VI.13-16 Notes

Quid est:  At first, this section seems to be not easily segregated from the preceding.  In fact, Quid est, enim, Catilina here echoes Quid est, Catalina? above.  There Cicero asked Catiline why he hesitated to leave.  Now he berates Catiline with questions about what could possibly detain him in Rome.  quid est quod, here  = what is there that; often = what is the reason that.  But there is a transition, as enim indicates.  Cicero has ended with the suggestion that Catiline leave Rome; now, he outlines the life and character of Catiline in Rome.  This picture of a moral invert, a failed tyrant, a religious abomination will culminate again in a picture of exile, at the end of Section VIII, where Catiline is cheered on his way to voluntary exile by crowds of grateful citizens and senatore.

enim indicates that the sentence it begins is explaining something in what immediately preceded.  Here, Cicero uses a question to explain why he thinks it is a good idea for Catiline to leave Rome. The question can act as an explanation only if its implied answer (here, nihil) is very clear.

possit:  The subjunctive is a subordinate potential in a characterizing clause:  what is there such that [as a result] it can

in qua:  The punctuation indicates that take this tis to be taken as a connective relative; that is, the relative stands for some form of sentence connection (et, sed, nam, enim, autem) plus the demonstrative (ea).  Since the implied answer to the preceding question is nihil and since this is explaining why there is nothing in Rome to please Catiline (note:  nemo est), the sentence connective you should supply is nam or enim.

perditorum hominum:  A prepositional phrase with of translates this genitive accurately enough.  For the sake of precision it is the genitive of material (the conspiracy is made up of failures).

metuat:  The antecedant of qui is nemo, and whenever a relative clause has a negative or virtually negative antecedant, the verb must be in the subjunctive.  This is a characterizing subjunctive (a development of the potential subjunctive).

odi is a defective verb, found only in the perfect tense.  The perfect tense, however, has the force of a present tense:  to have or hold an aversion to. Therefore, although  oderit is a  perfect subjunctive, it is equivalent to the present subjunctive, metuat, above.

nota:  Either as an identifying mark or blemish or as a mark of condemnation; or both.

domesticae in contrast to the more public isolation of the last sentence, in hac urbe.

inusta: Behind the metaphor that Catilines life of debauchery has left its imprint on him is another metaphor, that of being branded.  In Rome it was, of course, only slaves who were branded, often with the mark of their owner on their forehead.  This mark will reappear in what I think is the most disturbing sentence of the speech when Cicero asks:  sit denique inscriptum in fronte unius cuiusque, quid de re publica sentiat.  It is easy to imagine that under the pressures of a conspiracy a desire for clarity provoked this imagination, but it is not a democratic or even aristocratic version of the body politic:  criminals marked by their crimes and citizens branded with their opinion. 

vitae tuae:  The mark, nota, remains metaphorical since it is branded upon his life.  But what would that mean?  In Rome, presumably, that would refer to the opinion of others about Catiline (how else could ones life be branded?), and so this sentence is a gaudy version of the next sentence, that says the same thing in less metaporical language.

privatarum:  Parallel in position to domisticae above but referring to scandals outside his immediate homelife.  The thought moves through three areas, all marked by their distinguishing terms in parallel places:  quod in hac urbe ; Quid domesticae ; quod privatarum ..

rerum:  The genitive phrase privatarum rerum modifies dedecus like an adjective.  Probably, disgrace in private affairs.

non haeret:  These two sentences, like the two preceding sentences, form a decrescendo:  nemo est nemo; quae nota non inusta, Quod non haeret.

quae: Cicero now elaborates the dedecora above in a tri-colon:  quae lubido quod facinus quod flagitium; all three questions require the verb afuit.

lubido is used both for the cause and that act, lust or act of lust.

facinus, from facio, is anything done, but usually with a pejorative meaning.  The context here activates the pejorative sense.

flagito = to beset a person, to clamor at; the flagitium was originally a public ritual of disgrace in which people gathered outside someones house to express disapproval of their actions.  As often happens, the term for the disapproval became used for the actions themselves; hence, it often (as here) means a shocking or disgraceful act.

tu:  enclitic position, notifying the audience of subject change. 

adulescentulo:   The core of the sentence:  to what youth did you not offer a torch.  The rest of the sentence elaborates this core:  it describes the kind of youth Cataline attracted; it tells you the purpose of the torch, ad lubidinem; and it parallels ad lubidinem facem praetulisti with ad audaciam ferum [praetulisti].

inretisses:  inretio (4):  to entangle in snares or traps.  It could be used of the gladiator, the retiarius, who fought with a net; see below on petitiones.  The subjunctive is a subjunctive of characteristic implying cause:  since you had entangled him.

audaciam:  Like lubidinem above (and below), audaciam can mean both the cause and the act, recklessness and reckless acts.  After ad, such abstracts often indicate the purpose of the action and are best translated with "for."

