On March 31, 2011 by admin



While Cicero was addressing the preceding speech to the people, a debate was going on in the senate of which we have no account. In the meanwhile Catiline, after staying a few days on the road to raise the country as he passed along, where his agents had been previously busy among the people, proceeded to Manlius’s army with the fasces and all the ensigns of military command displayed before him. Upon this news the senate immediately declared him and Manlius public enemies; they offered pardon to all his followers who should return to their duty by a certain day and ordered the consuls to make new levies, and that Antonius should follow Catiline with his army, and Cicero remain behind to protect the city.

In the meantime Lentulus, and the other conspirators who remained behind, were proceeding with their designs. And among other steps, they decided on endeavouring to tamper with some ambassadors from the Allobroges, 4 who were at that moment within the city, as the Allobroges were supposed not to be very well affected to the Roman power. At first these ambassadors appear to have willingly given ear to their proposals; but after a while they began to consider the difficulty of the business proposed to them, and the danger which would ensue to their state if it failed after they had become implicated in it and accordingly they revealed the business to Quintus Fabius Sanga, the patron of their city, who communicated it to Cicero.

Cicero desired the ambassadors to continue to listen to the proposals of the conspirators, till they had become fully acquainted with the extent of the plot, and till they were able to furnish him with full evidence against the actors in it; and by his suggestion they required the conspirators to furnish them with credentials to show to their countrymen. This was thought reasonable by Lentulus and his party, and they accordingly appointed a man named Vulturcius to accompany them, who was to introduce them to Catiline on their road, in order to confirm the agreement, and to exchange pledges with him, and Lentulus also furnished them with a letter to Catiline under his own hand and seal, though not signed. Cicero being privately informed of all these particulars, concerted with the ambassadors the time and manner of their leaving Rome by night, and had them arrested on the Mulvian bridge, about a mile from the city, with these letters and papers in their possession. This was all done, and they brought as prisoners to Cicero’s house early in the morning.

Cicero immediately summoned the senate and at the same time he sent for Lentulus, Cethegus, and others of the conspirators who were more especially implicated, such as Gabinius and Statilius, who all came immediately to his house, being ignorant of the discovery that had taken place. Being informed also that a quantity of arms had been provided by Cethegus for the purpose of the conspiracy, he orders Caius Sulpicius, one of the praetors, to search his house, and he did so, and found a great number of swords and daggers ready cleaned and fit for use.

He then proceeds to meet the senate in the Temple of Concord, with the ambassadors and conspirators in custody. He relates the whole affair to them, and introduces Vulturcius to be examined before them. Cicero, by the order of the senate, promises him pardon and reward if he reveals what he knew. On which he confesses everything; tells them that he had letters from Lentulus to Catiline to urge him to avail himself of the assistance of the slaves, and to lead his army with all exposition against Rome in order, when the city had been set on fire, and the massacre commenced, that he might be able to intercept and destroy those who fled.

Then the ambassadors were examined, who declared that they had received letters to the chief men of their nation from Lentulus, Cethegus, and Statilius; and that they, and Lucius Cassius also, begged them to send a body of cavalry into Italy, and that Lentulus assured them, from the Sibylline books, that he was the third Cornelius who was destined to reign at Rome. 5 The letters were produced and opened. On the sight of them the conspirators respectively acknowledged them to be theirs, and Lentulus was even so conscience-stricken that he confessed his whole crime.

The senate passed a vote acknowledging the services of Cicero in the most ample terms, and voted that Lentulus should he deposed from his office of praetor, and, with all the other conspirators, committed to safe custody. Cicero, after the senate adjourned, proceeded to the forum and gave an account to the people of everything which had passed, both in regard to the steps that he had taken to detect the whole conspiracy, and to convict the conspirators and also of what had taken place in the senate, and of the votes and resolutions which that body had just passed.

While the prisoners were before the senate he had copies of their examinations and confessions taken down, and dispersed through Italy and all the provinces. This happened on the third of December.

1. You see this day, O Romans, the republic, and all your lives, your goods, your fortunes, your wives and children, this home of most illustrious empire, thus most fortunate and beautiful city, by the great love of the immortal gods for you, by my labours and counsels and dangers, snatched from fire and sword, and almost from the very jaws of fate, and preserved and restored to you.

[2] And if those days on which we are preserved are not less pleasant to us, or less illustrious, than those on which we are born, because the joy of being saved is certain, the good fortune of being born uncertain, and because we are born without feeling it, but we are preserved with great delight; yes; since we have, by our affection and by our good report, raised to the immortal gods that Romulus who built this city, he, too, who has preserved this city, built by him, and embellished as you see it, ought to be held in terror by you and your posterity; for we have extinguished flames which were almost laid under and placed around the temples and shrines, and houses and walls of the whole city; we have turned the edge of swords drawn against the republic, and have turned aside their points from your throats. [3] And since all this has been displayed in the senate, and made manifest, and detected by me, I will now explain it briefly, that you, O citizens, that are as yet ignorant of it, and are in suspense, may be able to see how great the danger was, how evident and by what means it was detected and arrested. First of all, since Catiline, a few days ago, burst out of the city, when he had left behind the companions of his wickedness, the active leaders of this infamous war, I have continually watched and taken care, O Romans, of the means by which we might be safe amid such great and such carefully concealed treachery. 2.

Further, when I drove Catiline out of the city, (for I do not fear the unpopularity of this expression, when that is more to be feared that I should be blamed because he has departed alive,) but then when I wished him to be removed, I thought either that the rest of the band of conspirators would depart with him, or that they who remained would be weak and powerless without him. [4]

And I, as I saw that those whom I knew to be inflamed with the greatest madness and wickedness were among us, and had remained at Rome, spent ail my nights and days in taking care to know and see what they were doing, and what they were contriving that, since what I said would, from the incredible enormity of the wickedness, make less impression on your ears, I might so detect the whole business that you might with all your hearts provide for your safety, when you saw the crime with your own eyes. Therefore, when I found that the ambassadors of the Allobroges had been tampered with by Publius Lentulus, for the sake of exciting a Transalpine war and commotion in Gaul, and that they, on their return to Gaul, had been sent with letters and messages to Catiline on the same road, and that Vulturcius had been added to them as a companion, and that he too had had letters given him for Catiline, I thought that an opportunity wits given me of contriving what was most difficult, and which I was always wishing the immortal gods might grant, that the whole business might be manifestly detected not by me alone, but by the senate also, and by you. [5]

Therefore, yesterday I summoned Lucius Flaccus and C. Pomtinus, the praetors, brave men and well-affected to the republic. I explained to them the whole matter, and showed them what I wished to have done. But they, full of noble and worthy sentiments towards the republic, without hesitation, and without any delay, undertook the business, and when it was evening, went secretly to the Mulvian bridge, and there so distributed themselves in the nearest villas, that the Tiber and the bridge was between them. And they took to the same place, without any one having the least suspicion of it, many brave men, and I had sent many picked young men of the prefecture of Reate, whose assistance I constantly employ in the protection of the republic, armed with swords. [6] In the meantime, about the end of the third watch, when the ambassadors of the Allobroges, with a great retinue and Vulturcius with them, began to come upon the Mulvian bridge, an attack is made upon them; swords are drawn both by them and by our people; the matter was understood by the praetors alone, but was unknown to the rest. 3.

