Commentariola Lectiōnum (Cicero & Vergil)

Salvēte omnēs,

A few comments for the reading in Cicero (In Catilinam 12-13):

  • line 3-4: quoniam… audeō.
  • line 4: ad sevēritāem lēnius, ad commūem salūtem ūtilius. There is an implied contrast between the two comparative phrases.
  • line 8: id… quod
  • line 9: num in exsilium: serves to transition from the general statement in the preceding sentence about what a consul usually does to a hostis, and what Cicero himself recommends to Catiline in this instance.

And a few comments for the reading in Vergil (Aeneid XII.938-52):

Context: This is the final passage of the Aeneid. Aeneas, the leader of the Trojans, has wounded Turnus, the leader of the Rutilians (Italians), who has killed Pallas, a young Italian under the protection of Aeneas, and stripped his unlucky sword-belt (balteus). Aeneas has promised Pallas’ greiving father that he will avenge his son’s death…

Mementō: that adjectives will often precede the nouns they modify; in this passage be especially aware of the noun coming in the following verse (as with ācer… / Aenēās).

  • line 939: dextram [manum]; i.e. his sword hand.
  • line 940: sermō: refers to the speech delivered by Turnus just before this passage, in which he begged Aeneas for mercy.
  • line 941: cum: a postponed subordinating conjunction, as often in poetry.
  • line 943: victum: modifies quem, not its antecedent.

Speech by Caecilius Metellus Nepos

 

Rome is at a crossroads, and, as a Caecili Metelli, the noblest of families, I cannot stand idle. A plot to overthrow the republic is being countered with a plot for absolute power! Two evils fight a battle that will inevitably lead to the collapse of the republic. I, Quintus Caecilians Metellus Nepos, tribune elect, as well as a great Caecili Metelli, have both the interests of the people and the aristocrats in mind! The Caecili Metelli are an ancient protector of the noble citizens of Rome. ¬¬The name Caecili Metelli is embedded in Roman history. We have been respected for centuries and will perpetually, and I will not taint the family name by watching this ruin!
There is a conspiracy threatening to tumult the republic into ruin. They work at night, plotting treachery and marking their men for slaughter. They are in our midst; like weeds in a field, they mingle until they will ultimately strangle us, unless we pull them up by the roots. That jabbering fool is actually correct; Catiline cannot be trusted. O tempora, O mores! Catiline has turned his back upon his noble ancestry to a life of banditry, and now, as he awaits the signal, we must preemptively put an end to his plot. Cicero did indeed speak truth about Catiline, and his words echo strong in this senate chamber. As my fellow tribune elect’s noble great grandfather might say, Catilina delendum est.
However, the novus homo cannot be trusted. His eyes are on the head of the republic; he desires to be a rex, rex inquam! He has risen from his lowly status, but now, he is here among us, as a consul, and he shows no sign of stopping. Clawing his way up the cursus honorum of which his foreign hands are not worthy! May I remind you that a few decades ago, a new man brought Rome to civil war? This new man was once a client of the Caecili Metelli family, but he was not satisfied with what we generously gave him. We were planning to secure his consulship in the future, but the new man was too impatient. He ungratefully turned his back on us. He proceeded to fill the noble army of Rome with the poor and desperate, making the once powerful and just army a mob of men not seeking glory, but reward. Gaius Marius brought shame to us; for it is proof a novus homo cannot be acquiesced! I ask you, Marcus Tullius, how many consulships do you desire? Seven? Or is that not even enough? Marius showed that novi homines could not be trusted with power, for they are greedy by nature! Are we, the great Roman senate, willing to allow Cicero to dictate us?!? Cicero must be tamed!
Rome right now is in a predicament with no clear solution. So was Daphne as she ran from Apollo. When Daphne fled from Apollo, she was doomed. She would have lost her sacred chastity to him unless she turned into the tree. So it appears that Rome will be in chaos from the conspiracy unless we turn to this novus homo and give him absolute power, which will also result in our doom. But what if there was a force strong enough to stop the pursuing God, Apollo? Daphne could have continued her life of chastity in human form. Well, what if there is a Roman that could find a solution to our hopeless situation? What if we had a Roman that could be trusted, who has shown in the past to not only be strong, but also just. What if there was a Cincinnatus who could be trusted with great authority, and to complete the task without abusing his power or keeping it? That man could solve our crisis. I propose that, to stop the Catilinarian conspiracy, we send this great Roman to the Manlian camp to save the republic, I say, we send Gnaeus Pompey! The great leader who so bravely freed the Mediterranean from pirates and could be trusted with great power! Mithridates can wait; the biggest threat to Rome is internal, and Rome needs its savior! Pompey is the man we need, he is strong and brave, and he will rid Rome of this plague of conspiracy! We do not have to settle for the lesser of two evils, we have proven to be tough and strong in the face of danger and we shall be brave again!

