Catiline

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Catiline

(Lucius Sergius Catilina) (kăt`ĭlīn), c.108 B.C.–62 B.C., Roman politician and conspirator. At first a conservative and a partisan of Sulla, he was praetor in 68 B.C. and governor of Africa in 67 B.C. The next year he was barred from candidacy for the consulship by false accusations of misconduct in office. Feeling that he had been cheated, he concocted a wild plot to murder the consuls. He and the other conspirators were acquitted (65 B.C.). In 63 B.C. he ran again for consul, but was defeated by the incumbent, CiceroCicero
(Marcus Tullius Cicero) or Tully,
106 B.C.–43 B.C., greatest Roman orator, famous also as a politician and a philosopher. Life

Cicero studied law and philosophy at Rome, Athens, and Rhodes.
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, and the conservative party. He then attempted to take the consulship by force; he sent money for the troops in Etruria and spread lavish promises in Rome. Cicero became alarmed and on Nov. 8, with facts gained from Catiline's mistress, accused him in the senate (First Oration against Catiline). Catiline fled to Etruria. The remaining conspirators did not cease activities but even approached some ambassadors of the Allobroges, who reported the whole plot to Cicero. The conspirators were arrested and arraigned in the senate on Dec. 3. On Dec. 5 they were condemned to death and executed, in spite of a most eloquent appeal from Julius CaesarCaesar, Julius
(Caius Julius Caesar), 100? B.C.–44 B.C., Roman statesman and general. Rise to Power

Although he was born into the Julian gens, one of the oldest patrician families in Rome, Caesar was always a member of the democratic or popular party.
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 for moderation. Cicero's haste and summary behavior led to a charge by ClodiusClodius
(Publius Clodius Pulcher) , d. 52 B.C., Roman politician. He belonged to the Claudian gens (see Claudius), and his name is also written as Publius Claudius Pulcher. He was brother to Appius Claudius Pulcher and to the notorious Clodia. In 62 B.C.
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 that these Roman citizens were denied due process of law and Cicero was exiled. Catiline did not surrender; he fell in battle at Pistoia a month later. The prime sources for Catiline's conspiracy are Cicero's four orations against him and Sallust's biography of him, but both of these are prejudiced and unreliable. The affair did little credit to any concerned, except for the honest and patriotic Cato the YoungerCato the Younger
or Cato of Utica,
95 B.C.–46 B.C., Roman statesman, whose full name was Marcus Porcius Cato; great-grandson of Cato the Elder. Reared by his uncle Marcus Livius Drusus, he showed an intense devotion to the principles of the early republic.
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 and possibly for Julius Caesar, who made a daring plea to a vindictive and ruthless majority on behalf of the conspirators whom he scorned.

Catiline

 

(Lucius Sergius Catilina). Born circa 108 B.C.; died 62 B.C., near Pistoria (present-day Pistoia), northern Etruria. Roman politician.

In the civil wars of 88–82 B.C., Catiline was a follower of Sulla, and later he participated in the proscriptions. He became praetorin 68 and served as propraetor in the province of Africa in 67–66.Upon his return, he was accused of extortions but was acquittedby the court. The trial prevented Catiline from participating inelections for the consulship. Apparently during that time Cati-line plotted his first conspiracy, a plan for a coup d’etat that wasnot carried out (66). In 64, Catiline was defeated in the consularelections (Cicero was elected), but in 63 he stood for electionagain, trying to attract all the dissatisfied by promising debtcancellation. After his second defeat Catiline organized a con-spiracy for the forceful seizure of power, but he could not carryout his intentions because the consul Cicero learned of the plot.Having received extraordinary powers from the Senate, Cicerodemanded (on Nov. 7, 63) that Catiline leave Rome immedi-ately. Catiline went to Etruria, where his followers gathered anarmy. In December 63, Catiline’s followers in Rome were ar-rested, after being exposed, and were later executed. Catiline fellin a battle with the consular army. The vivid portrayal of Cati-line given by his ambitious enemy Cicero (orations against Cati-line) and the historian Sallust gave rise in modern times to aromantic view of Catiline and an exaggerated notion of the im-portance of his conspiracy.

V. M. SMIRIN

Catiline

Latin name Lucius Sergius Catilina. ?108--62 bc, Roman politician: organized an unsuccessful conspiracy against Cicero (63--62)