Then, by the intervention of Pomtinus and Flaccus, the fight which had begun was put an end to; all the letters which were in the hands of the whole company are delivered to the praetors with time seals unbroken; the men themselves are arrested and brought to me at daybreak. And I immediately summoned that most worthless contriver of all this wickedness, Gabinius, as yet suspecting nothing; after him, P. Statilius is sent for, and after him Cethegus; but Lentulus was a long time in coming,—I suppose, because, contrary to his custom, he had been up a long time the night before, writing letters. [7]

But when those most noble and excellent men of the whole city, who, hearing of the matter, came in crowds to me in the morning, thought it best for me to open the letters before I related the matter to the senate, lest, if nothing were found in them, so great a disturbance might seem to have been caused to the state for nothing, I said I would never so act as shrink from referring matter of public danger to the public council. In truth if, O Romans, these things which had been reported to me had not been found in them, yet I did not think I ought, in such a crisis of the republic, to be afraid of the imputation of over-diligence. [8] I quickly summoned a full senate, as you saw; and meantime, without any delay, by the advice of the Allobroges, I sent Caius Sulpicius the praetor, a brave man, to bring whatever arms he could find in the house of Cethegus, whence he did bring a great number of swords and daggers. 4.

I introduced Vulturcius without the Gauls. By the command of the senate, I pledged him the public faith for his safety. I exhorted him fearlessly to tell all he knew. Then, when he had scarcely recovered himself from his great alarm, he said: that he had messages and letters for Catiline, from Publius Lentulus, to avail himself of the guard of the slaves, and to come towards the city with his army as quickly as possible; and that was to be done with the intention that, when they had set fire to the city on all sides as it had been arranged and distributed, and had made a great massacre of the citizens, he might be at hand to catch those who fled, and to join himself to the leaders within the city. [9] But the Gauls being introduced, said that an oath had been administered to them, and letters given them by Publius Lentulus, Cethegus, and Statilius, for their nation; and that they had been enjoined by them, and by Lucius Cassius, to send cavalry into Italy as early as possible; that infantry should not be wanting; and that Lentulus had assured him, from the Sibylline oracles and the answers of soothsayers, that he was that third Cornelius to whom the kingdom and sovereignty over this city was fated to come; that Cinna and Sulla had been before him; and that he had also said that was the year destined to the destruction of this city and empire, being the tenth year after the acquittal of the virgins, and the twentieth after the burning of the Capitol. [10] But they said there had been this dispute between Cethegus and the rest,—that Lentulus and others thought it best that the massacre should take place and the city be burnt at the Saturnalia, but that Cethegus thought it too long to wait. 5.

And, not to detain you, O Romans, we ordered the letters to be brought forward which were said to have been given them by each of the men. First I showed his seal to Cethegus; he recognised it: we cut the thread; we read the letter. It was written with his own hand: that he would do for the senate and people of the Allobroges what he had promised their ambassadors; and that he begged them also to do what their ambassadors had arranged. Then Cethegus, who a little before had made answer about the swords and daggers which had been found in his house, and had said that he had always been fond of fine arms, being stricken down and dejected at the reading of his letters, convicted by his own conscience, became suddenly silent. Statilius, being introduced, owned his handwriting and his seal. His letters were read, of nearly the same tenor: he confessed it. Then I showed Lentulus his letters, and asked him whether he recognised the seal? He nodded assent. But it is, said I, a well-known seal;—the likeness of your grandfather, a most illustrious man, who greatly loved his country and his fellow-citizens; and it even though silent, ought to have called you back from such wickedness. [11]

Letters are read of the same tenor to the senate and people of the Allobroges. I offered him leave, if he wished to say anything of these matters: and at first he declined to speak; but a little afterwards, when the whole examination had been gone through and concluded, he rose. He asked the Gauls what he had had to do with them? why they had come to his house? and he asked Vulturcius too. And when they had answered him briefly and steadily, under whose guidance they had come to him, and how often; and when they asked him whether he had said nothing to them about the Sibylline oracles, then he on a sudden, mad with wickedness, showed how great was the power of conscience; for though he might have denied it, he suddenly, contrary to every one’s expectation confessed it: so not only did his genius and skill in oratory, for which he was always eminent, but even through the power of his manifest and detected wickedness, that impudence in which he surpassed all men, and audacity deserted him.

[12] But Vulturcius on a sudden ordered the letters to be produced and opened which he said had been given to him for Catiline, by Lentulus. And though Lentulus was greatly agitated at that, yet he acknowledged his seal and his handwriting; but the letter was anonymous, and ran thus:—“Who I am you will know from him whom I have sent to you: take care to behave like a man, and consider to what place you have proceeded, and provide for what is now necessary for you: take care to associate to yourself the assistance of every one, even of the powerless.? Then Gabinius being introduced, when at first he had begun to answer impudently, at last denied nothing of those things which the Gauls alleged against him. [13] And to me, indeed, O Romans, though the letters, the seals, the handwriting, and the confession of each individual seemed most certain indications and proofs of wickedness, yet their colour, their eyes, their countenance, their silence, appeared more certain still; for they stood so stupefied, they kept their eyes so fixed on the ground, at times looking stealthily at one another, that they appeared now not so much to be informed against by others as to be informing against themselves. 6.

