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Cicero and Catiline

Two years older than Cicero and from an important Patrician family, if one that was not prominent at the time
– active in the proscriptions and subject to several unfavourable rumours
– supposed incest with both his sisters and daughter, murdered own brother and son
– powerful friends in the senate, acquitted on extortion 65BC and 64BC

He was propraetor in Africa and was afterwards charged with embezzling
– wants to stand for the consulship in 64BC as is 42 but is disqualified due to being on trial, is soon acquitted due to bribery howevert

Atticus 1.2.1
65BC Cicero wrote a private letter about Catiline’s trial, saying got the right jury and was even considerring defending him and using him as a running mate in 64BC

Catiline wants to stand for the consulship again, makes extravagent popularis claims to cancel dept
– seems Crassus and Caesar support
– Cicero is a novos homo, although his image is of one who protects the constitution
– rallies support playing the moral angle, denouncing Catiline and Antonius for their corrupt personal lives andf bribery
– the aristocratic vote is split as many do not want two popularis politicians in the consulship so Antonius and Cicero are elected

Cicero gives Antonius this as a province in order to placate him and deter him from further activity for Catiline’s cause
– this province is much more promising than Cisalpine Gaul

Catiline had one more chance to stand for the consulship before his wealthy backers withdraw their support
– he makes grand statements that the state has two heads, the strong head of the people which only needs a leader
– Cicero calls to postpone the elections for fear of a conspiracy and Catiline fails to be elected again
– now after he has lost all hope of the office he feels entitled to Catiline turns to more revolutionary means
– revolts planned in Italy and Eturia? fires in Rome? the assassination of Cicero and slaughter of leading Optimates

Quintus Curius and Fulvia
One of the conspirators tells his lover all their plans who then gives information to Cicero
– are we supposed to believe he was a double agent or simply didn’t know how Cicero was getting all his information?

Cicero and Sallust
– two main sources oppose eachother, Sallust doesn’t like Cicero was about 20 at the time
– Cicero is self-centred and aims to idolised his own actions, partly in later times to deter his exile
Gruen: Cicero’s writings blow out of proportion the period, Catiline really had pitiful forces and minor uprising? his consulship and greatest triumph

Most of the conspirators were disappointed nobles, who felt that they had been deprived of their right to office
– questionable histories, many thrown out of the senate
– were inefficient and clumsy, successful magistrates would not have been led to such desperate actions
– no single minded purpose, they all had own motivations
– did not want to bring down the social order when he expected to be consul over the system?
– coup aimed to create a new dominant faction in the senate, doubtful long term plans for a revolution

Aftermath of Sulla
– Manlius Ex-soldier under Sulla who got land under the dictatorship but was unable to farm
– proscriptions many men deprived of their status and property
– veterans might be given bad land, been forced to borrow on a bad harvest and got into dept or simply were not content with farming as a profession
– the soldiers remembered the quick promotions and rewards of the civil war, violence was an attractive and practiced solution

– did not want to bring down the government? but they unleashed forces beyond their intentions, they exacerbated problems already pointed out by the Gracchi
– proved the public passion could be aroused by an extension of its constitutional rights

Rutilius Rullus
– puts forward a land bill, state to purchase land that cannot be sold, land plots made available for the urban plebs and landless, excess booty from generals, tax on some provincial lands
– the men on the commission would have vast power for 5 years
– this was rejected, symbolising the closing off the conventional political route for a desperate people to gain economic recovery
– senate was scared because the whole board of 10 tribunes was behind the reform
– they didn’t want sympathetic consuls to protect the refromers, if the popularis got Catiline as consul there would be a good chance of reform

Financial Crash – 63BC
– Mithridates had slaughtered Italian buisnessmen
– there was piracy in the Mediterranean blocking and distruption grain shipments
– the slave revolt in 73-71BC
– after Pompey took control of the eastern wars there was a surge of confidence and everybody rushed to gain financial footing in the east
– this meant they probably cracked down on outstanding depts and the crisis came to a head

Sympathy for the cause evaporated when rumours circulated of planned fires, murders
– senators and equestrians would be united the distruption of normal state activity
– the populus were not prepared the reach their goal through violent means, having lived through the civil war with Sulla
– they feared the results of radical change and social upheaval

Violence in the assembly
– they recognised that rare riots for specific reasons e.g. grain shortage usually produced acceptable results as they scared the senate
– violence of politicians design rarely came to anything
– to what extent did the continuing occurence of violence weaken the authority of the government and make it easier for military leaders to seize control?

The land was the easiest way to make a living, cheif livlihood for the population
– drifted to the city because it became harder to get employment in the country
– when armies were disbanded there was little chance that they would receive settlement by the senate, they had to look to their generals

Sulla had cancelled all grain handouts, then the senate renewed in 73BC for a limited numbers
– the plebs realised this was a small concession due to fear

Cicero had to get support where he could being a novos homo
– he owed alot to the backlash of support from Catiline and Antonius who threatened radical change?