Marcus Licinius Crassus

We are here because Catiline seeks power. It is not a crime to seek power in Rome. Indeed, I, myself and my ancestors have worked cum diligentia to become consuls. My father, Publius Licinius Crassus was a distinguished senator, consul, censor, and vir triumphalis. Seeking power is not the issue at hand, for indeed, to seek influence is to seek the virtues of auctoritas (prestige), virtus (excellence), and dignitas (worth).

Therefore, we shall not condemn Catiline for seeking imperium. I, myself, along with many of you supported Catiline and Gnaeus Piso during Catiline’s first attempt at consul. For various reasons, these two men were suitable candidates; it seemed that they held the health of the people and the city in mind.
However after his first loss Catiline showed his true character and began a conspiracy. I openly admit that I had a hand in quieting this conspiracy, but I shall stand this no longer. After a second and dishonorable loss toward consulship, Catiline has again plotted to overthrow the state. In Cicero’s words “Now you openly attack the whole rem publicam, the temples of the deorum immortalium, the roofs of the urbis, the life of all civium, and all of Italiam you summon toward destruction and ruin.”
To seek auctoritas is no crime, but to cause the ruin of the republic, most esteemed and honored, and to seek overwhelming power of the republic is the highest of crimes. Not only does Rome fear Catiline, but also his rise to power would be her demise.
Let us understand that the senate is only a working body when we realize our limitations of power as well as our responsibilities to the populus Romani. Therefore, Catiline, who so actively and viciously attempts to overrule our whole political system, you must be gone. Whether your life ends by your own sword or by the sword of another, whether you leave Rome by your own foot or are dragged by the heels by another, your time here has ended.
As for the members of this senate who are associated with this conspiracy, most treacherous and vile, I fear them not, for Cui caput dolet, omnia membra languent: When the head is sick, all members wilt. When Catiline is removed, his cronies shall falter, his supporters shall wane, and his influence shall weaken. Soon, he will be no more: just a pitiful blemish on the record of our proceedings.
However, though the Fiend shall wither and his supporters shall follow, the stem and seed of the problem remains. There is unrest with the people and injustice in the dealings. Though Catiline will not be at the cause, flames may still engulf the city. The flames of the anger of the poor people of Rome who are restless and hungry for change. Although Lucius Sergius Catilina will soon be gone, another Catiline could arrive and step in where this Catiline has left off. Although the zeal of Catiline’s men will have faded, the zeal of the people is just beginning. Quod nocet, saepe docet: this proverb states, that which harms often teaches. Let not the power and esteem of our senatorial positions blind us to the problems that still remain in the populus Romani. Let us learn from this conspiracy and this most hateful and vengeful man. Let us make ourselves responsible to the health of the people and the health of the republic.
In order to do such, our disposal of Catiline must occur swiftly so that our social reform may begin immediately. Let this go on no further. Let us stop this banter. Let us say no more. This madness must come to an end. The answer is clear. Quick action must be taken. There are more important matters at hand. Rome cries out in fear of Catiline, but also in fear of us mortal men who lead her down a path of anguish. Rome deserves our praise. Rome deserves our respect. And Rome deserves our attention and swift action as she cries out to us.
This problem is bigger than you, O Catiline, and it is bigger than you, O Cicero.
I ask you, noble senators, to inspect your animus and ask which problem is more pressing: that Catiline seeks power in the most wicked of ways, or that there are such strong desires for change that there are opportunities for such a nefarious man to try to take power?
Go Catiline. Go and let us convene. Let us return to the more important matters at hand. You are no longer worthy of argument.

Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura

Oh Cicero, you ask of Catiline when he will cease to abuse the senates patience? You ask how long the supposed madness of this most virtuous man will last? It is now appropriate to ask the same to you. For how long will you attempt to abuse your position to such a tyrannical degree? For how long will you abuse the Final Decree of the Senate, not to protect the state, but to satiate your hunger for absolute power? How long before the city burns, not because of the brave Catiline, as you have claimed, but by your own inexperienced hand? As consul, you threaten the state like Phaethon driving the chariot of the sun, naive and unaware of your incompetence. It is only natural, Cicero, to try to fill this lack of ability by trying to instill fear and collect power. But we shall not allow such cowardly action to continue.

Oh Senators, it has been weeks since the Consulatum Ultimum has been passed, yet the only threat that has arisen to the country has been the consul himself. How will this consul free the state from fear when he is the greatest source of anxiety to the not only the Roman people, but also himself? It is the unfortunate truth that the consul, who focuses all his attention on his personal matters and fears, is too paranoid and selfish to make rational decisions.

For instance, he claims that the criminals and source of this conspiracy are the poor. If this is true, how will removing Catiline, a champion of the people, who seeks social reform, resolve the issue? How will removing the solution fix the problem? Oh you poor Bacchant, drunk off the dangerous nectar of power, you have freed yourself from all rationality. This poor man is not of a stable mind, he is confused and overwhelmed with his consular status.

The source of this disillusioning power, the Senatus Consultum Ultimum, must be overturned. It’s history has showed nothing but illegitimate and injust slaughter of sovereign Roman citizens by wicked men. Who killed Gaius Gracchus without trial or any citizen rights? Lucius Opimius, a man who was once consul, as Cicero is now, and a man who made his sole existence to eliminate Gaius Gracchus, as Cicero seeks now with noble Catiline. Let us remember the fate of that man, a most disgraceful man of fraudulence and corruption, who spent his life in exile for bribery. Perhaps you should consider exile as well, Cicero.

And let us remember the questionable justification for why the bravest Gracchi, desiring to give the Roman people the land they deserve, were killed. This senate felt that the actions of the most honorable Gracchi, were violating the Roman constitution, a document intended to check the powers of any one person. If this is reason to declare a man as enemies of the state, certainly the senate has an easy decision concerning a consul whose is openly usurping the power of the republic.

Do not misinterpret the silence of this senate. Their silence is not out of approval, but rather out of shock. And if some brave senator were to speak against your ridiculous persecution, they would probably end up in an equally unjust situation as Catiline is in now. But we must not be idle, senators. If we allow such usurpation of power, this crazed consul will not stop. He will continue to wrongfully whittle away anyone he fears, until his power is absolute and he stands alone as a king amongst “good men”. But even these “good men” may be deemed an enemy at a moments notice, just like the true Roman who bravely endured so many false accusations before us today. Senators, let us free ourselves from fear of meeting similar ill-judgement! Let us gather against this obscene display of tyranny!

Publius Claudius Pulcher

Salve Amici, Inimici…Catiline. I stand before you as Senator Publius Claudius Pulcher. Born to Appius Claudius, one of the oldest families in Rome, I am the youngest in my family and also I stand before you all as the youngest. However don’t let my lack of experience perceive you. I served as a legate in the Third Mithridatic War. Despite this achievement, I find myself constantly slandered by the lies and personal/political offenses of Cicero, a man who seems to have good intentions yet his actions speak the opposite.