Having produced and divulged these proofs, O Romans, I consulted the senate what ought to be done for the interests of the republic. Vigorous and fearless opinions were delivered by the chief men, which the senate adopted without any variety; and since the decree of the senate is not yet written out, I will relate to you from memory, O citizens, what the senate has decreed. [14] First of all, a vote of thanks to me is passed in the most honourable words, because the republic has been delivered from the greatest dangers by my valour and wisdom, and prudence. Then Lucius Flaccus and Caius Pomtinus, the praetors, are deservedly and rightly praised, because I had availed myself of their brave and loyal assistance. And also, praise is given to that brave man, my colleague, because he had removed from his counsels, and from the counsels of the republic, these who had been accomplices in this conspiracy. And they voted that Publius Lentulus, when he had abdicated the praetorship, should be given into custody; and also, that Caius Cethegus, Lucius Statilius, Publius Gabinius, who were all present, should be given into custody: and the same decree was passed against Lucius Cassius, who had begged for himself the office of burning the city; against Marcus Caparius, to whom it had been proved that Apulia had been allotted for the purpose of exciting disaffection among the shepherds; against Publius Furius, who belongs to the colonies which Lucius Sulla led to Faesulae; against Quintus Manlius Chilo, who was always associated with this man Furius in his tampering with the Allobroges; against Publius Umbrenus, a freedman, by whom it was proved that the Gauls were originally brought to Gabinius.

And the senate, O citizens, acted with such lenity, that, out of so great a conspiracy, and such a number and multitude of domestic enemies, it thought that since the republic was saved, the minds of the rest might be restored to a healthy state by the punishment of nine most abandoned men. [15] And also a supplication 6 was decreed in my name, (which is the first time since the building of the city that such an honour has ever been paid to a man in a civil capacity,) to the immortal gods, for their singular kindness. And it was decreed in these words, “because I had delivered the city from conflagrations, the citizens from massacre, and Italy from war.? And if this supplication be compared with others, O citizens, there is this difference between them,—that all others have been appointed because of the successes of the republic; this one alone for its preservation. And that which was the first thing to be done, has been done and executed; for Publius Lentulus, though, being convicted by proofs and, by his own confession, by the judgment of the senate he had lost not only the rights of a praetor but also those of a citizen, still resigned his office; so that though Caius Marcius, that most illustrious of men, had no scruples about putting to death Caius Glaucius the praetor against whom nothing had been decreed by name, still we are relieved from that scruple in the case of Publius Lentulus, who is now a private individual. 7. [16]

Now, since, O citizens you have the nefarious leaders of this most wicked and dangerous war taken prisoners and in your grasp, you ought to think that all the resources of Catiline,—all his hopes and all his power, now that these dangers of the city are warded off, have fallen to pieces. And, indeed, when I drove him from the city I foresaw in my mind, O citizens, that if Catiline were removed, I had no cause to fear either the drowsiness of Publius Lentulus, or the fat of Lucius Cassius, or the mad rashness of Cassius Cethegus. He alone was to be feared of all these men, and that, only as long as he was within the walls of the city. He knew everything, he had access to everybody. He had the skill and the audacity to address, to tempt and to tamper with every one. He had acuteness suited to crime; and neither tongue nor hand ever failed to support that acuteness. Already he had men he could rely on chosen and distributed for the execution of all other business and when he had ordered anything to be done he did not think it was done on that account. There was nothing to which he did not personally attend and see to,—for which he did not watch and toil. He was able to endure cold, thirst, and hunger. [17]

Unless I had driven this man, so active, so ready, so audacious, so crafty, so vigilant in wickedness, so industrious in criminal exploits, from his plots within the city to the open warfare of the camp, (I will express my honest opinion, O citizens,) I should not easily have removed from your necks so vast a weight of evil. He would not have determined on the Saturnalia 7 to massacre you he would not have announced the destruction of the republic, and even the day of its doom so long beforehand,—he would never have allowed his seal and his letters, the undeniable witnesses of his guilt, to be taken, which now, since he is absent, has been so done that no larceny in a private house has ever been so thoroughly and clearly detected as this vast conspiracy against the republic. But if Catiline had remained in the city to this day, although, as long as he was so, I met all his designs and withstood them; yet, to say the least, we should have had to fight with him, and should never, while he remained as an enemy in the city, have delivered the republic from such dangers, with such ease, such tranquillity, and such silence. 8. [18]

Although all these things, O Romans, have been so managed by men that they appear to have been done and provided for by the order and design of the immortal gods; and as we may conjecture this because the direction of such weighty affairs scarcely appears capable of having been carried out by human wisdom; so, too, they have at this time so brought us present aid and assistance, that we could almost behold them without eyes. For to say nothing of those things, namely, the firebrands seen in the west in the night time, and the heat of the atmosphere,—to pass over the falling of thunderbolts and the earthquakes,—to say nothing of all the other portents which have taken place in such number during my consulship, that the immortal gods themselves have been seeming to predict what is now taking place; yet, at all events, this which I am about to mention, O Romans, must be neither passed over nor omitted. [19]

For you recollect, I suppose, when Cotta and Torquatus were consuls, that many towers in the Capitol were struck with lightning, when both the images of the immortal gods were moved, and the statues of many ancient men were thrown down, and the brazen tablets on which the laws were written were melted. Even Romulus, who built this city, was struck, which, you recollect, stood in the Capitol, a gilt statue, little and sucking, and clinging to the teats of the wolf. And when at this time the soothsayers were assembled out of all Etruria, they said that slaughter, and conflagration, and the overthrow of the laws, and civil and domestic war, and the fall of the whole city and empire was at hand, unless the immortal gods, being appeased in every possible manner, by their own power turned aside, as I may say, the very fates themselves. [20]

Therefore, according to their answers, games were celebrated for ten days, nor was anything omitted which might tend to the appeasing of the gods. And they enjoined also that we should make a greater statue of Jupiter, and place it in a lofty situation, and (contrary to what had been done before) turn it towards the east. And they said that they hoped that if that statue which you now behold looked upon the rising of the sun, and the forum, and the senate-house, that those designs which were secretly formed against the safety of the city and empire would be brought to light so as to be able to be thoroughly seen by the senate and by the Roman people. And the consuls ordered it to be so placed; but so great was the delay in the work, that it was never set up by the former consuls nor by us before this day. 9.

[21] Here who, O Romans can there be so obstinate against the truth, so headstrong, so void of sense, as to deny that all these things which we see, and especially this city, is governed by the divine authority and power of the immortal gods? Forsooth, when this answer had been given, that massacre, and conflagration, and ruin was prepared for the republic; and that, too, by profligate citizens, which, from the enormity of the wickedness, appeared incredible to some people, you found that it had not only been planned by wicked citizens, but had even been undertaken and commenced. And is not this fact so present that it appears to have taken place by the express will of the good and mighty Jupiter, that, when this day, early in the morning, both the conspirators and their accusers were being led by my command through the forum to the Temple of Concord, at that very time the statue was being erected? And when it was set up and turned towards you and towards the senate the senate and you yourselves saw everything which had been planned against the universal safety brought to light and made manifest.

