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3/10/2009

2728. The Catilinarian Conspiracy


Ciceros finest hour revealed the revolutionary forces that seethed beneath the Republic.
"Cicero Denouncing Catiline" By Cesare Maccari

Sallusts Catilinarian Conspiracy


In 63 B.C., a renegade and desperate patrician senator, Catiline, attempted a coup and social revolution
Although noble, his family had lost its fortune and political influence After a fairly successful political career, Catiline, feeling that he still was not gaining enough power, decided to overthrow the government The consul of the year, Cicero (more below), managed to suppress the plot

With The Jugurthine War, this monograph was written between 44 40 B.C.
Although The Conspiracy of Catiline was written first, it comes second in chronological order

Sallust saw Catilines attempt as symptomatic of the corruption of the Roman Late Republic

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27-28. Catilinarian Conspiracy

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Sources
Ciceros In Catilinam IIV
A player in the events of 63 B.C., Cicero was the consul who unmasked and helped defeat Catilines conspiracy A noted speaker and writer, Cicero delivered four speeches during the crisis which serve as pieces of primary evidence for the conspiracy
I: confronted Catiline, forced his hand and his departure (before the Senate) II: explained the situation to the people, warned of remaining conspirators (to the People) III: Public revelation of the conspiracy at home (to the People) IV: senatorial debate over the fate of the conspirators (before the Senate)

Sallusts Conspiracy of Catiline (Bellum Catilinae)


Often confused on chronology and details Nevertheless serves as a second point of view to Ciceros speeches
Provides continuous narrative of events

Most concerned with moralizing and using Catiline as a type

[Plutarch, a biographer writing in Greek, wrote about Catiline in his life of Cicero]
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Chronology Leading up to Sallusts Monograph


8178 B.C.: L. Sergius Catilina (Catiline) a vicious supporter, and beneficiary, of the Sullan proscriptions (legalized murder when Sulla was dictator) 68 B.C.: Catalina praetor
Begins to recoup his familys lost standing

6766 B.C.: Governor in Africa (cf. Sallust himself!) 66 B.C.: Catiline debarred from running for consul because of charges of extortion arising from his governorship 65 B.C.: January plot to assassinate consuls fails (First Catilinarian Conspiracy) Catiline again unable to stand for consulship because of extortion charges 64 B.C.: Catiline, perhaps supported by Crassus, stands for the consulship
Plots for an inside revolution if elected When Catilines plans become known, the optimates (also known as the Boni or good men) support Cicero, a homo novus, as a better alternative to Catiline M. Tullius Cicero and M. Antonius Hybrida elected consuls for 63 B.C.

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27-28. Catilinarian Conspiracy

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Sallust, The Conspiracy of Catiline 1


(Hanford, 175183)
Preface: Sallustian abstraction again! (cf. Preface to Jugurthine War) Antithesis: physical strength vs. mental ability in the pursuit of fame The pursuit of history: Sallusts disillusionment again Catiline as a character
He had a powerful intellect and great physical strength, but a vicious a depraved nature . . . (Hanford, 17778) Again the motif of the worthy enemy

The Story of Romes Decline


Early Romanspoor, simple, austerewere models of good morals and traditional values Power and greatness led to a decline in values
When Carthage, Romes rival in her quest for empire, had been annihilated [in 146 B.C.], every land and sea lay open to her. It was then that fortune turned cruel and confounded all her enterprises . . . The leisure and riches which are generally regarded as do desirable proved a burden and a curse. Growing love of money, and the lust for power which followed it, engendered every kind of evil . . . Later on, when the disease had spread like a plague, Rome changed: her government, once so just and admirable, became harsh and unendurable. (Hanford, 18182) As soon as wealth came to be a mark of distinction and an easy way to renown, military commands, political power, and virtue began to decline (Hanford, 18283)

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Sallust, The Conspiracy of Catiline 2


(Hanford, 184193)
The character of the followers Catiline (Hanford, 18485) Catilines hope for becoming consul in 63 B.C. (Hanford, 1857) Catiline B.C
Two earlier attempts (66 and 65 B.C.) had been frustrated because of extortion charges His plans, if elected, included a violent program of change (an inside revolution)

Review of Catilines earlier of first conspiracy (Hanford, 18783)


When he had earlier been denied an earlier consular run (in 66 B.C.), Catiline planned to assassinate the men who were elected consuls for 65 B.C.

