not yet been arrested, but Ceparius was caught in his flight and brought back.
pastores: Apulia was, as now, used chiefly
for pasturage. In the summer, when these broad plains were dried up, the flocks were
driven to the mountain pastures of Samnium and Lucania. These pastoral regions have always
been the home of a lawless and restless population, prone to brigandage.
colonis, etc.: cf. Cat. II, sect. 20.
supplicatio, a day of
prayer, proclaimed by the Senate, either in thanksgiving (gradulatio) as in the
present case, or in entreating favor of the gods.
eorum, i.e. the gods.
togato, as a civilian: cf. Cat.
II., sect. 28 and note.
liberassem: in the decree, liberavit.
hoc interest, there is this difference.
bene gesta, as well as conservata,
agrees with re publica (abl. absolute).
faciendum . . . fuit: observe that this
form has not here its usual contrary to fact implication.
ius, rights. tamen:
he was allowed to resign instead of being put to death without resigning (as in the case
quae . . . fuerat, what had not been a
scruple to Marius = a scruple which had not prevented M. from (quo
quo minus occideret, to prevent his
killing, following religio (§ 319, c; G. 549; H. 499, 3, N.²).
C. Glauciam: see note,
Cat. I., sect. 4. nominatim, i.e. Marius acted merely
under the general authority conferred on him by the Senate in the formula, Videant
consules, etc. (see note on Cat. I., sect. 2).
imperfect; cf. sect 3 and note.
pertimescendam: observe the intensive
force of per.
ille erat, etc.: with this character of
Catiline cf note on Cat. I., sect. 26, and note for II., sect. 9.
continebatur: for tense, see § 276, e,
N.; G. 569; H. 519, i.
consilium, ability to plan.
mandarat: for mood and tense, see §§
322, 309, c; G. 567; H. 472, 2.
aside: the image is of averting a crushing weight (molem),
just ready to fall.
non ille, etc., i.e. as Cethegus did. Saturnalia, i.e. so distant a date. constituisset:
the protasis (contrary to fact) is implied in ille (§ 310, a;
G. 593, 3; H. 507, N.7).
rei publicae, dative after denuntiavisset.
testes, in apposition with both signum
quae, referring to Cicero's success in
securing (lit. capturing) the evidence of guilt.
hostis (predicate apposition), as an
cum (correlative with tum
vero, below), i.e. we cannot merely guess it (for the reason in the quod clause
following), but still more we can almost see it with our own eyes.
quod . . . potuisse (parenthetical), because,
etc. consili (predicate genitive limiting gubernatio),
to belong to human wisdom.
possemus: for tense, see § 287, a;
G. 511, R.³; H. 495, i.
faces, etc.: these omens are such as the
Romans observed and noted carefully. Livy's history is full of them.
praetermittendum, inadvertently; relinquendum, intentionally.
Cotta et Torquato, consuls
B.C. 65, the year in which Catiline first intended to carry out his conspiracy.
aera: the laws were engraved on bronze
ille . . . Romulus: there is a bronze
statue of the wolf suckling the infants in the Capitoline Museum in Rome, which bears
marks either of lightning semaing one of its hind legs, or of some defect in the casting.
This is probably identical with that here mentioned.
haruspices: see note on
sect. 9 above.
flexissent: in direct discourse flexerint,
following appropinquare, which points to the future (§ 307, d;
G. 595; H. 508, 4).
illorum, i.e. the haruspices.
ludi: festivals in which races and
theatrical performances were celebrated in honor of the gods; such festivals were
especially appointed to appease the deities in times of danger and distress.
idem (plural), they also.
contra atque, opposite to what
(§ 156, a; G. 643; H. 459, 2).
solis . . . conspiceret: the Forum and the
Senate house (curia) were east of the south end of the Capitoline Hill, on which
stood the Capitolium, or temple of Jupiter Capitolinus (see Plan of Forum).
inlustrarentur: the word is chosen with
reference to the omen of Jupiter looking toward the rising sun.
conlocandum locaverunt: locare
with the gerundive is the regular expression for giving out a contract (§ 294, d;
G. 430; H. 544, N.²).
illi, i.e. of year before last.
consulibus and nobis,
ablative absolute expressing the date.
mente captus, insane. haec
omnia, i.e. the universe.
ita is explained by caedes . . .
responsum: the regular expression for any
prophetic answer, as of an oracle or seer. rei publicae
(dat.), against the state.
et ea, and that too (cf. Greek kai
ea, referring to caedes,
illud, referring forward to the result
clause ut . . . statueretur.
in aedem Concordiae: one of the principal
tempes at the northern end of the Forum (see Plan), where the Senate had held its session
on this day. It was built by the consul L. Opimius, B.C. 121, after his bloody victory
over C. Gracchus.
