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Second Catilinarian conspiracy

First performance in Scotland: As above. Resources were specified — a medium, Mozart—sized orchestra, and small chorus, with a guaranteed initial run of ten performances. Catiline was quite a popular success and was revived in , though not performed since.


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It is fast moving, dramatically effective and contains varied and attractive music, including the debates in the Senate and lyrical interludes in the patrician households. Plot Summary A clique of patricians is wary of the growing power of Pompey and of Cicero, who is seen as a man of integrity, but also an upstart.

Thayer's Note:

However he remains envious of their wealth and meets with a group of conspirators who intend to overthrow the Republic by force. While working as governor in Africa, Catiline was charged with extortion, and while he was acquitted, the trial damaged his reputation. Rumors surrounding the mysterious death of his wife and son also burdened him. Nonetheless, Catiline won the support of the wealthy and influential Crassus as he ran for consul in 64 BC.

Thayer's Note:

The public was tired of corruption, and when it came to Italian farming, the situation was desperate since the land was destroyed due to industrialization and war. Cicero took his office as consul along with Hybrida on January 1, 63 BC. Throughout these events, Catiline remained in Rome; his allies stirring up the trouble in the countryside.


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But on the 6 of November Catiline announced plans to leave the city to take control of the revolt. When Cicero started delivering a series of inflammatory speeches against Catiline, the conspirators planned to retaliate by having a tribune stir up the people against Cicero and his unjust accusations. Fires were to be set, and Cicero was to be assassinated.

Meanwhile, the conspirators had approached the Allobroges, a tribe of Gauls. The Allobroges thought better of allying themselves with the Roman traitors and reported the proposal and other details of the conspiracy to their Roman patron , who, in turn, reported to Cicero.

From the Harvard Art Museums’ collections The Catiline Conspiracy

The Allobroges were instructed to pretend to go along with the conspirators. Cicero arranged for troops to ambush the conspirators with the envoys false allies at the Milvian Bridge.

Great Speeches: Catiline's Exhortation to Conspiracy

The conspirators who were caught were executed without trial in December For these summary executions, Cicero was honored, hailed as savior of his country pater patriae. The Senate then mobilized troops to face Catiline at Pistoria, where Catiline was killed, thereby ending the Conspiracy of Catiline. Cicero produced four orations against Catiline that are considered some of his best rhetorical pieces. He had been supported in the decision to execute by other senators, including the strict moralist and enemy of Caesar, Cato.