It is clear to me and  to you all that Cicero is not afraid to voice the truth. Truth? Or merely lies? I along with him supported his deep hatred of Catiline, a treacherous man whose name pierces my tongue every time I speak it.  It was only natural for me to call out a crime he committed against my fellow people in Africa, yet the liar Cicero kept me away from prosecuting him. Cicero stating that I was a secret ally of Catiline and it was that reason alone which got him acquitted from his felonies. I, a young man of veritas, I a man of iustitia, I a man of fortitudo. Catiline a man possessing no self-control, no mercy, no tenacity, no frugality, no dignity. Yet, I am wrongly placed under the same alliance with that monster!

I, a virtuous Roman, am not afraid to admit that I have done wrong. Oh members of the senate! Can we not all agree that we as human beings are not perfect? Errare humanum est. Cicero, a novus homo, is afraid. He is afraid that my urban poor will rise up against the republic amongst the destruction and slandering’s of that terrible villain whom does not deserved to be named. Therefore, Cicero has made some bad decisions on his part, namely lying against me and withdrawing his support of the plebeians. It is understandable Cicero. However our hatred for Catiline burrows deep into my skin and I will do whatever it takes to get exiled. Even if it means supporting you, a complete hypocrite.

Catiline, you are already dead in my eyes. You, a criminal so deep in your own river of unclean deeds, a slave to every single one of your impulses, an incestuous villain and adulterer. I will see to it that you are stopped. To your own noble family, you are a disgrace. To the republic you are a disgrace. By teaching evils and enforcing no rules, you along with your scoundrel bandits have flipped the republic upside down. Now these political factions sitting before me are at odds with each other all because they are trying to find the best way to fix your filthy mess. I will not have it! I will not endure it any longer!

We, and I speak on behalf of my fellow plebians, behalf of the republic, behalf of the almighty god Juppiter himself-we as the nation of Rome will never fall to your demise. Like the boulder blocking access to Hade’s throne, Rome is unmovable. So, shall we go out or shall you Catiline? In the words of Cicero himself, “Hisce omnibus, Catiline, cum tua peste ac pernicie, profiscere ad impium bellum ac nefarium.”

O tempora! I am faced with the dreadful descision on the fate of the republic. Oh members of the senate! Decimus Junius Silanus, Licinius Murena, Lucius Aurelius Cotta, Marcus Licinius Crassus, Gaius Antonius Hybrida, Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura, Julius Caesar, Publius Cornelius Sulla, Lucius Cassius Longius, Quintus Metellus Nepos, and Marcos Porcius Cato-what have we accomplished by all this bickering against each other? Who is telling the truth? What is the truth? Who is more shameful than pathetic Catiline himself? We together are far more virtuous, more intelligent more powerful  combined as one. We together are the head to this body in which we call our republic. Our home.

Whether you are a Catilinarian, Optimate or a Populares, let us all join forces. Is it not true that most of us here are greedy for power and lust – it is only natural to want these things? (however I myself am strictly in it for the proper treatment of my poor plebians) But amongst

these things, do we not want also want to better the republic? Of what use is a strong head

without a strong body? Let us support the consultum ultimum. Let Catiline be damned in eternal punishment by Juppiter himself.  Let us finally put an end to this crisis in Rome!

Servius Cornelius Sulla

Emily Sweet

Salvete Omnes! Fellow Senators,

You all know me not only as the nephew of the great and powerful Cornelius Sulla Felix-two time consul and distinguished Roman soldier and general award the rare green crown- you also know me as past consul and now as senator.  My duty is to advise the present consul, especially now seeing as how Cicero does not have even a speck of experience with the consulship in his bloodlines.

That being said, the man called into question is Catiline.  This brings me to an uncomfortable crossroads, because although I have family ties with Catiline, my first and foremost duty is to the safety of the republic, so of course I take every possible threat seriously no matter how fictitious it may be.