(see § 250, N.).
vestris, etc: observe the contrast between
vestris and deorum, which is emphasized by their
non ferendus, intolerable for
arrogance. ille, etc.: anaphora (see § 386; G. cf.
682; H. 636, iii, 3).
illa, etc.: omit the words in brackets as
being a manifest gloss.
consilium, etc.: cf. the proverb, quem
deus perdere volt, prius dementat.
ut introduces the result clause ut
. . . neglegerent, with which id is in apposition, the whole
forming the subject of esse factum. gens
refers here to the Gauls as a whole, not to the Allobroges in particular.
patriciis: the old patricians, though
having no special political privileges, still retained considerable prestige as an
hereditary aristocracy. Of the conspirators, Catiline, Lentulus, and Cethegus were
qui . . . superare potuerint: cf. note in sect. 10. qui, as subject of the characteristic
clause, may be translated by when they.
III. PERORATIO (Sect. 23-29)
properly cushions, upon which the statues of the gods were laid, when a feast was
spread before them. This was called lectisternium, and was usually connected with
the supplicatio (see note, sect. 15). Only certain gods,
chiefly Grecian, had pulvinaria, and the rite was established by direction of the
Sibylline books (see note, sect. 9). celebratote:
the future imperative is used on account of its reference to a set time in the
future (§ 269, d; G. 268, 2; H. 487, 1¹). The figure in the text (from an
ancient altar relief) represents a procession such as was usual on occasions of this kind.
duce, i.e. in actual command; imperatore, i.e. holding the sovereign power, whether
actually commanding that particular operation or not.
dissensiones: for case,
see § 219, b; G. 376, R.²; H. 407, N.¹.
P. Sulpicium [Rufum], a young man of
remarkable eloquence, a leader in the reforming party among the aristocracy. He was
tribune B.C. 88, and his quarrel with C. Caesar was the first act of the Civil War. By his
proposition, the command in the Mithridatic War was transferred from Sulla to Marius; and
when Sulla refused to obey, and marched upon the city, Sulpicius was one of the first
conlegam: Lucius Cornelius Cinna, the
Marian partisan (see note, sect. 9). He and Cn. Octavius, a partisan of Sulla, were
consuls B.C. 87, after the departure of Sulla for the east, and in their dissensions the
Civil War broke out afresh. The victory of Cinna later recalled Marius from exile.
lumina: among these were Octavius; C.
Caesar, and his brother Lucius; Q. Catulus, father of the opponent of the Manilian Law; M.
Antonius, the great orator; and the pontifex maximus, Q. Scaevola.
ultus est: to preserve the emphasis,
render, the cruelty, etc., was avenged by Sulla.
dissensit, there was a quarrel between,etc.
M. Lepidus, father of the triumvir, was consul B.C. 78
(after Sulla's death), with Q. Catulus, son of the one murdered by Cinna. The scheme of
Lepidus to revive the Marian party resulted in a short civil war, in which he was defeated
by his colleague and killed.
ipsius: he was the victim of his own
violence, and therefore less regretted.
tamen, i.e. though these
disturbances cost a great many lives, yet they were not so revolutionary as this
conspiracy, which has been put down without bloodshed.
commutandam rem publicam, a change of
quale bellum, a war such as.
quo in bello: § 200, a; G. 615.
omnes, etc., i.e. everybody except the
desperate. salva urbe, abl. absolute.
tantum, only so many.
restitisset (resisto), should
mutum: such as a statue,
eandem diem, etc., the same period of
time -- eternal as I hope -- is prolonged, both for the safety of the city, etc.
duos civis, i.e. Pompey and himself.
quae, as (§ 201,
isti (contrasted with mihi),
refers to illorum (above).
nihil noceri potest, no harm can be
dignitas, etc., i.e. the majesty of the
Roman state will be an invisible safeguard for me, cf. "the divinity" that
"doth hedge a king" (Hamlet, iv. 5. 123).
conscientiae, etc., i.e. my enemies,
conscious of their guilty sympathy with this conspiracy, will, in their attempts to injure
me, inevitably commit some act which will show them to be traitors to the state.
ultro, i.e. without
waiting to be attacked.
domesticorum hostium, oxymoron (§ 386; G.
694; H. 637, xi, 6); cf. the same figure in Cat. I., sect. 21: cum tacent, clamant.
convertit, present for future, as often,
especially in protasis.
obtulerint, subjunctive of integral part.
in honore vestro: honor
is used here, as usual, to denote external honors (offices) conferred by the people.
Holding the consulship, he had nothing higher to look foward to.
conservanda re publica,
ablative of means.
in re publica, in public life.
virtute non casu, etc., i.e. he will show
this by such conduct as shall be consistent with this glorious achievement.
Iovem: the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus.