Catiline the Mad: An Excursion into the Ancient Sources
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One of the most fascinating and beweildering incidents in history is the Catilinarian Consporiacy, an attempted overthrow of the Roman republic by Lucius Sergius Catilina that was foiled by the decisive action of the consul Marcus Tullius Cicero. There is a generous supply of ancient writings concerning the career of this man, most notably the works of Cicero and Sallust. Despite the varied sources, there is a surprising amount of contradictory evidence concerning the character and motivation of Catiline, even within writings by the same author. In this thesis, I closely examine and compare the most prominent ancient sources on Catiline with a view toward biases and authorial motivation, and piece together the most plausible depiction of the events of 63 BC and the character of Catiline.