Opposition to Cicero
-Catiline= from an old family but had a dubious reputation.
-Antonius= from an old family but in debt.
- Galba= from an old family but started his campaign early and fizzled out.
- By the end of 64BC, only Cicero, Antonius and Catiline were in the running.
-Bribery Law- Antonius and Catiline handed out so many bribes that a new law was proposed that people handing out bribes would be penalised more severely.
-Cicero spoke in favour of this.
Events leading up to Consulship
-Events leading up to meant that he was holding the consulship in an increasingly tense environment.
-3 main players for power (Crassus, Caesar and Pompey) and strong opposition for the consulship (Catiline and Antonius being bankrolled by Crassus and supported by Caesar).
-Personal ambition was at its height.
-Optimates still sceptical of Cicero as he was a novus homo and due to support of 'threat to the republic'- support of Pompey.
-Cicero was still very much reliant on the support of Pompey to gain his consulship.
Why did Cicero Win?
-Nobiles supported him as well as Pompey and the equites.
-This is because they were pleased that Cicero had backed the bribery law.
-They feared his opposition and the aims of the men (Crassus and Caesar) backing them.
-This was a huge achievement for Cicero.
Rullus' Agrarian Bill
- Crassus and Caesar joining together.
-Aim: to control available public land in Italy and the provinces which Pompey would, on his return, need to distribute to his veterans to assure himself of their supprot.
-Crassus used Rullus, a tribune, to propose a commision to purchase and distribute the land, with Crassus as the commisioner.
-Thwarted by Cicero
-Cicero was representing the interests of Pompey and as he was a popularesm he wasn't acting in line with his 'usual' politics.
-Caesar tried Rabirius for his use of the SCU 37 years earlier to put to death a tribune (sacrosanct by law).
-This was Caesar and Crassus' method of revenge for blocking their agrarian law- Cicero would have to defend Rabirius yet he would lose support of Pompey because of it.
-This issue didn't threaten the consul or the power of consulship but brought to the forefront the issue of the use of the SCU.
- Catiline attempted to stand for election alongside Cicero yet he was facing charges of extortion and thus ineligible.
-Catiline was enormously in debt- not unusual by the time a man reached the rank of praetor as they funded several expensive political campaigns.
-Moreover, widespread poverty throughout Rome and Italy created misery and unrest.
-Economic situation- civil war, slave revolts, piracy and war against Mithridates.
-As a result, Catiline's election promise- to cancel all debts- attracted the misere.
-Cicero exploited the unpleasant nature of Catline's campaign.
-Catiline's lack of progress led him to raise an army, ready to march on Rome, yet he warned Crassus who then in turn warned Cicero
-The republic was threatened and an SCU was passed to Cicero.
-Cicero permitted to make military preparations in response.
-First Caltilinarian speech, delivered in the Temple of Jupiter Statuir ( rather than the senate house for 'safety'.
-This was enough to cause Catiline to flee Rome.
-Evidence as to Catiline and his accomplices' guilt and his 'genuine' attempts to over throw the government was recieved in the form of letters delivered to Cicero- possibly by Crassus.
- The issue of punishment for the supporters was contentious.
-Caesar spoke in favour of lifetime imprisonment- pointing out that the execution of citizens without trial was illegal.
-Cato stood by Cicero in demanding execution.
-Cicero was overruled and supervised all the executions himself.
-Cato glorified Cicero in a speech to the people, glorifying his role in saving the Republic.
-Cicero was hailed as Parrens Patriae.
Importance of Catilinarian Conspiracy
-Catiline's danger to the Republic had perhaps been overexaggerated.
-Cicero left himself in a vulnerable position.
-Before the end of his consulship was publicly attacked for executing citizens.
-Cicero's development of the idea of concordia ordinum- felt that people had united against Catiline for the safety of Rome.
-Cicero was reliant on Pompey for this plan- uniting senatorial and equestrian orders with Cicero as political advisor.