Cicero In Catilinam I -- Vital Notes (iv)

The Latin, the English translation and some vital notes on the first section of Cicero's In Catilinam I speech, as relevent to the AS Latin Exam.

Part (iv) of the notes.

  • Created by: Tiula
  • Created on: 22-04-11 12:36


Fuit, fuit ista quondam in hac re publica virtus, ut viri fortes

acrioribus suppliciis civem perniciosum quam acerbissimum

hostem coercerent. Habemus senatus consultum in te,

Catilina, vehemens et grave, non deest rei publicae

consilium neque auctoritas huius ordinis; nos, nos dico

aperte, consules desumus. [4] Decrevit quondam senatus ut

L. Opimius consul videret, ne quid res publica detrimenti


Translation on next card. However, if you feel confident, try translating without looking first.

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There was, once there was in this republic that courage that

brave men would restrain a dangerous citizen with harsher

punishments than a very bitter enemy. We have a decree of

the senate against you, Catiline, violent and serious; a plain

is not lacking from the republic, nor the authority of this

order: we, we, I say this openly, the consuls are lacking. [4]

The senate once decreed that L. Opimius the consul should

see to it that the republic suffer no loss:

(to be continued)

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  • Cicero says "we have a decree of the senate against you, Catiline". This is an exaggeration: the decree was not against Catiline, it just stated that Cicero had to protect the republic
  • criticising himself "we the consuls are lacking" -- makes it seem as though he is modest
  • without directly saying so, he calls Catiline a "civem perniciosum" -- "very dangerous citizen"
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