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originally fixed, and some early day in October as the day on which, after a postponement, they were actually held.
But such a dating would be far from clearing away all difficulties. The proper time for holding the consular Comitia at this period was July". How is it then that we hear nothing of this double postponement, a long one, from July to 21st October or other day about that time, and a shorter one, from that day to 28th October, unless it be that in fact the Comitia was after a short adjournment held in the usual month of July 2o ?
Against that theory there is nothing but the consideration to which the orthodox view is presumably due, the consideration namely that, if Catiline's preparations for open revolution had been
latter to what date of the old calendar the date given would correspond. Mommsen has suggested a variety of dates in his different writings, from 20 Oct. to 4 Nov.
19 Mommsen, R. S. 12. 565, note 3. John, 749 n. The consular Comitia can be shown to have been held before the end of July in the years 684, 693, 694, 696, 700, 703, 704.
20 Putting the Comitia in July clears up many a little difficulty. For instance Mur. § 52, his tum rebus commotus, et quod homines iam tum coniuratos cum gladiis in campum deduci a Catilina sciebam descendi in campum cum firmissimo praesidio, etc. Can Cicero pride himself on knowing already on the 28th Oct. that there was a conspiracy? Clearly not, and the passage therefore has greatly troubled the commentators. But if the election took place in July there is no difficulty. How, again, can Cicero have argued that there was nothing very compromising in Caelius and others having supported the candidature if the election took place in the midst of mili. tary preparations for violence?
going on for a whole year and more, it is inexplicable why there was so much delay after the election. But that these preparations had been begun before the election, that the consulship was of so little importance in Catiline's plans, is quite a mistake of Sallust's. It would not perhaps be over-rash to take something of the following kind as being the truth.
Catiline had tried whether the support of the democratic leaders could get him the consulship in 690 (64). He found that it could not, that perhaps, on the other hand, it was an obstacle. When he comes forward therefore in the following year, he appears to have thrown off all his previous connexion with the democratic and anti-Pompeian party. It was in allusion perhaps to Caesar and Crassus that, in his election speech, he denied miserorum fidelem defensorem inveniri posse nisi eum qui ipse miser esset integrorum et fortunatorum promissis saucios et miseros credere non oportere (Mur. 25, 50). He now came forward no longer as a representative of a political party and as the tool of others, but as the independent leader of a social following-the bankrupt and ruined". He had not been remiss in his canvass,
21 I follow Dr John here, not certainly without some misgiving, in suggesting that Caesar was not an accomplice in the conspiracy in the latter half of the year 691 (63). Mommsen's arguments to the contrary are not very strong in any case, but they lose much of what force they have, if it be true as here contended that Catiline's plans were completely changed in July and afterwards. That Caesar supported Catiline in 690 there can be little doubt (see the Fragments of the Oratio in toga candida and Asconius' comments), but it does not
he had done everything, but he failed once more. His patience was now exhausted. To get the consulship, to achieve his aims in a regular way, was proved to be impossible. He determined on terror and anarchy. The rise of the Catilinarian conspiracy dates from the failure to secure the consulship for 692 (62).
follow that that support was continued, when Catiline rushed into senseless violence. (See however Cic. ad Att. 10. 8. 8, Plut. Crass. 13, Suet. Jul. 17.)
7 Nov. 8 Nov.1
27 Oct. Manlius raises the standard at Faesulae.
28 Oct. Intended 'caedes optimatium'.
On one of the last days of Oct. the
Attempted assassination of Cicero.
1 With regard to the date of the delivery of the First Invective, we know from that speech that the meeting at Laeca's was held the night next but one before the delivery of the speech. Cicero gives the date of this meeting in p. Sulla, 28. 52 quid tandem de illa nocte dicit, cum inter falcarios ad M. Laecam, nocte ea, quae consecuta est posterum diem nonarum Novembrium, me consule Catilinae denuntiatione convenit? where the expression p. d. non. Nov. must C. S.