Catiline (Ancients in Action)

December 1, 2020
Catiline (Ancients in Action)

Like Guy Fawkes in early 17th-century Britain, L. SergiusCatilina was a threat to the constitution imposed on Rome by Sullain the mid-1st century BC. His aim at first was to reach theconsulship, the summit of power at Rome, by conventional means, buthe lacked the money and support to win his way to the top, unliketwo contemporaries of greater means and talent: the orator Ciceroand the military man Pompey the Great.Defeated for the third time, Catiline took to revolution with asubstantial following: destitute farmers, impoverished landowners,discontented Italians and debtors of all kinds. But they could notstand up to the forces of law and order and the rebellion wasquashed. For the controversy that still surrounds it, thepersonalities involved, the distinction of the writers such asCicero and Sallust, who are our main sources of information for it,this episode remains one of the most significant in late Republicanhistory.This volume gives an energetic and appealing overview of theevents, their sources, and the arguments of modern historianslooking back at this controversial period. Accessible for students,but useful also for more experienced scholars, this is the perfectintroduction not only to a specific historical episode, but also tothe problems of tackling ancient sources as evidence.