[22] And on this account they deserve even greater hatred and greater punishment, for having attempted to apply their fatal and wicked fire, not only to your houses and homes, but even to the shrines and temples of the Gods. And if I were to say that it was I who resisted them, I should take too much to myself and ought not to be borne. He—he, Jupiter, resisted them, He determined that the Capitol should be safe, he saved these temples, he saved this city, he saved all of you. It is under the guidance of the immortal gods, O Romans, that I have cherished the intention and desires which I have, and have arrived at such undeniable proofs. Surely, that tampering with the Allobroges would never have taken place, so important a matter would never have been so madly entrusted, by Lentulus and the rest of our internal enemies, to strangers and foreigners, such letters would never have been written, unless all prudence had been taken by the immortal gods from such terrible audacity. What shall I say? That Gauls, men from a state scarcely at peace with us, the only nation existing which seems both to be able to make war on the Roman people, and not to be unwilling to do so,—that they should disregard the hope of empire and of the greatest success voluntarily offered to them by patricians; and should prefer your safety to their own power—do you not think that that was caused by divine interposition? especially when they could have destroyed us, not by fighting, but by keeping silence. 10. [23]

Wherefore, O citizens, since a supplication has been decreed at all the altars, celebrate those days with your wives and children; for many just and deserved honours have been often paid to the immortal gods, but juster ones never. For you have been snatched from a most cruel and miserable destruction, and you have been snatched from it without slaughter, without bloodshed, without an army, without a battle. You have conquered in the garb of peace, with me in the garb of peace for your only general and commander.

[24] Remember, O citizens, all civil dissensions, and not only those which you have heard of but these also which you yourselves remember and have seen. Lucius Sulla crushed Publius Sulpicius8; he drove from the city Caius Marius the guardian of this city; and of many other brave men some he drove from the city, and some he murdered. Cnaeus Octavius the consul drove his colleague by force of arms out of the city; all this place was crowded with heaps of carcasses and flowed with the blood of citizens; afterwards Cinna and Marius got the upper hand; and then most illustrious men were put to death, and the spirits of the state were extinguished. Afterwards Sulla avenged the cruelty of this victory; it is needless to say with what a diminution of the citizens and with what disasters to the republic Marcus Lepidus disagreed with that most eminent and brave man Quintus, Catulus. His death did not cause as much grief to the republic as that of the others.

[25] And these dissensions, O Romans, were such as concerned not the destruction of the republic, but only a change in the constitution. They did not wish that there should be no republic, but that they themselves should be the chief men in that which existed; nor did they desire that the city should be burnt, but that they themselves should flourish in it. And yet all those dissensions, none of which aimed at the destruction of the republic, were such that they were to be terminated not by a reconciliation and concord, but only by internecine war among the citizens. But in this war alone, the greatest and most cruel in the memory of man,—a war such as even the countries of the barbarians have never waged with their own tribes,—a war in which this law was laid down by Lentulus, and Catiline, and Cassius and Cethegus that every one, who could live in safety as long as the city remained in safety, should be considered as an enemy, in this war I have so managed matters, O Romans that you should all be preserved in safety; and though your enemies had thought that only such a number of the citizens would be left as had held out against an interminable massacre and only so much of the city as the flames could not devour, I have preserved both the city and the citizens unhurt and undiminished. 11.

[26] And for these exploits, important as they are, O Romans, I ask from you no reward of virtue, no badge of honour, no monument of my glory, beyond the everlasting recollection of this day. In your minds I wish all my triumphs, all my decorations of honour; the monuments of my glory, the badges of my renown, to be stored and laid up. Nothing voiceless can delight me, nothing silent,—nothing, in short, such as even those who are less worthy can obtain. In your memory, O Romans, my name shall be cherished, in your discourses it shall grow, in the monuments of your letters it shall grow old and strengthen; and I feel assured that the same day which I hope will be for everlasting; will be remembered for ever, so as to tend both to the safety of the city and the recollection of my consulship; and that it will be remembered that there existed in this city at the same time two citizens, one of whom limited the boundaries of your empire only by the regions of heaven, not by those of the earth, while the other preserved the abode and home of that same empire. 12. [27]

But since the fortune and condition of those exploits which I have performed is not the same with that of those men who have directed foreign wars—because I must live among those whom I have defeated and subdued, they have left their enemies either slain or crushed,—it is your business, O Romans, to take care, if their good deeds are a benefit to others, that mine shall never be an injury to me. For that the wicked and profligate designs of audacious men shall not be able to injure you, I have taken care; it is your business to take care that they do not injure me. Although, O Romans, no injury can be done to me by them,—for there is a great protection in the affection of all good men, which is procured for me for ever; there is great dignity in the republic, which will always silently defend me; there is great power in conscience, and those who neglect it when they desire to attack me will destroy themselves. [28]

There is moreover that disposition in me, O Romans, that I not only will yield to the audacity of no one, but that I always voluntarily attack the worthless. And if all the violence of domestic enemies being warded off from you turns itself upon me alone, you will have to take care, O Roman; in what condition you wish those men to be for the future, who for your safety have exposed themselves to unpopularity and to all sorts of dangers. As for me, myself; what is there which now can be gained by me for the enjoyment of life, especially when neither in credit among you, nor in the glory of virtue, do I see any higher point to which I can be desirous to climb? [29]

That indeed I will take care of; O Romans, as a private man to uphold and embellish the exploits which I have performed in my consulship: so that if there has been any unpopularity incurred in preserving the republic, it may injure those who envy me, and may tend to my glory. Lastly, I will so behave myself in the republic as always to remember what I have done, and to take care that they shall appear to have been done through virtue, and not by chance. Do you, O Romans, since it is now night ,worship that Jupiter, the guardian of this city and of yourselves, and depart to your homes; and defend those homes, though the danger is now removed, with guard and watch as you did last night, That you shall not have to do so long, and that you shall enjoy perpetual tranquillity, shall, O Romans, be my care.



The night after the events mentioned in the argument to the preceding oration, Cicero’s wife Terentia, with the vestal virgins was performing at home the mystic rites of the Bona Dea while Cicero was deliberating with his friends on the best mode of punishing the conspirators. Terentia interrupted their deliberations by coming in to inform them of a prodigy which had just happened that after the sacrifice in which she had been engaged was over the fire revived spontaneously; on which the vestal virgins had sent her to him to inform him of it, and to bid him pursue what he was then thinking of and intending for the good of his country, since the goddess had given this sign that she was watching over his safety and glory.

