We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

E-book purchase
Choose a subscription

Downloaded copy on your device does not expire. Includes 4 years of Bookshelf Online.


Where applicable, tax will be added to the above price prior to payment.

E-book purchasing help


Cicero's Catilinarians

D. H. Berry

Publication Date - 26 June 2020

ISBN: 9780195326475

304 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock


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.


  • the first book-length discussion of the Catilinarians
  • puts forward a new approach to the interpretation of the speeches
  • takes account of little-known archaeological and numismatic material relating to Cicero and Catiline
  • includes an account of the reception of the Catilinarians over two millennia

About the Author(s)

D. H. Berry is Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Edinburgh. He has published an edition of Cicero's Pro P. Sulla Oratio (Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries, 1996) and two volumes in Oxford World's Classics, Cicero: Defence Speeches (2000) and Cicero: Political Speeches (2006).


"Berry contributes decisively to clarifying significant aspects of Catilinarian rhetoric. Unveiling more recondite subtleties of Ciceronian oratorical discourse and in this sense stimulates the reading of the Catilinaries and keeps its indelible charm alive." -- Giuseppe La Bua, BOLLETTINO DI STUDI LATINI

"Berry does not simply rehash running theories or historical approaches to the Catilinarians: he instead provides a novel, exciting supplementary document that breathes new life into them. Teachers of Latin and Classics will appreciate the numerous rich lesson plans pre-made, as it were, awaiting in these pages. More important: students will appreciate them even more." -- Evan Dutmer, Culver Academies, The Journal of Classics Teaching

"Berry, then, has produced an important book with which serious students of the Catilinarians will want to engage closely... He has diligently collected and sifted relevant evidence and has set out his case with flair. Building on the work of predecessors, he mounts a strong argument for extensive revision of Catil. 4 and parts of Catil 3. Perhaps Berry's main contribution is to formulate systematically how the publication of the speeches after an interval of two and a half years served Cicero's political interests in 60." -- Andrew R. Dyck, Los Angeles, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Table of Contents

    Editors' Foreword
    Preliminary Note

    Chapter 1: The Patrician and the New Man
    Chapter 2: What are the Catilinarians?
    Chapter 3: Denouncing the Living / Dead Catiline: The First Catilinarian
    Chapter 4: Persuading the People: The Second and Third Catilinarians
    Chapter 5: Pro Cicerone: The Fourth Catilinarian
    Chapter 6: Catiline in the Underworld and Afterwards

    APPENDIX 1: A Catilinarian Chronology, 108-57 BC
    APPENDIX 2: Catiline's Surviving Words
    APPENDIX 3: Two Bowls Inscribed with the Names of Catiline and Cato