The Catiline Conspiracy - Chapter 1

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DECET omnis (omnes) homines, qui student sese praestare caeteris animalibus, niti

It becomes all men, who study themselves to excel the other animals, to endeavor with [their]

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summa ope ne transeant vitam silentio reluti pecora, quae natura finxit prona atque

utmost might (that) they may not pass [their] life in silence even as cattle, which nature has formed prone and

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obedientia ventri. Sed omnie nostra vis est sita animo et corpore. Utimur imperio animi,

obedient to the belly. But all our force is situate in mind and body. We use command of the mind,

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magis servitio corporis. Alterum est commune nobis cum Dis, alterum cum belluis.

more (than) the service of the body. The other (the one) is common to us with the gods, the other with beasts.

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Quo videtur mihi rectius quaerere gloriam opibus ingenii quam virium, et quoniam

By which it seems to me more right to seek glory by the powers of the understanding than of forces (bodily strength), and since

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vita ipsa, qua fruimur est brevis efficere memoriam nostri quam maxime longam.

the life self, which we enjoy is short to effect [make] the memory (remembrance) of us as most long. [Endure most long.]

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Nam gloria divitiarum et formae est fluxa atque fragilis; virtus habetur

For the glory of riches and of shape (beauty) is fleeting and frail; virtue is had

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clara que aeterna. Sed magnum certamen fuit diu inter mortalis (mortales), ne militaris

(accounted) bright and eternal. But a great contest has been a long time between mortals, whether military

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res procederet magis vi corporis, an virtute animi. Nam et priusquam incipias

thing (tactics) would advance more by force of body, or by virtue of mind. For and (even) before that you may begin

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est opus consulto, et ubi consulueris facto

(there) is need with (of) deliberation, and when you may have deliberated (have deliberated) of deed [need of doing]

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mature. Ita utrumque indigens per se, alterum eget auxilio alterius. Igitur initio

seasonably. So either (is) defective by self, the other (the one) wants the aid of the other. Therefore in the beginning

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reges (nam id fuit primum nomen Imperii in terris) diversi pars exercebant

kings (for that has been the first name of government in the lands, (world) different (indisposition) part did exercise

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ingenium, alii corpus: etiam tum vita hominum agitabatur sine cupiditate, sua

the understanding, others the body: also then the life of men was spent without covetousness, their own

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satis placebant cuique. Vero postea quam Cyrus in Asia, Lacedaemonii et Athenienses

were sufficiently pleasing [to] everyone. But after that Cyrus in Asia, (and) the Lacedemonians and Athenians

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in Graecia, coepere subigere urbes atque nationes; habere lubidinem dominandi causam

In Greece, began to subdue cities and nations; to have [began to consider] the lust of ruling a cause

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belli, putare maxumam gloriam in maxumo imperio; tum demum compertum est

of war, [and] to think [that] the greatest glory [was] in the greatest command then at length it was found

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periculis atque negotiis, ingenium plurimum posse

by dangers and affairs, [that] the understanding to be most powerful (could effect most)

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in bello. Quod si virtus animi regum atque imperatorum valeret, ita in

in war. But if the virtue of the mind of kings and of commanders might prevail, [equally] so in

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pace ut in bello, humanae res haberent sese aequabilius atque constantius; neque

peace as in war, human things would have themselves (would be) more even and more steady; neither

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cerneres aliud ferri alio, neque omnia, mutari ac misceri.

would you perceive another (one thing) to be borne elsewhere,

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Nam imperium retinetur facile iis artibus, quibus initio partum est. Verum ubi pro labore, desidia;

For government is retained easily by those arts, by which at first it was acquired. But when instead of labor, idleness;

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pro continentia et aequitate, lubido atque superbia invasere, fortuna immutatur simul

instead of continence and equity, lust and pride came in (seized), fortune is changed together

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cum moribus. Ita imperium transfertur semper a minus bono ad quemque optumum. Quae

with manners. So authority is transferred always from (the) less good (man) to each best. Whatever

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homines arant, navigant, aedificant, omnia parent virtuti. Sed

(things) men plow, navigate, build, all obey to virtue (mental powers). But

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multi mortales, dediti ventri, atque somno, indocti que inculti, transiere vitam sicuti

many mortals, addicted to the belly, and to sleep, untaught and unpolished, have passed life as (persons)

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peregrinantes: quibus profecto contra naturam corpus fuit voluptati, anima oneri. Ego

travelling: to whom indeed [contrary to nature] (their) body has been for pleasure, the soul for a burden. I

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aestumo vitam que mortem eorum juxta, quoniam siletur de utraque. Verum enimvero

estimate the life and death of them equally, since it is silent (nothing is said) concerning each. But truly

