It is the year of the consulships of M. Tullius Cicero and C. Antonius Hibrida. Revolution is feared by some and a hope for others…

“Cicero denounces Catilina” by Cesare Maccari (1840–1919); Source: Wikimedia.

The Game

On the last two days of class, we will debate the fate of Cicero and the (alleged) conspirators.

In our imagined timeline, after Cicero finished his First Catilinarian, Catiline does not meekly withdraw from the Senate but defiantly stands and calls for open debate on the accusations hurled against him by Cicero (refer ad senatum!). Unlike during Cicero’s speech, this time there is first a murmur of assent, then a few applaud, growing ever more bold in showing their support for continued debate. Cicero resists at first (non referam!). But when the princeps senatus, Quintus Valerius Catulus, signals his support for continuing the debate, Cicero grudgingly introduces a relatio asking for the Senate’s advice on how he should proceed.

Your goal is to win the debate by persuading the Senate to adopt a sententia or consultum consistent with the personality and desires of your character. You will do this by writing a short speech (approximately 5 minutes in length or 3 typed pages) proposing a solution to the crisis that confronts Rome–or supporting or condemning the proposal of another senator.


To prepare for your speech, you first need to determine who you are and what the optimal outcome of the Conspiracy and its aftermath would be for you personally.

Begin by doing some research about your life (up to 691 AUC!), including the events of the conspiracy (this timeline is a good place to start). Then answer these questions about yourself:

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