Quid vero?:  A common expression in transitions, equivalent to Well then or And what about this?, literally, And, in fact, what [about this]?  This begins the mud-slinging based on private life, a common feature of political invective.

nuper cum: The collocation of nuper + cum is a clue that cum is temporal; it is not the preposition and it is not to be taken with morte.

morte:  The noun morte does not go with cum; nuper tells you that nupe cum means "recently when" and that cum is the temporal conjunction.  morte is an Ablative of time when.

novis: novus, -a, -um is a politically charged term.  A novus homo is a man who, like Cicero, is the first in his family to achieve political succes; res novae  means a revolutionary change; novae tabellae, which Catiline himself proposed at the election in July 63, meant the abolishment of debt.  Here, novus means both literally new nuptials and strange nuptials.  Sallust tells us that when Catiline fell in love with a beautiful woman, Aurelia Orestilla, who would not marry him because he had a grown son, he killed his son.  The truth of these stories is impossible to ascertain.  Elsewhere Sallust reports that some people believed that they had been made up to help exonerate Cicero.

nuptiis:  The ablative is used with verbs of emptying, freeing, separating, etc.; it is a called an ablative of separation.

vacuefecisses:  Cicero claims that Catiline murdered his own wife; that is what he means by saying that he emptied his house for new nuptials.  This is the only report of this story.  As noted above, Sallust reports that Catiline murdered his son.  The subjunctive is a circumstantial or characterinzing subjunctive in a cum-clause; it asks that the audience consider what was likely at a time like this.  Since it is not likely that someone would pile yet another crime (the murder of a son) upon this crime (the murder of a wife), the cum-clause is equivalent to a concessive clause:  "although you had done this, did you not also ..."

nonne expects the answer, yes.  Review the reason that this particle prompts that answer.

alio scelere:  The second incredible crime is the murder of the son.

quod: Connective relative.

praetermitto:  In political oratory, when you are busy sullying another mans reputation with tales of all the degrading things he has supposedly done, you have to be careful not to wind up with dirty hands yourself.  As a result, the praeteritio is a common way of reporting on the disgusting acts of others; it makes the speaker seem reluctant, perhaps in a hurry to get off the subject, while he still gets to list the disgusting activities he will pass over.  Cicero often uses it for its original purpose, to imply that there is a longer list of misdeeds he could detail.

sileri:  the relative, as noted above, is a connective relative = et id; the first verb is construed:  et ego id praetermitto = "and I pass it over"; the second verb used the id as the subject accusative to sileri, and this infinitive phrase,  id sileri, is the object of patior:  "and I easily allow:  id sileri:  'it to be silent'".

civitate:  Cicero casts his own reluctance as a concern for the best interests of the state.

vindicata esse:  This is a substantive climax:  the first intolerable matter is that such monstrosity should even appear; the second is that is should go unavenged.  The concern recalls the urgency of the opening of this speech, but the mode attempts to place this problem securely under the protection of Ciceros words.

ruinas fortunarum tuarum:  ruinae = bankruptcy.  This seems to have been historically correct.  Two election campaigns, in 64 when Cicero won, and in 63 when Cicero was consul, would have been expensive.  Furthermore, Catiline had lost the support of Crassus

omnis: Superlatives and other emphatic adjectives in Latin are placed in the relative clause as predicative adjectives rather than in the main clause with the antecedent.  You may translate:  I pass over all the bankrupcy that you will feel  hanging over your head .

Idibus:  Debts were usually due on the Kalends, the Nones, and the Ides; these were the days for settling accounts in Rome.  The economic bias of the culture is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in the fact that these were the only dates in the Roman calendar to have their own names.  All other days were expressed as days before, ante diem .  If you think about it, that means that every day of the year was either the day to pay or x days before you pay.  Apparently Cicero here means that after his conspiracy is revealed (which will be soon), on the very next settling day he will be bankrupt because everyone will want him to pay back the money he borrowed. This, of course, raises disturbing questions about both the complicity of others in Catilines plans and the veracity of Ciceros report.

venio sets aside the praetermitto.

privatam:  Note how, beginning here, Cicero builds a climax with emphatic terms in emphatic position:  from privatam to domesticam to summam rem publicam to omnium.  The last is interesting in itself:  while omnium does in a sense cap summam, it also puts personal safety ahead of public policy. 

tibi:  Notice the position of tibienclitic position giving emphasis to potest.  Its syntax, however, is to be construed with iucundus (pleasant for you).

lux: Cicero has used his slanderous treatment of Catilines private life to justify a movement from Quid est in hac urbe (which amounts to why not leave the city?) to Potestne haec lux (which amounts to why not kill yourself?).

qui nesciat:  It would be wise to learn to identify compound phrases like this as idiomatic devices.  In other words, nemo est /neminem esse qui nesciat = omnes sciunt.  Of course the statement that you know that none of these does not know is quite a mouthful for someone who is saying that it is a fact.  In fact, Cicero will now recount what is called the First Catilinarian Conspiracy, the only fact about which most commentators are agreed, and they agree that it never happened. 

pridie Kalendas Ianuarias:  The day before the Kalends was January 31.

