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FIRST ORATION AGAINST CATILINE, DELIVERED BEFORE THE
I. INTRODUCTION. I.
II. CATILINE DESERVES THE PUNISHMENT OF DEATH IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS AND PRECEDENTS OF ROME. II.
III. EXPOSURE OF THE MOVEMENTS AND PLANS OF THE CONSPIRATORS. III., IV.
IV. EXHORTATION TO CATILINE TO LEAVE THE CITY WITH HIS ACCOMPLICES. V.-X.
V. REASONS FOR ALLOWING SUCH A CRIMINAL TO LEAVE THE CITY. XI., XII.
VI. CONCLUSION. XIII.
I. Introduction. The Audacity of Catiline in appearing in the Senate. His Crime merits Death.
1. Quousque... nostra. Observe the abrupt and impassioned beginning of the oration, explained by the fact that Catiline the conspirator had just taken his place in the senate. See Introduction, p. 139. — Tandem, pray. This idiomatic use of tandem, expressive of impatience and surprise, is not uncommon in Cicero's orations. Catilina; G. 569,
2. Quam diu, quem ad finem; synonymes with quousque, referring to time, quam diu, how long, giving prominence to the duration of the action, quem ad finem, like quousque, how long, lit., to what ena, limit, calling attention to the end of the action. - Etiam et jam, even now still. Quam diu etiam, how long still, i. e., how much longer.Iste tuus, that of yours. G. 450.- Eludet, display its mockery, synonyme with sese jactabit, in the next line.
3. Nihilne; G. 378, 2; 457, 3. Observe the difference between nihilne (not at all?) and nonne (not ?). — Nihilne, nihil (line 4), nihil (line 5); a fine example of the figure anaphora. G. 636, III., 3. — Nocturnum, nightly, i. e., by night, not, night after night.
4. Praesidium Palatii. The Palatine Hill, south of the Forum, was a very commanding position, and was accordingly guarded in times of public alarm. - Timor. See Syn. L. C. 305.
5. Munitissimus locus. The senate was convened in the temple of Jupiter Stator, situated on the ascent to the Palatine. The temple was
probably guarded, though it was also under the protection of the force upon the Palatine; hence munitissimus.
6. Habendi senatus; G. 543; 565, 2.- Ora vultusque. serve the difference of meaning - ora referring to the features, the face; vultus, to the expression of the face, the looks. The looks of surprise and indignation with which the senate received Catiline as he took his seat in that body are here meant.
7. Non sentis, non vides (line 8); G. 351, 3.-Constrictam teneri, is held in check.
9. Proxima, superiore nocte, last night, the night before; Abl. of Time. One of the events to which Cicero here refers is the meeting at the house of Laeca, which took place on the night before the last (superiore nocte), the other is probably the attempt upon the life of Cicero which may not have been actually made until the next night after the meeting, though Catiline's agents offered to make it that very night. It is, however, entirely possible that Cicero here refers to some other movement on the part of Catiline. For an account of the meeting at the house of Laeca, and of the attempt upon the life of Cicero, see p. 4, and Introduction, p. 139. Egeris; G. 529, I.
10. Quid consilii
G. 446, note 3.
quod consilium; G. 438, 5; 397, 3. —Nostrum;
11. Ignorare. Give object; G. 529, 5, 1). —Arbitraris. Object? G. 371, IV.
12. O tempora! G. 381.- Consul. To whom does Cicero refer? Who was the other consul? See Introduction, p. 138. The consuls, it will be remembered, were the two chief magistrates, or joint presidents of the commonwealth.
13. Immo... etiam. Observe the accumulation of particles, with the force of each. Immo, nay more, strengthening the previous statement, which contained only a part of the truth.
14. Publici... particeps. Catiline, notwithstanding the active part which he had taken in the conspiracy, had the effrontery to take his seat in the senate.-Consilii. G. 399, I., 3.
