Cicero's Catilinarians

Dominic Berry

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The Catilinarians are a set of four speeches that Cicero, while consul in 63 BC, delivered before the senate and the Roman people against the conspirator Catiline and his followers. Or are they? Cicero did not publish the speeches until three years later, and he substantially revised them before publication, rewriting some passages and adding others, all with the aim of justifying the action he had taken against the conspirators and memorializing his own role in the suppression of the conspiracy. How, then, should we interpret these speeches as literature? Can we treat them as representing what Cicero actually said? Or do we have to read them merely as political pamphlets from a later time? In this, the first book-length discussion of these famous speeches, D. H. Berry clarifies what the speeches actually are and explains how he believes we should approach them. In addition, the book contains a full and up-to-date account of the Catilinarian conspiracy and a survey of the influence that the story of Catiline has had on writers such as Sallust and Virgil, Ben Jonson and Henrik Ibsen, from antiquity to the present day.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages304
ISBN (Electronic)9780197510827, 9780197510834
ISBN (Print)9780195326468, 9780195326475
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2020

Publication series

NameOxford Approaches to Classical Literature
PublisherOxford University Press


  • Cicero
  • speeches
  • Catilinarians
  • Catiline
  • Catilinarian conspiracy
  • Sallust
  • reception


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