Lepido et Tullo consulibus: The year was 66 BCE.  The construction is an ablative absolute.

stetisse:  The core of the indirect discourse is:  te stetisse + temporal adverbs.

cum telo:  The story is that Catiline, having been prevented from standing for the consulship in 66 BCE planned to murder the incoming consuls on 1 January 65 BCE.  The plan became know, was postponed until Feb. 5, and then failed because, it was said, Catiline gave the signal at a time when the other conspirators were not fully gathered.

interficiendorum causa:  causa + genitive noun + gerundive is a common way of expressing purpose.

paravisse:  The core of the second statement in indirect discourse is:  [te] manum paravisse + purpose construction.  Note that the te is supplied from the first statement.

mentem:  intention is perhaps the best way to get at this.  Cicero is saying that it was not Catilines plan or his fears that protected Rome, but sheer luck or good fortune, fortuna.  Probably a reference to the belief that he gave the signal too soon.

obstitisse:  The core of the third statement in indirect discourse is fortunam obstitisse + dative.

omitto:  Another praeteritio.

neque enim:  a parenthetical explanation for his praeteritio.

quotiens:  This is in part generated out of or justified by non multa:  They are not few how often.  On the use of interrogatives in exclamations, check here.

tu:  Note enclitic position; it is not emphatic.  It lets the audience know that the subject which was just (ego) omitto and then multa sunt will now be tu.

quotiens:  The anaphora tells you to supply tu me in this construction just as above.

interficere conatus es:  This is at least an exaggeration, and, perhaps, the signal word that raises modern skeptical distance is non multa above. Similarly, neminem esse qui nesciat raises suspicions.

petitiones:  The term applies equally to electoral petitions as well as to gladiatorial attacks.  If Cicero figures the war between himself and Catiline as a gladiatorial contest, it is supposed to redound to Catilines disadvantage:  he was a gladiator, a slave, a barbarian, fighting for his life while everyone watched his pathetic efforts.   What does this do to the figure of Cicero?  The suave gladiator?

coniectas:  conicio = to aim a blow or a weapon.

declinatione:  The gladiatorial dance, as in fencing, sometimes requires little more than an elegant bend or turn of the body.  This is an ablative of means.

corpore:  Literally, I avoided your thrusts with a certain swerve and (as they say) with the body.  This seems to me particularly vivid, both in its imagination of this gladiatorial contest and in its reference to the common slang:  ut aiunt.  I have not researched the matter, but it seems to me likely that this is a hendiadys (I avoided with a swerve of my body) and also a recollection of an idiom, euge! corpore effugit! = well done; he avoided with his body, which would mean that the other way to avoid a blow was to parry the opponent with your weapon, exactly what Cicero could not and did not do.  The imagery recalls the description of his SCU as sheathed.

nihil:  In contrast to quotiens, this is a temporary conclusion or perhaps a brief digression:  quotiens quotiens quot nihil!; then back to quotiens.

nihil moliris: This is a repetition of nihil agis, nihil moliris, nihil cogitas.  The manuscripts do not agree on the reading and some editors suspect that nihil moliris appears as a memory of the earlier passage.  The tri-kolon, however, seems appropriate to me, especially as Cicero sets up at this point the all important qualification to Catiline's tyrannical aspirations:  he accomplishes nothing.

quotiens:  A return to the anaphora of quotiens above.

tibi:  Dative of separation:  as for you, how often the dagger was twisted from your hands.  Note again how the personal pronoun is found in enclitic position, emphasizing iam.  The mss. also offer tibi iam, but that would be emphatic for tibi and the sentence is about time (quotiens) nor is there any point in emphasizing the fact that the dagger was taken from Catiline's hands. 

cacu aliquo:  Cp. fortuna above.

quae:  Connective relative:  et ea (sicca) quidem.

quidem usually marks a contrast; here it is between the obvious, quotiens, and the unknown, nescio; probably the best translation is, and yet or on the other hand.  With the connective quae you should translate:  and yet I dont know or but, on the other hand, I dont know

quibus:  Begins an indirect questionquibus sacris devota sit, nescio.

devota sit:  The subject is the sicca referred to by the connective relative quae:  and I dont know with what rites it was consecrated.

quod:  Literally: with respect to the fact that.  The most important part of understanding the Latin here is to come to an understanding of the tone that squares with the words.  The postponed quod should be noticed, as well as the quidem.   One possibility is And yet, I dont know what rites seeing that you .  This would parallel and complement the high-handed irony of suadeo, which ended section V.

necesse putas esse:   The phrase is actually a unit:  putas is enclitic with necesse, marking it as emphstic; esse closes the phrase.  "You think it is necessary"

defigereComplementary infinitive with necesse est; or, alternatively, the subject of est (infinitives are nouns) whose predicate  nominative is necesse:  what is necesse? answer:  defigere.