The next day the senate ordered public rewards to the ambassadors and to Vulturcius; and showed signs of intending to proceed with extreme rigour against the conspirators when on a sudden rumours arose of plots having been formed by the slaves of Lentulus and Cethegus for their masters’ rescue; which obliged Cicero to double all the guards, and determined him to prevent any repetition of such attempts by bringing before the senate without delay the question of the punishment of the prisoners. On which account he summoned the senate to meet the next morning.

There were many difficulties in the matter. Capital punishments were unusual and very unpopular at Rome. And there was an old law of Porcius Lecca, a tribune of the people, which granted to all criminals who were capitally condemned an appeal to the people; and also a law had been passed, since his time, by Caius Gracchus, to prohibit the taking away the life of any citizen without a formal hearing before the people. And these considerations had so much weight with some of the senators, that they absented themselves from the senate during this debate, in order to have no share in sentencing prisoners of such high rank to death. The debate was opened by Silanus, the consul elect, who declared his opinion that those in custody, and those also who should be taken subsequently, should all be put to death. Everyone who followed him agreed with him, till Julius Caesar, the praetor elect, (who has been often suspected of having at least to some extent, privy to the conspiracy,) rose, and in an elaborate speech proposed that they should not be put to death, but that their estates should be confiscated, and they themselves kept in perpetual confinement. Cato opposed him with great earnestness. But some of Cicero’s friends appeared inclined to Caesar’s motion, thinking it a safer measure for Cicero himself; but when Cicero perceived this, he rose himself; and discussed the opinions both of Silanus and Caesar in the following speech, which decided the senate to vote for their condemnation. And as soon as the vote had passed, Cicero went immediately from the senate house, took Lentulus from the custody of his kinsman Lentulus Spinther, and delivered him to the executioner. The other conspirators, Cethegus, Statilius, Gabinius, were in like manner conducted to execution by the praetors; and Cicero was conducted home to his house in triumph by the whole body of the senate and by the knights, the whole multitude following him, and saluting him as their deliverer.

1. I see, O conscript fathers, that the looks and eyes of you all are turned towards me; I see that you are anxious not only for your own danger and that of the republic, but even, if that be removed, for mine. Your good-will is delightful to one amid evils, and pleasing amid grief; but I entreat you, in the name of the immortal gods, lay it aside now, and, forgetting my safety, think of yourselves and of your children. If indeed, this condition of the consulship has been allotted to me, that I should bear all bitterness, all pains and tortures, I will bear them not only bravely but even cheerfully, provided that by my toils dignity and safety are procured for you and for the Roman people.

[2] I am that consul, O conscript fathers, to whom neither the forum in while all justice is contained, nor the Campus Martius, 9 consecrated to the consular assemblies, nor the senate house, the chief assistance of all nations, nor my own home, the common refuge of all men, nor my bed devoted to rest, in short, not even this seat of honour, this curule chair has ever been free from the danger of death, or from plots and treachery. I have been silent about many things, I have borne much, I have conceded much, I have remedied many things with some pain to myself amid the alarm of you all. Now if the immortal gods have determined that there shall be this end to my consulship that I should snatch you, O conscript fathers, and the Roman people from miserable slaughter, your wives and children and the vestal virgins from most bitter distress, the temples and shrines of the gods and this most lovely country of all of us, from impious flames, all Italy from war and devastation, then whatever fortune is laid up for me by myself it shall be borne. If, indeed, Publius Lentulus, being led on by soothsayers believed that his name was connected by destiny with the destruction of the republic, why should not I rejoice that my consulship has taken place almost by the express appointment of fate for the preservation of the republic? 2. [3]

Wherefore, O conscript fathers, consult the welfare of yourselves, provide for that of the republic; preserve yourselves, your wives, your children, and your fortunes; defend the name and safety of the Roman people; cease to spare me, and to think of me. For, in the first place, I ought to hope that all the gods who preside over this city will show me gratitude in proportion as I deserve it; and in the second place, if anything does happen to me, I shall fall with a contented and prepared mind; and, indeed, death cannot be disgraceful to a brave man, nor premature to one of consular rank, nor miserable to a wise man. Not that I am a man of so iron a disposition as not to be moved by the grief of a most dear and affectionate brother now present, and by the tears of all these men by whom you now see me surrounded. Nor does my fainting wife, my daughter prostrate with fear, and my little son whom the republic seems to me to embrace as a sort of hostage for my consulship, the son-in-law who, awaiting the end of that day, is now standing in my sight, fail often to recall my mind to my home. I am moved by all these circumstances, but in such a direction as to wish that they all may be safe together with you, even if some violence overwhelms me, rather than that both they and are should perish together with the republic.

[4] Wherefore, O conscript fathers, attend to the safety of the republic; look round upon all the storms which are impending, unless you guard against them. It is not Tiberius Gracchus, who wished to be made a second time a tribune of the people; it is not Caius Gracchus, who endeavoured to excite the partisans of the agrarian law; it is not Lucius Saturninus, who slew Memmius, who is now in some danger, who is now brought before the tribunal of your severity. They are now in your hands who withstood all Rome, with the object of bringing conflagration on the whole city, massacre on all of you, and of receiving Catiline; their letters are in your possession, their seals, their handwriting, and the confession of each individual of them; the Allobroges are tampered with, the slaves are excited, Catiline is sent for; the design is actually begun to be put in execution, that all should be put to death, so that no one should be left even to mourn the name of the republic, and to lament over the downfall of so mighty a dominion. 3. [5]

All these things the witnesses have informed you of; the prisoners have confessed, you by many judgments have already decided; first, because you have thanked me in unprecedented language, and have passed a vote that the conspiracy of abandoned men has been laid open by my virtue and diligence; secondly, because you have compelled Publius Lentulus to abdicate the praetorship; again, because you have voted that he and the others about whom you have decided should be given into custody; and above all because you have decreed a supplication in my name, an honour which has never been paid to any one before acting in a civil capacity; last of all because yesterday you gave most ample rewards to the ambassadors of the Allobroges and to Titus Vulturcius; all which acts are such that they, who have been given into custody by name, without any doubt seem already condemned by you. [6]