If conspiracies are detected there is always the possibility the evidence is distorted
– historians in hinesight try to give everything a neat plan, doesn’t mean there was one

The senate had voted on strong action against bribery with a particular reference to Catiline and Antonius

– Cicero made clear his opposition as consul and Rufus came forward to say he would use his veto against it
– he use his oratory to misrepresent the reformers as Sullan thugs, manipulating tribal votes and the birthrite of the people sold to ten kings

The plan
– Manlius was to organise the veterans, brigands and peasants forces in Eturia and on the 27th of October bring them within striking distance of the city
– with the distraction of the Sullan victory games Catiline rouses his supporters in the city and Manlius moves in, they seize control and remove Cicero
– 17th of December during Mardi Gras then the city fired in 12 places, Cicero ambushed and killed, others assassinated then supporters break out and meet Catiline

– Quintus Arrius confirmed that Manlius was hovering close with his troops
– Fulvia was informing Cicero, and CRASSUS CAME FORWARD with letters from the conspirators warning friends in the city

28th of October
Catiline still attended the senate and nothing happened due to Cicero’s adequate deterent measures

6th of November
The final meeting of the conspirators
– Cornelius and Vargunteius will surprise Cicero in his house and kill him
– Curius and Fulvia warn Cicero so they find the house barred on the 7th

8th of November
The senate meet at the temple of jupiter on the palantine hill
– and Catiline appears again, even though Cicero expected him to have already left the city
– Cicero delivers his first Catilinarian speech and Catiline appeals to the senate
– as an equal in birth he has a certain amount of sway

9th of November
– Catiline leaves the city taking the rods of office and one of Marius’ eagles
– he writes to leading men on Rome saying that he is going into exile to protect the state and secure peace
– Cicero delievers his second Catilinarian speech relating the whole plot including massacre and arson

The end of the conspiracy
– in the middle of November they find out about Catiline’s assumption of the imperitorial insignia
– Manlius and Catiline are outlawed and supporters offered pardon if they lay down their arms

The Allobroges
A group of Gauls who go to Rome to make an appeal and are re-buffed
– Lentullus approaches them hoping to use their disappointment to his advantage
– this gives Cicero the perfect invective against the conspirators, as all the public remember the sack of Rome and the recent invasions into Italy of the Cimbri

Thanks is given to the gods for the saviour of the people, the first given to someone not in military command since the foundation of Rome

Sallust. Cat. 10
Sees the love of ambition and rivalry as a decline in morality affected after the fall of Carthage, Rome’s greatest enemy
– people who had suffered the toils of war could not handle the luxury and ease that came

Sallust. Cat. 16
– the Sullan veterans had overspent, poverty was everywhere, Pompey’s army was away from Rome and the senate were unsuspecting (perfect conditions)

Sallust. Cat. 17
Crassus hated Pompey and was willing to back anyone who
19: also he promoted the appointment of Piso as quaestor to Spain becuase he know he was a bitter enemy of Pompey’s

Sallust. Cat. 21
Suggests that Catiline was planning the conspiracy and meeting with his conspirators even prior to his electoral campaign – as early as 66BC

The Capture of Conspirators
– the Allobroges decide to tell the state and Cicero tells them to get signed documents from the conspirators
– they were captured on the Milvian bridge and confessed in the senate
– Cicero gives his 3rd Catilinarian speech to the people detailing everything
– Caesar makes speech against execution and Cato for

Reaction and prevention
– Cicero addresses the senate on the 21st of October, the coup planned for the 28th
– SCU PASSED gladiators broken up and distributed to Capua and other towns, a force of vigilantes officered by magistrates
– two former consuls take control of Faesulae and Apulia, praetors take Capua and Picenium and given emergency powers to levy soldiers

– they needed popular support or nothing would have happened, doesn’t mean that their intentions were the same as those use to gain that support
– the masses needed some sort of leader to ensure the enforcement of equal share power, prestige, glory and wealth
– Catiline’s propaganda appealed easily to those frustrated by the refusal of land grants

– no evidence that they were all compelled by the depts of an extravagent lifestyle
– Cicero depicts as consorting with the dregs of society, does not allow them any morality as suits his purpose

Cicero. 2nd Cat. 2.7
“dregs of the republic”

Cicero. 2nd Cat. 2.10
The think of nothing but slaughter, rape and conflagration
– dissapated their patrimonies and given in to every type f vice

Cicero. 3rd Cat. 3.17
They aimed at the destruction of the republic

Cicero. 4th Cat. 4.12
The designed to nestle the Allobroges on the relics of this city

Cicero. 3rd Cat. 3.24-5
He puts Catiline on part witht the likes of Cinna and Sulla but they did not try to destroy the republic only to change the constitution

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