His: Connective demonstrative. Pointing back to what was just said and gathering it into a single expression.
sanctissimis: Emphatic: the point is that these words have (or should have) religious and awe-inspiring impact. Cicero responds now with the seriousness and gravity that questions from the Patria deserve. What follows will have the appearance of caution, thoughtfulness, and prudence.
vocibus: Words, anything said.
eorum: The genitive after et connects this with the earlier genitive, rei publicae; the demonstrative looks forward to some further definition since it does not have any immediate point of reference in the words that preceded.
mentibus: Parallel to vocibus above, but important thematically: Cicero, in giving the Fatherland a voice, has also given a voice to the silent thoughts (mentibus) of all those who agree -- that is, of all patriots.
pauca: This is an example of the manly idiom of just a few words which has a long history in the West. It is at least as old as Aeneas reply to Dido in Aeneid IV: pro re pauca loquor, and it is as recent as the television detective who says, "just the facts, maam." It is, of course, not surprising that at this point Cicero's rhetoric becomes Ciceronian: periodic, hypotactic, long and thoughtful sentences.
Ego: Emphatic. Cicero presents himself as answering the charges of the Fatherland and in doing so as defending himself, his foresight, his prudence, and his policy. For this reason, he falls back on the prudential formula, ego si. See further in the next note.
si: Again compare the rhetoric of Aeneas: me si fata meis paterentur ducere uitam | auspiciis et sponte mea componere curas, | urbem Troianam primum dulcisque meorum | reliquias colerem, . One may also compare Caesars propensity to say 'Caesar, etsi ' The form of the sentence, the emphasis on the ego, the postponed conditional, and the contemplation of an impossible or alternative version of events all conspire to present the speaker as cautious, providential, and realistic. NOTE the sentence structure of the passage:
Ego si ...., ...non dedissem;
Etenim si ...non modo ... sed etiam, certe ... non erat....
Quod si ..., tamen....
Quamquam non nulli ..
quorum ... si ..., ...dicerent.
NUNC INTELLEGO, si .... etc.
In these qualifications and conditions, in this reasoning through of contrafactuals and potentials, Cicero presents himself as the thoughtful advisor.
optimum: optimum factu calling attention to the prudential aspect of Ciceros judgment.
iudicarem: The sentence is a mixed Conditional Sentence: the imperfect subjunctive (present contrary to fact) in the protasis with a pluperfect subjunctive (past contrary to fact) in the apodosis is not usual, but it makes excellent sense here. If it were now (and in general) my judgment that this was best to do, then I would already have done this.
unius horae: the adjective is separated from its noun to give it emphasis.
gladiatori: Compare notes above on the gladiatorial aspect of how Cicero has protrayed the contest between him and Catiline.
etenim: Often introduces the major premise (or other determining element) of the reasoning that led to the previous sentence. Here, Cicero uses it to introduce the single most important practical concern: fear, verendum.
summi et clarissimi: As before, so here, Cicero appeals to precedent; that is, he is answering the Patrias omplaint about mos maiorum above.
viri: The noun closes the noun-adjective word group. This is important because it tells you that Saturnini is not likely to go with viri, and in fact it does not.
Saturninus: Tribune of the plebs, 103; he supported Marius in getting land for his African veterans. In 103 or in 100 he passed a law setting up a permanent court to investigate treason, a law designed to intimidate the Senate. As Tribune in 100, he again aided Marius. Re-elected Tribune for 99, Marius became suspicious of his ambitions. Saturninus tried to use force to pass a law allowing Glaucia to stand for the consulship after his candidacy had been rejected as illegal by Marius. He had Memmius, another candidate, killed and when riot broke out, a senatus consultum was decreed and Marius used its authority against a tribune in office for the first time. Saturninus and his followers surrendered upon receiving a pledge of public safety; they were imprisoned in the Senate house and there murdered by a mob which Marius refused to oppose.