But I have determined to refer the business to you as a fresh matter, O conscript fathers, both as to the fact, what you think of it and as to the punishment, what you vote. I will state what it behoves the consul to state. I have seen for a long time great madness existing in the republic, and new designs being formed, and evil passions being stirred up; but I never thought that so great, so destructive a conspiracy as this was being meditated by citizens. Now to whatever point your minds and opinions incline, you must decide before night. You see how great a crime has been made known to you; if you think that but few are implicated in it you are greatly mistaken; this evil has spread wider than you think; it has spread not only throughout Italy, but it has even crossed the Alps, and creeping stealthily on, it has already occupied many of the provinces; it can by no means be crushed by tolerating it, and by temporising with it; however you determine on chastising it, you must act with promptitude. 4. [7]

I see that as yet there are two opinions. One that of Decius Silanus, who thinks that those who have endeavoured to destroy all these things should be punished with death the other, that of Caius Caesar, who objects to the punishment of death, but adopts the most extreme severity of all other punishment. Each acts in a manner suitable to his own dignity and to the magnitude of the business with the greatest severity. The one thinks that it is not right that those, who have attempted to deprive all or us and the while Roman people of life, to destroy the empire, to extinguish the name of the Roman people, should enjoy life and the breath of heaven common to us all, for one moment; and he remembers that this sort of punishment has often been employed against worthless citizens in this republic. The other feels that death was not appointed by the immortal gods for the sake of punishment, but that it is either a necessity of nature, or a rest from toils and miseries; therefore wise men have never met it unwillingly, brave men have often encountered it even voluntarily. But imprisonment and that too perpetual, was certainly invented for the extraordinary punishment of nefarious wickedness; therefore he proposes that they should be distributed among the municipal towns. This proposition seems to have in it injustice if you command; it difficulty if you request it. [8]

Let it, however, be so decreed if you like. For I will undertake, and, as I hope, I shall find one who will not think it suitable to his dignity to refuse what you decide on for the sake of the universal safety. He imposes besides a severe punishment on the burgesses of the municipal town if any of the prisoners escape; he surrounds them with the most terrible guard, and with everything worthy of the wickedness of abandoned men. And he proposes to establish a decree that no one shall be able to alleviate the punishment of those whom he is condemning by a vote of either the senate or the people. He takes away even hope, which alone can comfort men in their miseries; besides this, he votes that their goods should be confiscated; he leaves life alone to these infamous men, and if he had taken that away; he would have relieved them by one pang of many tortures of mind and body, and of all the punishment of their crimes. Therefore, that there might be some dread in life to the wicked, men of old have believed that there were some punishments of that sort appointed for the wicked in the shades below; because in truth they perceived that if this were taken away death itself would not be terrible. 5. [9]

Now, O conscript fathers, I see what is my interest; if you follow the opinion of Caius Caesar, (since he has adopted this path in the republic which is accounted the popular one,) perhaps since he is the author and promoter of this opinion, the popular violence will be less to be dreaded by me; if you adopt the other opinion, I know not whether I am not likely to have more trouble; but still let the advantage of the republic outweigh the consideration of my danger. For we have from Caius Caesar, as his own dignity and as the illustrious character of his ancestors demanded, a vote as a hostage of his lasting good-will to the republic; it has been clearly seen how great is the difference between the lenity of demagogues, and a disposition really attached to the interests of the people. [10] I see that of those men who wish to be considered attached to the people one man is absent, that they may not seem forsooth to give a vote about the lives of Roman citizens. He only three days ago gave Roman citizens into custody, and decreed me a supplication, and voted most magnificent rewards to the witnesses only yesterday. It is not now doubtful to any one what he, who voted for the imprisonment of the criminals, congratulation to him who had detected them, and rewards to those who had proved the crime, thinks of the whole matter, and of the cause. But Caius Caesar considers that the Sempronian 10 law was passed about Roman citizens, but that he who is an enemy of the republic can by no means be a citizen; and moreover that the very proposer of the Sempronian law suffered punishment by the command of the people. He also denies that Lentulus, a briber and a spendthrift, after he has formed such cruel and bitter plans about the destruction of the Roman people and the ruin of this city, can be called a friend of the people. Therefore this most gentle and merciful man does not hesitate to commit Publius Lentulus to eternal darkness and imprisonment, and establishes a law to all posterity that no one shall be able to boast of alleviating his punishment or hereafter to appear a friend of the people to the destruction of the Roman people. He adds also the confiscation of their goods, so that want also and beggary may be added to all the torments of mind and body. 6. [11]

Wherefore, if you decide on this you give me a companion in my address, dear and acceptable to the Roman people; or if you prefer to adopt the opinion of Silanus, you will easily defend me and yourselves from the reproach of cruelty, and I will prevail that it shall be much lighter. Although, O conscript fathers, what cruelty can there be in chastising the enormity of such excessive wickedness? For I decide from my own feeling. For so may I be allowed; to enjoy the republic in safety in your company, as I am not moved to be somewhat vehement in this cause by any severity of disposition, (for who is more merciful than I am?) but rather by a singular humanity and mercifulness. For I seem to myself to see this city, the light of the world and the citadel of all nations, falling on a sudden by one conflagration. I see in my mind’s eye miserable and unburied heaps of cities in my buried country; the sight of Cethegus and his madness raging amid your slaughter is ever present to my sight. [12] But when I have set before myself Lentulus reigning, as he himself confesses that he had hoped was his destiny, and this Gabinius arrayed in the purple and Catiline arrived with his army, then I shudder at the lamentation of matrons, and the flight of virgins and of boys and the insults of the vestal virgins; and because these things appear to me exceedingly miserable and pitiable, therefore I show myself severe and rigorous to those who have wished to bring about this state of things. I ask, forsooth, if any father of a family, supposing his children had been slain by a slave, his wife murdered, his house burnt, were not to inflict on his slaves the severest possible punishment would he appear clement and merciful or most inhuman and cruel? To me he would seem unnatural and hard-hearted who did not soothe his own pain and anguish by the pain and torture of the criminal. And so we, in the case of these men who desired to murder us, and our wives, and our children,—who endeavoured to destroy the houses of every individual among us, and also the republic, the home of all,—who designed to place the nation of the Allobroges on the relics of this city, and on the ashes of the empire destroyed by fire;—if we are very rigorous, we shall be considered merciful; if we choose to be lax, we must endure the character of the greatest cruelty, to the damage of our country and our fellow-citizens.