Upon examining this case further, because there is no eminent proof, we must result to character evaluations of each man.  I know Catiline to be a good man of great Roman virtues, how could he not be with a family identical to mine?  Catiline is not the kind of man to conspire against the republic but rather to promote it.  Some say he is cunning and courageous and that these qualities lead to a dangerous man.  Although I appreciate their concern, Catiline reminds me a great deal of my uncle Sulla Felix.  He was also doubted, and when times became heavy yes he took measures into his own hands.  However he did so for the benefit of the republic, not to destroy it or set it aflame.  The idea is such blasphemy! Sulla Felix led the republic to better days and a series of reforms to the Roman Constitution.  I know that Catiline can do great for Rome as well, because unlike Cicero he is solely focused on Rome instead of his own private affairs.  A man like that would never worship a silver eagle or delight in the murder of innocent civilians.

In saying Catiline is a good man, I do not mean by default that Cicero is therefore a bad man. He is a good man in fact, but being from an inexperienced family in the consulship he is prone to mistakes.  It is not his fault, however, I can tell the pressure of the job is surely affecting him.  He isn’t used to the responsibilities and power; they are making him a paranoid mess afraid of losing his position as consul.  And he should be concerned, losing the consulship is certainly plausible for some.  Unfortunately that makes him preoccupied on himself and not focused on the republic.  To me, this childish behavior is disgraceful.  Cicero fabricated a case against Catiline.  A true consul would instead be considering the economic instability, unrest of the people, and true threats to Rome that are found on a basis of some actual proof and not personal agenda.  Trust me, I understand the struggles of the consulship, but persecuting an innocent man so ravenously on a foundation of fiction is irresponsible.  In fact, it is slightly laughable.

We are roman citizens, are we not?  We are citizens just as much as we are senators.  It makes me very nervous that Cicero thinks he can disregard any citizens rights whenever he feels it convenient to him.  We have roman law for a reason, and if our consul does not follow it, how should we expect the bum on the street to follow it? Why do we then even have a law at all?  Its not like our ancestors thought for years and years about how great these laws would make Rome.

When Cicero said, (1.19)

“cum a me quoque id respondum tulisses, me nullo modo posse isdem parietibus tuto esse tecum, qui magno in periculo essem, quod isdem moenibus contineremur”

 

qui magno in periculo?

periculo?

 

Danger?

 

Thats absurd! First of all, the consul of Rome should never feel fear, and if he does he should either hide it or destroy the source immediately. Cicero has the courage to do neither.  So if Catiline was as dangerous as Cicero says he is and has all the resources and power that demand our fear, why hasn’t anything horrible happened yet?

Cicero, if he wanted you dead so badly, why aren’t you dead?  So then if Catiline is dangerous, which I can assure you he is not, that leads me to believe that he isn’t very good at it and doesn’t deserve this huge show with mourning and death and crying.  A good consul would affirm his position and lift up the republic out of these dark times, not drag the city down in personal troubles.

I truly believe that there are faults on both sides of the argument, and I agree with Silanus that a hurried decision would be unneeded and irresponsible.  Therefore I support his bill The Junia Licinia, because the more time there is to scrutinize this case the clearer Catilne’s innocence and Cicero’s paranoia will become.  Think senators for yourselves about where the true credibility lies, do not forget the pride of our ancestors very much alive in the senate today.  Auctet Roma! May Rome Prosper!

Aurelius Cotta: For the Arrest of Catiline

Eli Mathenia
Speech for the Senate

O conscripted fathers of the senate, I stand here, Locus Aurelius Cotta, censor of Rome, holder of the highest dignity of the state, and yet I weep for the Republic. We sit here, we noble and just men of the senate, squabbling over non-existent differences and in our scrambling to protect our noble Republic threaten to leave her torn to pieces on the very floor of this temple. I weep for her, and her people, and her Senate.