Speech to his followers (on the occasion of his planned inside revolution if elected, Hanford, 18890) Curius reveals the plot to Fulvia (Hanford, 19192) Cicero, a novus homo, and Antonius Hybrida elected; Catiline defeated (Hanford, 182) Portrait of Sempronia (Hanford, 19293)

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27-28. Catilinarian Conspiracy

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The Pivotal Year: 63 B.C.


January: Cicero and Antonius take office Late summer Catiline stands again for election as consul for 62 B.C.
Advocated a radical program of debt cancellation (tabulae novae) Defeat turns him to revolutionary

October: conspiracy divulged to Cicero through sources


21 October: Cicero announces that Manlius will be in arms against the state in seven days
Senate passes the senatus consultum ultimum: the final decree of the Senate that the consuls should take whatever action necessary to save the state from harm

27 October: C. Manlius takes up arms in Etruria

6 November: Meeting at the house of M. Porcius Laeca 7 November: Assassination attempt of Cicero thwarted 8 November: Ciceros In Catilinam I to the Senate
Catiline abandons Rome

Mid November: word comes that Catiline has arrived in Manlius camp 2 December: Messengers of the conspirators still Rome arrested 5 December: Punishment of the Conspirators debated in the Senate; they are executed that night January 62 B.C. Catiline and Manlius defeated and killed
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Sallust, The Conspiracy of Catiline 3 (Hanford,


194202)
When Catiline fails (again) in his bid for the consulship, he turns to open revolt and war
Various ringleaders sent throughout Italy in preparation for conflict
one Manlius began to raise an illegal army

Meanwhile at Rome he had several plans on foot simultaneously, plotting by stealth against the lives of the consuls, organizing acts of arson, and occupying strategic points with armed men (Hanford, 195)
Meeting in the house of M. Porcius Laeca Curious, previous betrayer of Catilines plans through Fulvia, warned Cicero of a plot to assassinate him

Cicero apprises the Senate, which passes the senatus consultum ultimum (equivalent of martial law)
Panic in Rome described (Hanford, 197)

Cicero addresses the Senate and outs Catiline (Hanford, 198)


Compare to Cicero, In Catilinam I Catiline flees Rome to Manlius camp, leaves Lentulus and fellow conspirators in Rome to continue plotting (Hanford, 199)

Catilines letter to Catulus (Hanford, 201) Senate declares Catiline and Manlius public enemies

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27-28. Catilinarian Conspiracy

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Sallust, The Conspiracy of Catiline 45


(Hanford, 203214)
Chapter IV: Party Strife at Rome
Rome rules from east to west but is threatened by its own citizens and res novae (revolution) the city populace were especially eager to fling themselves into revolutionary adventure (Hanford, 203) adventure 203) Position of tribune of the plebs exploited by demagogues (Hanford, 204)

Chapter V: Betrayal of the Conspiracy


Allobroges betray the attempt of Lentulus to engage them in rebellion against Rome Ciceros dilemma (Hanford, 210) Public opinion turns

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Sallust, The Conspiracy of Catiline 67


(Hanford, 215233)
Chapter VI: The Debate in the Senate
The consul (note how often Sallust avoids mentioning Ciceros name!) calls the Senate into session to discuss the fate of the captured conspirators
Although junior magistrates, Sallust portrays Caesar and Cato the Younger as prime movers in the senatorial debate about the Catilinarian conspirators Caesar, praetor-elect and newly chosen pontifex maximus (Hanford, 216221)
Advocates house arrest for life of conspirators

Cato, tribune-designate but also noted for his Stoicism and incorruptibility (Hanford, 221225)
Moves swift, capital punishment

Sallusts characterization (Hanford 225227) Caesar: generous, compassionate, populist, avid for glory Cato: upright, austere, stoic In a time of moral decline, Sallust sees them as the greatest of the Romans . .

Chapter VII: Death and Defeat of Catiline


Catiline harangues his troops (Hanford, 229231)

Catiline found far from his own men among the dead bodied of his adversaries. He was still breathing, and his face retained the look of haughty defiance . . . All of Catilines men had wounds on the front . . .

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27-28. Catilinarian Conspiracy