[13] Unless, indeed, Lucius 11 Caesar, a thoroughly brave man and of the best disposition towards the republic, seemed to any one to be too cruel three, days ago, when he said that the husband of his own sister, a most excellent woman, (in his presence and in his hearing,) ought to be deprived of life,— when he said that his grandfather had been put to death by command of the consul and his youthful son, sent as an ambassador by his father, had been put to death in prison. And what deed had they done like these men? had they formed any plan for destroying the republic? At that time great corruption was rife in the republic, and there was the greatest strife between parties. And, at that time, the grandfather of this Lentulus, a most illustrious man, put on his armour and pursued Gracchus; he even received a severe wound that there might be no diminution of the great dignity of the republic. But this man, his grandson, invited the Gauls to overthrow the foundations of the republic; he stirred up the slaves, he summoned Catiline, he distributed us to Cethegus to be massacred, and the rest of the citizens to Gabinius to be assassinated, the city he allotted to Cassius to burn, and the plundering and devastating of all Italy he assigned to Catiline. You fear, I think, lest in the case of such unheard of and abominable wickedness you should seem to decide anything with too great severity; when we ought much more to fear lest by being remiss in punishing we should appear cruel to our country, rather than appear by the severity of our irritation too rigorous to its most bitter enemies. 7. [14]

But O conscript fathers, I cannot conceal what I hear; for sayings are bruited about, which come to my ears, of those men who seem to fear that I may not have force enough to put in execution the things which you determine on this day. Everything is provided for, and prepared, and arranged, O conscript fathers, both by my exceeding care and diligence, and also by the still greater zeal of the Roman people for the retaining of their supreme dominion, and for the preserving of the fortunes of all. All men of all ranks are present, and of all ages; the forum is full, the temples around the forum are full, all the approaches to this place and to this temple are full. For this is the only cause that has ever been known since the first foundation of the city, in which all men were of one and the same opinion—except those, who, as they saw they must be ruined, preferred to perish in company with all the world rather than by themselves.

[15] These men I except, and I willingly set apart from the rest; for I do not think that they should be classed in the number of worthless citizens, but in that of the most bitter enemies. But, as for the rest, O ye immortal gods! in what crowds, with what zeal, with what virtue do they agree in defence of the common dignity and safety. Why should I here speak of the Roman knights? who yield to you the supremacy in rank and wisdom, in order to vie with you in love for the republic,—whom this day and this cause now reunite with you in alliance and unanimity with your body reconciled after a disagreement of many years. And if we can preserve for ever in the republic this union now established in nay consulship, I pledge myself to you that no civil and domestic calamity can hereafter reach any part of the republic. I see that the tribunes of the treasury—excellent men—have united with similar zeal in defence of the republic, and all the notaries. 12 For as this day had by chance brought them in crowds to the treasury, I see that they were diverted from an anxiety for the money due to them, from an expectation of their capital, to a regard for the common safety. [16] The entire multitude of honest men, even the poorest is present; for who is there to whom these temples, the sight of the city, the possession of liberty,—in short; this light and this soil of his, common to us all, is not both dear and pleasant and delightful? 8.

It is worth while, O conscript fathers, to know the inclinations of the freedmen; who, having by their good fortune obtained the rights of citizens, consider this to be really their country, which some who have been born here, and born in the highest rank, have considered to be not their own country, but a city of enemies. But why should I speak of men of this body whom their private fortunes, whom their common republic, whom, in short, that liberty which is most delightful has called forth to defend the safety of their country? There is no slave who is only in an endurable condition of slavery who does not shudder at the audacity of citizens, who does not desire that these things may stand, who does not contribute all the good-will that he can, and all that he dares, to the common safety.

[17] Wherefore, if this consideration moves any one, that it has been heard that some tool of Lentulus is running about the shops,—is hoping that the minds of some poor and ignorant men may be corrupted by bribery; that, indeed, has been attempted and begun, but no one has been found either so wretched in their fortune or so abandoned in their inclination as not to wish the place of their seat and work and daily gain, their chamber and their bed, and, in short, the tranquil course of their lives, to be still preserved to them. And far the greater part of those who are in the shops,—yes, indeed, (for that is the more correct way of speaking,) the whole of this class is of all the most attached to tranquillity; their whole stock, indeed, their whole employment and livelihood, exists by the peaceful intercourse of the citizens, and is wholly supported by peace. And if their gains are diminished whenever their shops are shut, what will they be when they are burnt? [18] And, as this is the case, O conscript fathers, the protection of the Roman people is not wanting to you; do you take care that you do not seem to be wanting to the Roman people. 9.

You have a consul preserved out of many dangers and plots, and from death itself not for his own life, but for your safety. All ranks agree for the preservation of the republic with heart and will, with zeal, with virtue, with their voice. Your common country, besieged by the hands and weapons of an impious conspiracy, stretches forth her hands to you as a suppliant; to you she recommends herself to you she recommends the lives of all the citizens, and the citadel, and the Capitol, and the altars of the household gods, and the eternal inextinguishable fire of Vesta, and all the temples of all the gods, and the altars and the walls and the houses of the city. Moreover, your own lives, those of your wives and children, the fortunes of all men, your homes, your hearth; are this day interested in your decision.

[19] You have a leader mindful of you, forgetful of himself—an opportunity which is not always given to men; you have all ranks, all individuals, the whole Roman people, (a thing which in civil transactions we see this day for the first time,) full of one and the same feeling. Think with what great labour this our dominion was founded, by what virtue this our liberty was established, by what kind favour of the gods our fortunes were aggrandized and ennobled, and how nearly one night destroyed them all. That this may never hereafter be able not only to be done, but not even to be thought of you must this day take care. And I have spoken thus, not in order to stir you up who almost outrun me myself but that my voice, which ought to be the chief voice in the republic, may appear to have fulfilled the duty which belongs to me as consul. 10. [20]

Now, before I return to the decision, I will say a few words concerning myself. As numerous as is the band of conspirators—and you see that it is very great,—so numerous a multitude of enemies do I see that I have brought upon myself. But I consider them base and powerless and despicable and abject. But if at any time that band shall be excited by the wickedness and madness of any one, and shall show itself more powerful than your dignity and that of the republic, yet. O conscript fathers, I shall never repent of my actions and of my advice. Death, indeed, which they perhaps threaten me with, is prepared for all men; such glory during life as you have honoured me with by your decrees no one has ever attained to. For you have passed votes of congratulation to others for having governed the republic successfully, but to me alone for having saved it

[21] Let Scipio be thought illustrious, he by whose wisdom and valour Hannibal was compelled to return into Africa, and to depart from Italy. Let the second Africanus be extolled with conspicuous praise, who destroyed two cities most hostile to this empire, Carthage and Numantia. Let Lucius Paullus be thought a great man, he whose triumphal car was graced by Perses, previously a most powerful and noble monarch. Let Marius be held in eternal honour, who twice delivered Italy from siege, and from the fear of slavery. Let Pompey be preferred to them all—Pompey, whose exploits and whose virtues are bounded by the same districts and limits as the course of the sun. There will be, forsooth, among the praises of these men, some room for my glory, unless haply it be a greater deed to open to us provinces whither we may fly, than to take care that those who are at a distance may, when conquerors; have a home to return to. [22]