Cicero, my dear friend, you call for the death of this man, Catiline, claiming him to be a conspirator of the grossest impiety and most unbridled audacity, and in these charges I sense a merit of truth, but what of you? What of your desire and insistence that we tear out the Republic’s heart to save her from the flames? Do you intend to drown her in the blood of her own citizen so to save her from the conspirator’s pyre? Strip her of her dignity, of her power, of her worth and excellence so that she might save herself from the dagger? By the immortal gods do you think that she, born from the loss of Lucretia would not prefer to bloody her breast than be debased as a tyranny? Shall we, so called senators of Rome bring back proscription? Shall we nail a list of men on the senate door to be torn to pieces by the populace they so claim to love, and call it justice?

I am sorry, dear Cicero, if I seem too severe. I sympathize with your opinion, and I know that you, as consul and as a fellow citizen yourself, are indeed doing what you intend is necessary in order to save the republic. Etenim, tecum, cupio in tantis rei publicae periculis non dissolutem videre, sed iam me ipse inertiae nequitiaeque condemno. I agree that we have been blind and deaf to these injustices too long, and like you I desire consequence. I simply wish that those values so exemplified by you in your case against that terrible excuse for a Roman Verres, who executed a Roman citizen without trial, should be held again here, when the tables have turned, and the price of failure seems so great.

And indeed, justice we will have, but this final declaration will not provide it. Cupio, patres conscripti, me esse clementem. Yes, I desire mercy, however undeserved, for this man Cataline, not because of his actions or his merits of mind or virtue or piety, but because he is a Roman citizen.

And thus we hear the two voices. Consul Cicero, declaring for consequence, and the ‘allies’ of Cataline calling for fairness.  But, we senators, so educated in the laws and constitution of our republic, forget that she is not a simple thing. She, as Iustitia, has two arms, one offering the scales of clemency and the other clutching the gravest punishment of the sword, and I say we grasp them both, for together they are justice. And so we shall offer Cataline justice.

I propose to the Senate that Cataline be put to trial on charges of conspiracy against the Republic, and that, should he be found guilty by law, he will be executed, but as a Roman citizen rather than as a victim of tyrrany.

A trial seems appropriate to me, dear Cicero, and indeed seems almost fated. You will save the Republic this way, dear Cicero, and keep Cataline under watch in the meantime so that he not storm or set aflame our dear city. And indeed, if you commit to a trial, approved by the senate, partaken in the manner of Roman justice, there will be no chance that later, when the chance of flames dies down, and when the embers of fear are as dark as charcoal, that your friends now become your enemies future and look upon their approval with regret and wisps of punishment.

And in this way, conscripted fathers, no one will look back on you with disgrace or ignobility, but with pride that you stopped this twofold tyranny. Thus I, Lucius Aurelius Cotta, censor of Rome, declare my proposition and support for a trial befit for a Roman, if not model, citizen. Let Cataline’s fate be determined by his character and piety, and might Iustitia try him true.

Marcus Porcius Cato: Catilina Delenda est

Brothers.

How dare Catiline come to the Senate and seek trial.  How dare we allow it of him.

Catiline has been shown to be guilty by the consul.

However, let us consider for a moment what would happen if we ignored this, and Catiline and his brigand were to follow through with their plan.

Rome will burn. Innocent men will die and families will be torn apart.  The heads of many of you will be severed and all of Italy will be divided into territories.  The center of the world will be no more.  Traitors and cutthroats will be in charge of Umbria, of Picenum, of Sabini, Marsi, Luceria, Campania and all the rest of it.  Have you not thought of this!? Oh Cataline.  The heart will be lost and Pompey, Pompey the Great, will soon return to an empty forum with no reception.  We must end this quickly

Catiline is as an animal, responding only to whatever impulse is most recent and prevalent.

He has no thought for his repercussions.  Thanks to Cicero, there is no hope for this crisis to go unexpected.  But what then is Catiline going to do?  He must be aware that by forcing the hand of Rome to act he will fall to our phalanx and be forced flee from civilization.  Yet he lives.  And he lives not for the purpose of putting away his plans, but to reaffirm his audacity.  We must end this quickly.


