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Conspiracy of Catiline and the Jurgurthine War


Book Overview: 

The Catiline Conspiracy and The Jugurthine War are the two separate surviving works of the historian commonly known as “Sallust”. Nearly contemporary to the events he describes, he is supposed to have been a retired officer of Caesar’s army. “Catiline” contains the history of the memorable year 63. Sallust describes Catiline as the deliberate foe of law, order and morality (although party politics may have influenced his view). Still, Sallust does recount Catiline’s noble traits, including his courage in the final battle. There is doubt among historians about whether Caesar was involved in the conspiracy; several of Catiline’s adherents who survived later joined Caesar’s side in his was against Pompey. The difficulty of Cicero’s position is thoroughly treated.

Jugurthine War records the war in Numidia c.112 BC. This war, which introduces the rivals Marius and Sulla to the Roman political scene, recounts the downfall and capture of the Numidian King Jugurtha. There is an exciting description of an agile Ligurian agent of the Roman side entering a besieged enemy city.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .When Nature," says Cicero, de Legg. i. 9, "had made other animals abject, and consigned them to the pastures, she made man alone upright, and raised him to the contemplation of heaven, as of his birthplace and former abode;" a passage which Dryden seems to have had in his mind when he translated the lines of Ovid cited above. Let us add Juvenal, xv, 146.

  "Sensum à coelesti demissum traximus arce,
  Cujus egent prona et terram spectantia."

  "To us is reason giv'n, of heav'nly birth,
  Denied to beasts, that prone regard the earth."

[6] All our power is situate in the mind and in the body—Sed omnis nostra vis in animo et corpore sita. All our power is placed, or consists, in our mind and our body. The particle sed, which is merely a connective, answering to the Greek dé, and which would be useless in an English translation, I h. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Sallust had a long political career, siding with the populists, who would eventually become the triumvirate of Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey. In many ways, Sallust's history resembles Caesar's memoirs twenty years later, but Caesar's biases are much more difficult to ferret out. If Sallust had been a

El estilo de Salustio es bastante llevadero, sobre todo en "Guerra de Yugurta", gracias al detalle de las campañas militares del norte de Africa y todas las intrigas del reino de Numidia. Refleja una época crucial de Roma (S. I a.c), cuando la República se estremecía ante las minorías oligarcas, el

Through some strange quirk, Sallust is one of the few ancient Roman historians whose two major works have come down to us more or less intact. I had read The Jugurthine War some eight years ago, and I finally decided to read The Conspiracy of Catiline.

While Sallust is a journeyman historian, very mu

Отличный стиль: выдержанный и ёмкий, можно даже сказать, монументальный. При этом довольно живописный, с философскими отступлениями дидактического характера и выразительными речами (очень напоминает Фукидида). Читать стоит хотя бы ради этих образцовых речей.

Two stories from the Roman Republic
8 March 2011

I quite like books written by ancient historians, though we must remember the purposes of the ancient historians are a little different to modern historians (though I would argue that it is not all that different). The editor argued that ancient histor

Sometimes when reading ancient history I get the feeling of looking at another world, or at least a more blunt and violent one. Yet, I find Medieval works more foreign, due to certain religious obsessions, than those by the Romans. Among that latter group few seem so contemporary as Sallust, a Roman

The Jugurthine War is filled with good old Roman populist rhetoric and war heroism but I can make heads or tails of the Conspiracy of Catiline so I give it a mediocre rating.

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