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not the truth. One is not inclined to think so ill of him, on the one hand, as to believe that he would willingly have falsified history to that extent, nor so well of him, on the other, as to think, although he had without question a sincere feeling of admiration for Caesar, that his critical and censorious nature would have allowed him to give way to such generous partizanship. Nor is there any reason to suppose that Sallust was in any way behind the scenes, or that he was aware of the occult connexion which, as it is now supposed, Caesar had with the earlier at least of these transactions. He had heard of course the suspicions and charges that were rife, but he, with his prepossessions, is not likely to have credited what was said by Caesar's enemies.

On what sources besides his memory did Sallust rely? From himself we hear nothing except that he had one remark from Crassus' own lips. No doubt Sallust must have read the writings of Cicero that bore on the subject, but it is very doubtful whether he had them before him as he wrote. It is true that one or two phrases remind one of something very like them in Cicero, but these may well be only echoes asily explained by the literary celebrity of Cicero's speeches. Some errors in Sallust's account at any rate can hardly have been made if he had

Caesar's death, for Plutarch (Crass. 13) says ỏ Kikéρwv ev TIVI λόγῳ φανερὸς ἦν Κράσσῳ καὶ Καίσαρι τὴν αἰτίαν προστριβομενος, ἀλλ’ οὗτος ὁ λόγος ἐξεδόθη μετὰ τὴν ἀμφοῖν τελευτήν. (P. is speaking of the second conspiracy, and is referring to the Memoirs.)

had the invectives against Catiline and the speech for Murena before him 14.

The most obvious mistake is the antedating of the meeting at the house of Laeca. Sallust seems to have fitted it in where it would be useful to himself, without examining the facts of the case 15. But it is only one instance of the great historical perversion that runs through the whole monograph. Sallust makes. no attempt to trace the development of Catiline's schemes. He introduces the conspirator breathing fire and slaughter from the first. Even from the time of Sulla, according to Sallust, Catiline had determined to make himself tyrant. This view, which no doubt the efforts of Cicero had been successful in making the popular view, suited Sallust's taste entirely. But he has not been skilful enough, nor was he unscrupulous enough, to clear away the improbabilities of a treatment which spreads the drama of a few months over a series of years. One cannot in reading Sallust's pages help asking oneself once and again, why, if Catiline's determination was from the first a headlong anarchical plot, he lays such stress on

14 According to the not improbable statement of Suetonius (de Gramm. 10) a certain Ateius Philologus furnished the facts for Sallust to work up. He provided him breviario rerum omnium Romanarum ex quibus quas vellet eligeret. On these probable reminiscences from the Catilinarian invectives see notes on 15. 2; 20. 9; 51. 9; 52. 35.

15 Sallust felt perhaps that the story was getting improbable so much vague preparation and so little definite action. It is to explain that that S. makes Catiline complain of his followers' ignavia, though it is not clear what they had failed to do.

attaining the consulship, and why there was such delay?

The truth seems to be, that when Catiline came back from Africa to sue for the consulship, his object was merely to pass a few democratic measures, for the relief of debtors for instance, as consul, and then to enrich himself and his friends in the provinces. But as matters went, he was for long the tool in the hands of men of more ability and influence than himself. And it was only at last, under the pressure of repeated disappointment, that the Conspiracy, with its violence, its military preparations, and incendiarism, was formed.

It is not necessary here to recount the whole story of the Conspiracy as we have received it, nor is it desired to discuss the many disputed details, or to attempt to decide between the conflicting views of the character of the movement. But one error of long standing as to the date of the consular Comitia of 691 (63) has been so satisfactorily set right and the correction removes so many improbabilities in the history of the Conspiracy when it reached its acute stage, that a few lines may be usefully devoted to that question.


The orthodox view is that the 21st Oct. was the day originally fixed for the Comitia, and the 28th the

16 By Dr C. John: Die Entstehungsgeschichte der Catilinarischen Verschwörung: ein Beitrag zur Kritik des Sallustius 1876 (reprinted from Jahrbücher f. klass. Philologie), whom I follow here and elsewhere. His views have received general support in Germany. Halm, for instance, in his last (8th) edition of Cic. in Cat. modifies his views in accordance with Dr John's criticism.

day on which they were actually held. This view rests on a comparison of passages in the Murena and the Catilinarian invectives".

In the Murena (25, 50) Cicero relates how he laid before the Senate some of the utterances of Catiline in the election speech. The Senate resolved in consequence that instead of holding the Comitia on the following day, as had been arranged, a further discussion should be held as to these disclosures. At this second meeting of the Senate, then, Cicero challenged Catiline to give explanations. But Catiline made no defence, but said only that the State had two bodies, the one weak with a feeble head, the other strong but without a head-the strong body should not want for a head as long as he lived. The Senate was shocked, neque tamen (says Cicero) satis severe pro rei indignitate decrevit, and Catiline bounded out of the Senate-house in high glee. Cicero then goes on to speak of the day of the Comitia and of his famous shining cuirass.

From the first invective against Catiline we gather that, at a meeting of the Senate on 21st Oct., Cicero foretold that Manlius would be in arms on the 27th, and that the 28th was fixed for a general slaughter of the optimates. On that same 21st the Senate gave the consuls full power-a senatus consultum vehemens et grave.

It is supposed that the second meeting of the Senate spoken of in the Murena is the meeting of the

17 And not on other evidence. Sallust 26. 5 & 29. 2; Plutarch Cic. 14 & 15; Dio 37. 30 & 31, at any rate, all put the Stus. consultum ultimum after the election.

21st, and that the slaughter of the nobles which Catiline had fixed for the 28th is the same as the attempt on the day of election.

But these assumptions are surely incredible. The disclosures which Cicero made on the day originally fixed for the Comitia were clearly only about what Catiline had said at the election meeting. Can the senatus consultum which Cicero calls non satis severe be the same as the s. c. vehemens et grave of the invective? And can the caedes optimatium be the same as the attempt to murder Cicero and the other candidates? Is it possible that, after Cicero had foretold that the 28th was fixed for a wholesale slaughter, just that day should have been fixed upon for holding the Comitia? These among other considerations render it fairly certain that in the passages quoted four distinct occasions are referred to, (1) a meeting of the Senate on the day before that originally fixed for the Comitia; (2) a meeting on the day originally fixed for the Comitia; (3) the day on which the postponed Comitia were held; (4) a meeting of the Senate on the 21st Oct.

The difficulty of the combination has often been felt, and other dates have been given for the Comitia. Lange 18, for instance, suggests 23rd Sept. for the day

18 Römische Alterthümer 3. 241 (1871), relying on Suet. Aug. 94, quo natus est (Augustus) die, cum de Catilinae coniuratione ageretur in curia e. q. s., and Augustus' birthday is fixed (Aug. 5), M. Tullio Cicerone et Antonio coss. IX. Kal. Oct. But these passages are of little value for this question, as it is uncertain, 1. to what sitting allusion is made, 2. whether the date is given by the old or reformed calendar, and 3. if by the

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