15. Nos; expressed because emphatic. G. 446.
16. Viri fortes. In irony.-Rei publicae; G. 385, II., note 3. Videmur nobis videmur, seem to ourselves, i, e., think, imagine. - Si vitemus; Subjunctive in an Indirect Clause. The conclusion is satis facere, not videmur. G. 529, II.-Istius; G. 450, 1, note.
18. Jussu consulis, by the order of the consul, i. e., of Cicero. This could be done by virtue of a decree of the senate passed on the twenty-first of October, which clothed the consuls with dictatorial powers for the safety of the republic. See Introduction, p. 139. — Jam pridem oportebat. Observe the force of the Imperfect. G. 469, II., 2.
20. An vero, or did indeed. Observe the ellipsis, readily supplied from the preceding sentence: Is not this so? -P. Scipio. P. Scipio Nasica Serapio, consul in 138 B. C.; in 133, the leader in the movement against Ti. Gracchus, the famous Tribune, who in the interest of the poorer classes revived the Agrarian laws for the distribution of the public lands.
21. Mediocriter, in a moderate degree, i. e., in comparison with the treasonable plot of Catiline.
1. Privatus, though a private citizen, i. e., the high-priest was a private citizen, as he held no civil office, or magistracy. G. 363, 3.
3. llla nimis antiqua, those well-known cases, as too ancient. G. 450, 4; 442. The plural illa implies that Cicero had in mind a class of cases of which he gives that of Ahala as an example. - Quod, that, or namely that. The clause is in apposition with illa. G. 363, 5.
4. Ahala, Maelium. Servilius Ahala, master of the horse under the dictator Cincinnatus, was sent in the year 439 B. C. to arrest Spurius Maelius, who was suspected of aiming at regal power. Maelius refused to obey the summons of the dictator, and was accordingly slain on the spot. It is, however, by no means certain that the suspicions against Maclius were well founded. By distributing grain among the poorer classes at a time of great scarcity, he made himself the idol of the Plebeians, but an object of hatred and suspicion to the Patricians. It is, accordingly, impossible to say whether he fell as a traitor to his country, or as a martyr to his own generosity. Cicero, doubtless, believed him guilty. - Novis rebus, revolution; lit., new things. G. 384.
5. Fuit, fuit. An emphatic repetition, to mark the contrast between the past and the present. G. 471, II., 1, 2).
7. Hostem. G. 417, 1. Coercerent. Subj. of Result. G. 500, II.-Senatus consultum. This refers to the decree passed on the twenty-first of October. See note on jussu consulis, p. 1, line 18.
9. Rei publicae. Dative with deest. G. 386.-Neque; G. 553, 2. - Hujus ordinis, of this order, i. e., of the senate. This genitive limits both consilium and auctoritas. The senate had discharged its duty, the executive alone was remiss.
II. The Forbearance of the Consul in Contrast with the Usual Policy of the Roman government. The Reason for this.
11. Quondam. This was in the year 121 B. C. L. Opimius was at that time consul, and was clothed with dictatorial powers for the safety of the state. His colleague in the consulship was not included in
the decree, as he was at the time absent from Rome, commanding in the 2 Gallic province. - Ut videret; Object Clause; G. 498, I. Ut consul (consules) videret (viderent) ne quid res publica detrimenti caperet was the regular formula by which, in times of great public danger, extraordinary powers were conferred upon one, or both, of the consuls.
12. Ne caperet; G. 498, II. — Quid detrimenti; G. 397, 3.
14. C. Gracchus. Gaius Gracchus, the brother of Tiberius Gracchus (see p. 1, line 21), by his bold reforms in the interest of the people incurred the enmity of the senate and patricians. — Clarissimo patre, avo; Abl. of Characteristic. G. 419, II. The father, Ti. Sempronius Gracchus, had not only held the offices of censor and consul, but had twice enjoyed the honor of a triumph. The maternal grandfather was the celebrated Scipio Africanus the elder, the conqueror of Hannibal.
15. M. Fulvius. M. Fulvius Flaccus, a partisan of C. Gracchus, consul in the year 125 B. C., put to death with his sons by order of L. Opimius.