Although in one point the circumstances of foreign triumph are better than those of domestic victory; because foreign enemies, either if they be crushed become one’s servants, or if they be received into the state, think themselves bound to us by obligations; but those of the number of citizens who become depraved by madness and once begin to be enemies to their country,—those men, when you have defeated their attempts to injure the republic, you can neither restrain by force nor conciliate by kindness. So that I see that an eternal war with all wicked citizens has been undertaken by me; which, however, I am confident can easily be driven back from me and mine by your aid, and by that of all good men, and by the memory of such great dangers, which will remain, not only among this people which has been saved, but in the discourse and minds of all nations forever. Nor, in truth, can any power be found which will be able to undermine and destroy your union with the Roman knights, and such unanimity as exists among all good men. 11. [23]

As, then, this is the case, O conscript fathers, instead of my military command—instead of the army,——instead of the province 13 which I have neglected, and the other badges of honour which have been rejected by me for the sake of protecting the city and your safety,—in place of the ties of clientship and hospitality with citizens in the provinces, which, however, by my influence in the city, I study to preserve with as much toil as I labour to acquire them,—in place of all these things, and in reward for my singular zeal in your behalf, and for this diligence in saving the republic which you behold, I ask nothing of you but the recollection of this time and of my whole consulship. And as long as that is fixed in your minds, I still think I am fenced round by the strongest wall. But if the violence of wicked men shall deceive and overpower my expectations, I recommend to you my little son, to whom, in truth, it will be protection enough, not only for his safety, but even for his dignity if you recollect that he is the son of him who has saved all these things at his own single risk. [24]

Wherefore, O conscript fathers, determine with care, as you have begun, and boldly, concerning your own safety, and that of the Roman people, and concerning your wives and children; concerning your altars and your hearths your shrines and temples; concerning the houses and homes of the whole city; concerning your dominion, your liberty and the safety of Italy and the whole republic. For you have a consul who will not hesitate to obey your decrees, and who will be able as long as he lives, to defend what you decide on and of his own power to execute it. 14


1 This was Scipio Nasica, who called on the consul Mucius Scaevola to do his duty and save the republic; but as he refused to put any one to death without a trial, Scipio called on all the citizens to follow him, and stormed the Capitol, which Gracchus had occupied with his party, and slew many of the partisans of Gracchus, and Gracchus himself.

2 This resolution was couched in the form Videant Consules nequid respublica detrimenti capiat; and it exempted the consuls from all obligation to attend to the ordinary forms of law, and invested them with absolute power over the lives of all the citizens who were intriguing against the republic.

3 This is the same incident that is the subject of the preceding oration in defence of Rabirius.

4 The Allobroges occupied the districts of Dauphiné and Savoy.

5 Cinna and Sulla had been the two former Cornelii.

6 A supplication was a solemn thanksgiving to the gods, decreed by the senate, when all the temples were opened and the statues of the gods placed in public upon couches (pulvinaria), to which the people offered up their thanksgivings and prayers. It was usually decreed on the intelligence arriving of any great victory, and the number of days which it was to last was proportioned to the importance of the victory. It was generally regarded as a prelude to a triumph. Of course, from what has been said, it must have been usually confined to generals; who laid aside the toga on leaving the city to assume the command of the army, and assumed the paludamentum, or military robe.

7 The Saturnalia was a feast of Saturn at which extraordinary licence and indulgence was allowed to all the slaves; it took place at the end of December, while this speech of Cicero was delivered early in November.

8 Sulpicius procured a law to be passed for taking the command against Mithridates from Sulla and giving it to Marius; Sulla came to Rome with his army and slew Sulpicius, when Marius fled to Africa. Sulla made Octavius and Cinna consuls, who quarreled after he was gone, and Cinna went over to the party of Marius, who returned to Rome. Lepidus and Catulus were consuls the year after the death of Sulla, and they quarreled because Lepidus wished to rescind all the acts of Sulla. Lepidus was defeated, fled to Sardinia, and died there.

9 The Campus Martius was consecrated or restored to Mars after the expulsion of the Tarquins; the comitia centuriata at which all magistrates were created were held there.

10 The Sempronian law was proposed by Caius Gracchus, B.C. 123, and enacted that the people only should decide respecting the life or civil condition of a citizen. It is alluded to also in the oration Pro Rabir. c. 4, where Cicero says, “Caius Gracchus passed a law that no decision should be come to about the life of a Roman citizen without your command,? speaking to the Quirites.

11 The brother-in-law of Lucius Caesar was Marcus Fulvius, whose death, at the command of Opimius the consul, is referred to at Cat. 2. chap1. He sent his son to the consul to treat for his surrender, whom Opimius sent back the first time, and forbade to return to him; when he did return, he put him to death.

12 The notaries at Rome were in the pay of the state; they were chiefly employed in making up the public accounts. In the time of Cicero it seems to have been lawful for any one to obtain the office of scriba by purchase, (see Cic. in Verr. 2.79,) and freedmen and their sons frequently availed themselves of this privilege.

13 Cicero, in order to tempt Antonius to aid him in counteracting the treasonable designs of Catiline, had given up to him the province of Macedonia, which had fallen to his own lot; and having accepted that or Cisalpine Gaul in exchange for it, he gave that also to Quintus Metellus; being resolved to receive no emolument, directly or indirectly, from his consulship.

14 This speech was spoken, and the criminals executed, on the fifth of December. But Catiline was not yet entirely overcome. He had with him in Etruria two legions,—about twelve thousand men; of which, however, not above one quarter were regularly armed. For some time by marches and counter marches he eluded Antonius, but when the news reached his army of the fate of the rest of the conspirators it began to desert him in great numbers. He attempted to escape into Gaul but found himself intercepted by Metellus who had been sent thither by Cicero with three legions. Antonius is supposed not to have been disinclined to connive at his escape if he had not been compelled as it were by his quaestor Sextus and his lieutenant Petreius to force him to a battle, in which, however, Antonius himself being ill of the gout did not take the command, which devolved on Petreius who after a severe action destroyed Catiline and his whole army, of which every man is said to have been slain in the battle.

M. Tullius Cicero. The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, literally translated by C. D. Yonge, B. A. London. Henry G. Bohn, York Street, Covent Garden. 1856.

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