Gracchorum: Cicero refers to Tiberius Gracchus and his younger brother, Gaius Gracchus, both of whom attempted land reform by making use of the power of the tribuneship against important Senatorial opposition. Both were killed under the authority of the so-called Senatus consultum ultimum. Cicero has used them as precedent before in this speech and you can review earlier notes in this frame by clicking the names: T. Gracchus is discussed along with P. Scipio; G. Gracchus with L. Opimius and M. Fulvius. Return here either by using the BACK button or click the text above. If you want to see the text to which the earlier notes refer, click the names and review the text in the middle frame. You will have to use your BACK button to return to the current text and notes.
non modo always looks forward to a following sed etiam.
honestarunt: The root of the verb is honos, not just the political office that one attains and holds but the honor that comes from attaining and duly holding that office.
non: Only in the pro Milone does Cicero talk so insistently (and so bravely) about not being afraid.
ne quid: The indefinites are attracted to the conjunction.
hoc: Presumably Cicero points at Catiline; the length of the vowel, hc, indicates that this is an Ablative Absolute. Here are some handy rules of thumb: 1. If it could be a Dative or an Ablative and if it is a person, it is a Dative. 2. If it could be a dative or an ablative and if it is a thing, it is an Ablative. 3. If it is an ablative and is a person, it is an Ablative Absolute.
civium: parricide of citizens is an interesting conflation of ideas in that it casts one's fellow citizens as "fathers."
Quod si: Listen carefully to Ciceros voice: he just said certe, followed with a gerundive + non. Now, he back-tracks: but if .
ea: Pointing to what is on Ciceros mind: invidia.
mihi: Enclitic position.
virtute partam: The participle is, as almost all participles in Latin are, predicative; that mean, it extends the meaning of the predicate. Here, Cicero means "if it is born from virtus" or "when it is born from virtus."
Quamquam at sentence beginning is usually a sentence connective and is translated although.
qui: It is important for Cicero that his audience of Senators see what their response, or lack of response, means in terms of Ciceros interpretation and his ability to act. By offering two alternatives in this qui-clause, Cicero allows everyone to situtate themselves in a position of no blame while at the same time allowing them to situate others within blame.
spem: ea quae imminent now are referred to Catilines hope; they are the same thing.
mollibus: soft, which is to say unmanly, not a vir, and not with virtus.
aluerunt: They mother the conspiracy. See how Cicero follows through with his metaphor in nascentem and then with corroboraverunt. The Romans usually apologized for metaphors with quidam or ut ita dicam. It seems that a further development or elaboration of a metaphor (as here) was also a way of helping the audience accommodate an unexpected figure of speech.
quorum: The third relative clause defining those members of the Senate who directly or indirectly support Catiline.
auctoritatem: Not only are they a problem in themselves because of the encouragement they give Catiline, but they have secondary effects in the response of others. The use of this same term for the Senatus Consultum and in Cicero's promise at the end of the speech (in vobis [fore] auctoritatem) seems to point to a crisis of auctoritas.
secuti: The metaphor describe above in fact continues here under a new application: above Catilines hopes are nourished, grow and become strong; here, others follow, like good Roman adulescentes, the authority of those who have nourished Catilines hopes.
imperiti: Again Cicero offers an excuse for anyone (like, for instance, Caelius or even Cicero himself) who needs an excuse. These are, of course, the very people whom earlier Cicero had said must disappear, whatever the reason for their objection to Cicero, before he would act.
crudeliter et regie: Compare above at II. 5: erit verendum mihi ne quisquam crudelius factum .
Nunc is in contrast to the the Ego si + contrary to fact conditions above.
iste: The response to Ego si(subjunctive and unreal) quamquam (the facts), turns out to be Nunc si iste (indicative and factual).
neminem: In contrast to non nulli above.
fateatur: With elipsis of what was stated in the parallel qui-clause above.
hoc uno interfecto: Point number two. See above on the handy rules of thumb: if it is an ablative and a person (hoc points and can only point to the guy in the previous sentence), then it is an .?
in perpetuum: Note the contrasting adverbial expression.
Quod si: This introduces the better alternative, better than non in perpetuum.