16. C. Mario; Dative. The occasion here referred to was the consular election in the year 100 B. C., when the agents of Saturninus and Servilius sought to secure the election of Servilius by assassinating his rival C. Memmius.
17. Num. What answer is expected? G. 351, 1, note 3.
18. Tribunum plebis. The tribunes of the people were officers appointed to defend the rights of the people against the nobles. They were at this time ten in number. By their power of veto, they might at any time arrest the action of the magistrates, and even of the senate. Praetorem. The praetors were officers next in rank to the consuls. They were eight in number.—Rei publicae poena, the punishment imposed by the republic, lit., of the republic. Rei publicae; Subjective Genitive. G. 396, II.
19. Remorata est, reprieve, or permit to live, lit., detain, cause to wait.-Nos; emphatic, in contrast with the consuls mentioned above. Vicesimum diem. Cicero here speaks in round numbers. It was only the eighteenth day since the decree was passed.
20. Hebescere aciem. Observe the figurative language in which the decree of the senate is spoken of as a sword. See also below in vagina reconditum.
21. Hujus modi, of this kind, i. e., of the same kind as those under which the consuls, Opimius, Marius, and Valerius, had acted.
22. In tabulis, in the records, i. e., of the doings of the senate. Quo ex senatus consulto. See Lat. Comp. 189, 2.
23. Interfectum esse convenit. Convenit is in the Perfect tense. Instead of interfectum esse, interfici could have been used, as duci
is used p. 1, line 18; duci oportebat; but interfectum esse makes the completion of the action and its result more prominent; you ought to have been put to death, i. e., the work should have been finished. G. 537, 2.
24. Ad deponendam... confirmandam audaciam; G. 544, 1; 544, 2, note 2.
25. Cupio, cupio. Observe the repetition of cupio and the omission of the conjunction autem, or vero. G. 636, I., 1; 636, III., 1. — Patres conscripti, conscript fathers, i. e., senators. The senators were originally called patres, fathers, afterwards patres conscripti, e., the enrolled fathers, enrolled in the lists of the senate. Some think upon the authority of Livy II., 1, that the address patres conscripti was originally patres et conscripti, fathers and those who were enrolled with them, and that conscripti was applied to the new members added to the senate on the establishment of the commonwealth. -Me esse clementem. more simple, but less expressive form would be esse clemens.
26. Dissolutum, remiss; a synonyme with negligens, negligent; dissolutus, very, or especially negligent, remiss.
27. Me inertiae; G. 409, II.; 452, 1. —Inertiae, nequitiae, inaction, remissness, synonymes of which the latter is the stronger.
28. Castra. This is the camp of Manlius at Faesulae in Etruria, the headquarters of the conspiracy. See Introduction, p, 138. For dif ference of meaning between castrum and castra, see G. 132.
29. Faucibus, defiles. — In dies singulos. See Syn. L. C. 399. 30. Eorum; construe with castrorum, of that camp. — Imperatorem, ducem, i. e., Catiline. See Syn. L. C. 145.
31. Hostium, moenia. See Syn. L. C. 344; 377.—Atque adeo, and even. G. 554, I., 4.
32. Rei publicae; Dative. - Molientem; G. 535, I., 4.
33. Jam, at once.-Jussero; Fut. Perfect, because the future action denoted by it, must, in point of fact, precede the future action denoted by erit verendum. The Latin in the use of tenses is much more exact than the English.-Credo. In irony. - Credo, erit verendum mihi, I shall have occasion to fear, I suppose, i. e., I shall have no occasion to fear. Observe that credo is parenthetical, and does not, therefore influence the construction of erit verendum.
34. Ne non omnes boni; supply dicant from dicat below, that all the good may not say. G. 498, III., note 2. —Serius, too late. G. 444, 1.
36. Ego; Emphatic. G. 446.-Hoc; object of faciam. It refers to si te... jussero above. - Factum esse oportuit. See note on interfectum esse convenit, line 23 above. Certa de causa. The reason is given in the next two sentences. He evidently desired to wait until the public sentiment of his fellow-citizens would fully sustain him in the act.