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X.25-27 Notes

Pre-invective: In the section IX Cicero claimed that his speech and his invitations made no practical sense because Catiline was drawn through contradiction and impiety to the slaughter of citizens.  He was, Cicero claimed, bound to serve the interests of Ciceros own glory and fame.  In this section, the fore-knowledge that was emphasized at the end of section IX (sciam praemissos; sciam pactam; sciam praemissam) becomes the ground for imagining Catilines entry into the camp of Manlius, and this imagination is actually a form of invective (or pre-invective).

Ibis: Therefore, Cicero does not intend to abuse his power to exile Catiline (a constitutional point).

tandem aliquando: Again, responding to the temporal impatience with which this speech began.

iam pridem Again, ditto.

effrenata ac furiosa: The language recalls again the opening paragraphs:  quam diu etiam furor effrenata iactabit audacia?  That is because Cicero is finally answering the question he posed at the beginning:  quo usque tandem Catilina?

rapiebat: Notice the temporal structure:  You will go where your desire was already before drawing you.

dolorem: Following from the previous section in which Marius eagles were turned against Rome this points to the moral inversion of Catilines values.  Dolor is the feeling of  loss one has when something that is rightfully theirs (uxor, respublica, laus) is denied to one.

quandam: The indefinite pronoun means a certain precise, but unnamed or unnamable ..."  It is often used to create prejudice and to suggest that the audience and the speaker share the same view of  the situation and need not be explicit about the details.

voluptatem: See above on dolor:  this is the precise opposite.

te: Note that the enclitic position of the personal pronoun interrupts the simple phrase ad hanc amentiam.  Such enclitics serve only to emphasize the word that precedes them.

natura peperit: This is an importatnt part of the implied answer to the explicit question opening of the speech:  Catiline, when will you stop?  The answer is, Never; its your nature.  Of course, as the triplet procedes, the audience sees that not only nature, but desire and luck are conspiring to promote Catilines madness.

numquam: In the background there always lingers "quo usque tandem?"  Here, again, the implied answer is :  numquam (that is, if left to his own desires and nature and perversion, and his etc.).  

otium: In the private sphere, leisure; in the public sphere, peace.

bellum:  together bellum and otium constitute what is called a "universalizing doublet"; that is, a rhetorical figure of speech which implies "everything" or "anything" by using two opposites to govern all instances.

nefarium: This is the point:  no desire, not for otium or for bellum, unless it is nefariumnefarium from nefas is an affront to gods and men; in its root sense it means something like unmentionable.

concupisti:  from concupio:  intensive form of cupio.

nactus es: What did Catiline meet with?  In this sentence it is a single accusative object, manum, modified by a genitive of material, improborum manum, and also modified by a participle-phrase:  ex perditis atque derelictis conflatam manum.  Within the prepositional phrase, Cicero adds what they were derelicti (bankrupt) were deprived of (ablative of separation), ab omni non modo fortuna sed etiam spe.

Hic:  With this adverb, Cicero begins to paint a scene of Catilines moral abandon which parallels the scene earlier of his moral perversion.  Both are topics of invective.  What is clever in this passage is that Cicero uses the future (which he claims to know:  sciam sciam sciam) as the basis for this pre-invective.

laetitiaAblative with the deponent, perfruor.

bacchabere: The nouns and verbs in this triplet are arranged in climactic order.  The bacchanals were associated mainly with women (see Euripides Bacchae).  The abandonment of reason to frenzy was figured as feminine in Rome and elsewhere (cp. hysteria).

virum: vir = a manly man.

bonum: Moral inversion again:  not seeing the good gives Catiline pleasure.

huius: Parallel to hic above:  the scene is imagined as so vividly before the eyes of all that Cicero can call it this place and the zeal for this [kind of] life.

meditati: meditor:  to practise a skill.

feruntur:  What are called your labores.  Sallust also describes Catilines ability to endure hunger, cold, and sleeplessness.  Cicero brings up Catiline's highly touted abilities only to turn them to his disadvantage; thus, what otherwise would be topics of praise, turn into topics of invective.

labores: labor is both the labor, work, pain that endures and the ability to labor.

iacere: The catelogue of labores is at first short: two infinitives, which because they are neuter nouns can stand in opposition to labores

humi: Another vestigial locative form.

obsidendum: Literally, ob+sideo = to sit (sideo) with a view to meeting something (ob).  The term is most commonly used of military sieges, as in besieging a town.  Here, Cicero turns to the root meaning in order to picture Catiline lying in seige, as if to take possession of a town, but really to take possession of some form of debauchery, stuprum (use your imagination).

facinus: The irony here is almost humorous in its wit:  He lay on the ground not only for the purpose of laying seige to some perversion he wanted to possess, but even for undertaking some deed.  facinus is literally only a deed, although its common use for a misdeed is clearly operating here.

obeundum: The verb obeo, to undertake, seems chosen to echo obsideo:  He lies (iaceo) not only to sit (ob-sideo) but even to move (ob-eo). 

vigilare: Again, the wit is vicious:  vigilare contrasts with iacere.  His labores amount to an echo of universalizing doublet:  he sleeps, he wakes (the purpose constructions, of course, give the lie to the implication of iacere that he is not intent on something).

insidiantem: Anther compound of sedeo (obsideo, insidior):  to lay in ambush for.

somno maritorum: An attack on Catilines sexual excess and perversion:  his wakefulness is treacherous to the sleep of married men.  Inability to control ones sexual appetite was also figured as feminine in Rome.

bonis:  An attack on Catilines greed.

otiosorum: When Catiline is awake, vigilare, no one else can afford to sleep, somno, or even to take it easy, otiosus.

ubi ostentes:  subjunctive in a relative clause of place-where is almost always a jussive subjunctive in a relative clause of purpose.

inopiae: Compare Sallusts description of Catiline:  corpus patiens inediae, algoris, vigiliae supra quam cuiquam credibile est.

quibus is best taken as a connective relative, creating a parenthetical relative clause which reminds Catiline of the fact that his bills will come due shortly and then he will be bankrupt.

profeci tum: The pre-invective ends with Cicero looking back to what he accomplished both as candidate in 64, when he defeated Catiline, and as consul in 63, when he may have influenced the outcome of the election by, first, postponing it and, then, appearing in armor to quiet fears of riot.

exsul: exsul posses = tu, exsul, posses.  That is to say, the word exsul is in apposition to the subject of posses, and, like all appositions, it is predicative:  as an exile.  The same is true for consul below.

vexare: Note the parallels (exsul / consul; temptare / vexare) and the elipses (rem publicam posses); they are similar in the following potius quam comparison.

id: id quod est susceptum = a single neuter; here, the subject of nominaretur.

esset:  The subjunctive makes the quod-clause an explicit part of the original purpose; it is the equivalent of a subordinate clause in indirect discourse.

latrocinium:  violent robbery; itself a stock term of political invective.  See ex tanto latrocinio in section XIII.31. .