Yes.  You bicker that Catiline has yet to do anything, so how can we legally arrest him?  I command you to wake up, oh boni viri!  We used to be the light of the world.  The center of justice and reason.  But now we argue and are content to wait for this man’s actions to incriminate himself and do nothing to prevent them!  Do you forget that it is the very nature of these actions that will assure his safety!  Catiline plots to murder us in the night.  In the shadows.  With foreign mercenaries and traitorous scum.  By the time we have been given the proper proof, it will be too late to appeal to justice.  We must act quickly.

Many among you fear for your lives.  You fear for your possessions.  You fear for your statues.  You fear for your reputation.  I demand, o conscripti patres, that you remove yourself from such thought and rally to the defense of your country!  For this is not an issue of petty injuries and quarrels.  Vigilance is our last and only defense for our lives and freedom.

We are at a crossroads, gentlemen.  No more are we the Senate and Rome of old.  What happened? What makes us different from our great ancestors?  If it were material wealth and numbers of chariots, we could claim superiority.  But No.  These are not judges of greatness.  Unlike us. The founders and fathers of Rome were hard working, they were fair, and most importantly, incorruptible.  Our contemporaries horde money to pay off elections.  They make idle talk while knowing of the knife at their throats.   No longer can we rely on Cicero to carry this matter.  We have called on him as we did Cincinnatus and now it is our time to act and wipe clean this blemish from history.  We must act quickly.

In that man is the act of highest treason and so he must naturally be stripped of all citizenry and status. The time for clementia has passed.  Make the decree.  Let us be done with Catiline and watch his shadows of accomplices crawl away.  For, ruinis inminentibus musculi praemigrant, when collapse is imminent, the little rodents flee.

Decimus Junius Silanus

Members of the Senate, citizens of Rome, I Decimus Junius Silanus stand before you here today as consul designates! And as consul designates Cicero has asked me to be the first to step forward and share my opinion concerning Catline. In fact being one of the eldest, most eminent, most experienced and if not the most eminent and experienced senator in this Senate it is my privilege to speak first! And Cicero I speak now to show my support! Cicero the Good Man has proposed the Senatus Consultum Ultimum. Though I have been known in the past to waver in my political opinion I stand here today with a clear position. I as future consul wholeheartedly support this decree! Catiline is a hostes publicus, he is an evil man, he is a man. We all know of his crimes and wickedness. Some of us here today are just too frightened to voice the truth. But Cicero is not. And I am not!

 

But I understand the fear that still exists. I know The Traitor has made death threats to some of you in the Senate. Good Roman men are under the threat of the detestable and murderous Catiline! Their deep red blood of inflicted wounds, and their silent screams of merciless death, and their stench of rotting flesh will be our fault if Catiline is not stopped! For the good of the republic and the lives of these good Roman men Catline must be brought to justice! By execution! By exile! By punishment! Is Catline in fact innocent? This is inconceivable! I speak on behalf of myself who will be consul in 62 BC and my father who was consul in 109BC when I say that he is not!

 

We as the nation of Rome are the most powerful state in the world! We are like the elephant! No other forces can penetrate us. Yet we are still riddled with problems? Why? Because the greatest threat to Rome are the Romans themselves! But I will speak not of the most vile Roman of them all if he can even be called a Roman.

 

Instead I will speak of the others of gross nature here in this very senate today! Fellow senators and citizens of Rome I must revealed that one of us here today has bribed his way into his position! Such an act is inexcusable. And as a result he is deep in debt and we must not forgive him or any others in debt! Debt forgiveness which is one of Catiline’s proposed reforms must not be tolerated! In fact there is also another man here today who is in so much in debt that he is considered an embarrassment to his family! Shame, shame, shame.  If his family does not want him, do we? No! He is not a good Roman man. This is not an example of good Roman morals!

