In his Bellum Catilinae, C. Sallustius Crispus or Sallust (86-35/34 B.C.) recounts the dramatic events of 63 B.C., when a disgruntled and impoverished nobleman, L. Sergius Catilina, turned to armed revolution after two electoral defeats. Among his followers were a group of heavily indebted young aristocrats, the Roman poor, and a military force in the north of Italy. With his trademark archaizing style, Sallust skillfully captures the drama of the times, including an early morning attempt to assassinate the consul Cicero and two emotionally charged speeches, by Julius Caesar and Cato the Younger, in a senatorial debate over the fate of the arrested conspirators. Sallust wrote while the Roman Republic was being transformed into an empire during the turbulent first century B.C.
The Bellum Catilinae is well-suited for second-year or advanced Latin study and provides a fitting introduction to the richness of Latin literature, while also pointing the way to a critical investigation of late-Republican government and historiography. Ramsey's introduction and commentary bring the text to life for Latin students. This new edition (updated from the 2007 printing) includes two maps and two city plans, an updated and now annotated bibliography, a list of divergences from the 1991 Oxford Classical Text of Sallust, and revisions in the introduction and commentary.
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J.T. Ramsey is Professor of Classics, University of Illinois at Chicago
Text: English, Latin
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