Cicero's "In Catilinam" First Speech Translation

Topics: Julius Caesar, Roman Republic, Gaius Gracchus Pages: 9 (3703 words) Published: May 2, 2013
Chapter I.
1. I ask you, Catiline, how far will you abuse our patience? For how much longer still will that madness of yours mock us? To what limit will that unrestrained audacity of yours display itself? Hasn’t the nightly garrison on the Palatine moved you at all, nor the patrols of the city, nor the fear of the people, nor the gatherings of all good men, nor this most fortified place for holding the senate, nor the faces and expressions of these men? Do you not realize that your plans lie exposed? Do you not see that your conspiracy is already being kept restricted by the knowledge of all these men? Which of us do you think does not know what you did last night, what you did the night before, where you were, whom you assembled and what plan you adopted? 2. O what times! O what conduct! The senate understands these things; the consul sees him; still this man lives: He lives? On the contrary, in truth, he even comes into the senate, he takes part in the public meeting, he notes and singles out with his eyes each one of us for death. On the other hand, we brave men, seem to be doing enough for the republic if we simply avoid the madness and missiles of that man. Catiline, you ought to have been led to death by the order of the consul a long time ago and the destruction, which you are contriving against us, ought to be brought against you. 3. And in truth, a very distinguished man, Publius Scipio, the Pontifex Maximus, as a private man, killed Tiberius Gracchus who was only slightly shaking the state of the republic. Shall we the consuls prefer Catiline, who desires to destroy the world with slaughter and conflagrations? For I pass over those excessively old events, such as Gaius Servilius Ahala, who killed with his own hand Spurius Maelius, as he was eager for revolution. There existed, there once existed in this republic such virtue that brave men would restrain a dangerous citizen with harsher punishments than their bitterest enemies. We have a decree of the senate against you, Catiline, a strong and serious one; it is not the advice or authority of this institution which is failing the republic, we, I say it openly, we the consuls are failing the republic.

Chapter II.
4.The senate once decreed that Lucius Opimius the consul should see to it, lest the republic come to any harm. No night intervened; Gaius Gracchus, from a very famous father, grandfather and ancestors, was murdered on account of certain suspicions of treason. Marcus Fulvius the consul was murdered with his children. By a similar decree of the senate the republic was entrusted to the consuls Gaius Marius and Lucius Valerius. Surely death and the punishment of the republic did not keep waiting Lucius Saturninus, tribune of the Plebians, and Gaius Servilius, the praetor, for one day afterwards. But, indeed, for the twentieth day now we have allowed the sharpness of these men’s authority to grow blunt. For we have a decree of the senate of this kind truly closed away in public records, as though buried in a scabbard. From which decree of the senate it is appropriate, Catiline, that you be put to death at once! You live, and you live not to put aside your audacity, but to strengthen it. I desire, senators, that I be merciful. I desire in such great dangers to the republic that I do not seem neglectful, but now I myself condemn myself for my inactivity and negligence. 5. There is a camp in Italy against the Roman people located in the narrow passes of Eturia and the number of enemy grows ever single day, moreover, you see the general of that camp and the leader of the enemy within the city walls and actually in the senate, devising every day some internal destruction for the republic. If now Catiline I order you to be arrested, if I order you to be killed, I believe I shall have to fear, not that all good men may say that this was done to late by me, rather than someone say it was done too cruely. Truly I, for a certain reason, am not yet inclined to do...
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