 

May I remind you what good Roman morals are?  Good Roman virtues include fortitudo which is the courage to come up and confront the dangers to himself, his family, and to the state, pietas which is one’s obligation to do just that, and veritas which is the speaking of the truth. I, Decimus Junius Silanus possess all of these noble qualities. I have been elected consul designatus by honest means! And as consul designatus I will end my speech with proposing a reform for the good Roman people. I propose the Junia Licinia which ensures that any proposed legislation must be available for review for a period of three nundinae. This means that for 17 market days legislation may be studied. For three Roman eight-day weeks legislation may be researched. For 24 days legislation may be read. This proposal my friends is a true reform.

 

We want not a revolution! We want not violence to solve this crisis. We want not such recklessness as what occurred in 121 BC! A man was killed by a mob. Let this happen we shall not! As Cicero states “usque ad portas prosequantur”. We are respectable Romans. Cicero may be a novus homo but I am not. And as consul designatus I conclude with my firm support for Cicero. Let Catline be condemned and let the senatus consultum ultimum stand!

Gaius Antonius Hybrida (Nathan Gould)

Speech Prō Catilīnā

It is truly astounding that so many men within this senate would think to turn on Catiline in favor of Cicero. Cicero, who is a new man, who acts as if he were a king, who genuinely thinks himself right in suggesting the murder of a Roman citizen. And not just any Roman citizen, but rather the best of men, Catiline, who strives endlessly for the betterment of our republic and its people, whose family is of a long consular line, who is more Roman by a thousand times than Cicero. Cicero says that he fears Catiline, but if he does, than it is only because Catiline, by his presence, by his life, by his courage, shows that his worth is far greater than that of a lesser man.

Ō, tempora! When a new man who shuns all combat with our enemies should be consul, when a man from an old family, the bravest of commanders, should be accused of treason. Cicero, you say that Catiline is audacious in coming to the senate. I say that he is brave, and indeed that it is you who are audacious in assuming yourself worthy to condemn such a virtuous man. Vīvis nōn ad dēpōnendam, sed ad cōnfirmandam audāciam. And such audacity you have indeed.

To see so weak so worthless so wretched a man hold power over one so virtuous so vigorous so valiant, reminds me of the strife that once befell my most glorious of ancestors, the great hero Hercules. In ancient times, great Hercules was made by the gods to go into servitude under the wretched king Eurystheus, as punishment for some negligible fault. So overconfident was this Eurystheus as to believe that he could subjugate and lead to death the greatest champion the world has ever known. He sought, as our own Cicero does now, from so weak a position of strength, to murder this honorable hero through twelve terrifying tasks. And did Hercules run away from these most deathly feats? No, of course he did not! Brave men do not run when death is in sight. Rather they boldly stand and look it in the eye, as Catiline did yesterday in this very senate. The most excellent of men will never yield to tortures thrown at them by cruel and petty kings.

But, of course, Cicero is not alone in his wish for Catiline to fall to death. Oh, no. Indeed I see many here who most surely agree with him that Catiline is dangerous and ought to be removed from sight. They too are wretched and audacious men. They see courageous Catiline not as a threat to the republic, not truly, but rather as a threat to their own reputations. This most virtuous man, this man who truly cares for all the populace of Rome, does by his mere appearance in our city, show them to be the worse men that they are. For do not all weak beings fear their betters? Is that not the nature of all things. Who would not fear for his own worth in sight of Hercules, for after all, when one man has such a worthy reputation, it cannot help but make others look far dimmer by comparison.

But senators, I beg you, put aside your fear for your own reputations. Surely our republic is of greater worth than any of your pride. If you should slay this man, you will be known to all as foul betrayers of the republic, who slew the greatest man in all of Rome to further their own pitiful careers.

Ō dī immortālēs! Ubinam gentium sumus? Quam rem pūblicam habēmus? In quā urbe vīvimus? Are we not in Rome, the most cultured, and civilized, and cultivated city in all the world? Surely we are not in Greece? And surely this man who acts more like a Grecian king of old than like a Roman, who thinks more of his very self than of the whole republic, should not be the now deciding all our fates! Let our Hercules endure, and let not our weak and foolish Eurystheus vanquish our best man!

 

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