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is demum videtur mihi vivere et frui anima, qui, intentus aliquo negotio, quaerit famam praeclari

he at length appears to me to live and to enjoy life, who, intent on some business, seeks the fame of illustrious

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facinoris aut bonae artis. Sed in magna copia rerum, natura ostendit aliud iter

enterprise or of good art. But in the great abundance of things, nature points out another (different) journey (course)

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alii. Est pulchrum benefacere reipublicae, etiam benedicere est hand absurdum. Licet

to another (person). It is fair to do well to the republic, also to speak well is not absurd. It is lawful

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fieri clarum vel pace vel bello: et multi landantur, qui fecere, et qui scripsere facta

to be made illustrious either by peace or by war: and many are praised, who have done, and who have written deeds

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aliorum. Ac tametsi par gloria handquaquam sequatur scriptorem et actorem rerum, tamen

of others. And although equal glory by no means may follow (follows) the writer and actor of things, yet

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videtur quidem mihi in primis arduum scribere res gestas: primum, quod facta sunt exaequanda

it seems [indeed to me] particularly difficult to write things carried on (history): first, because deeds are to be equalled

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dictis; dein quia plerique putant delicta, quae reprehenderis, dicta

by sayings (language); afterwards because most think the faults, which you may have reproved, (to be) said from

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malevolentia et invidia; ubi memores de magna virtute bonorum; quae quisque putet

ill will and envy; when you may record of the great virtue of good (men); whatever (things) each may think

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facilia factu sibi, accipit aequo animo; supra ducit pro falsis, veluti

(thinks) easy to be done to (by) himself, he receives with even mind; beyond (that) he leads (deems) [all] for false, [or] as

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ficta. Sed ego adolescentulus, initio latus sum studio ad Rempublicam; que ibi multa

feigned. But I, a very young man, in the beginning was borne by inclination to the Republic; and there many (things)

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fuere advorsa mihi. Nam audacia, largitio, avaritia, vigebant pro pudore, pro abstinentia,

have been adverse to me. For boldness, bribery, covetousness did flourish instead of modesty, abstinence,

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pro virtute; quae tametsi animus insolens malarum artium, aspernabatur;

instead of virtue; which (things) although (my) mind unaccustomed of (to) bad arts, did despise;

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tamen imbecilla aetas, corrupta, ambitione, tenebatur inter tanta vitia. Ac cum dissentirem ab

yet (my) weak age, corrupted by ambition, was held among so great vices. And when I would dissent from

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reliquis malis moribus, nihilominus eadem cupido honoris, quae vexabat caeteros, fama et invidia

the rest (others') bad manners, nevertheless the same desire of honor, which did harass the rest, fame and envy

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(vexabant) me. Igitur ubi animus requievit ex multis miseriis atque periculis, et decrevi

(did harass) me. Therefore when (my) mind rested from many miseries and dangers, and I resolved [that] (my)

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reliquam aetatem habendam procul a Republica, non fuit consilium

remaining age to be had [should] (be passed) at a distance from the Republic (public affairs), it has not been (my) design

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conterere bonum otium socordia atque desidia; neque vero agere aetatem, intentum servilibus

to consume good leisure in sloth and idleness; nor truly to act (spend) age (my life), intent on servile

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officiis, colendo agrum aut venando: sed regressus eadem, a quo incepto

offices, in cultivating field (land) or in hunting: but having returned to the same (pursuit), from which undertaking

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que studio, mala ambitio detinuerat me, statui perscribere res gestas Romani

and study, bad ambition had detained me, I resolved to write through things (the achievements) of the Roman

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populi carptim, uti quaeque videbantur digna memoria: magis eo, quod animus erat

people with selection, as each did seem worthy (of) memory: more on this account, because (my) mind was

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liber mihi a spe, metu, partibus Reipublicae. Igitur absolvam paucis de

free to me from hope, fear, [and the] factions of the Republic. Therefore I will acquit (dispose) in a few (words) concerning [I will relate in a few words]

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conjuratione Catilinae quam verissume potero. Nam existumo id facinus

the conspiracy of Catiline as most truly [as] I shall be able. For I think that enterprise

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in primis memorabile novitate sceleris atque periculi: de moribus cujus hominis pauca

particularly memorable from the novelty of (its) wickedness and danger: concerning the morals of which man a few (things)

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sunt explananda, prius quam faciam initium narrandi.

are to be explained, before that I may make a beginning of relating.

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Lucius Catilina, natus nobili genere, fuit magna vi et animi et corporis,

Lucius Catiline born (descended) of a noble race, was (a man) (of) great strength and (both) of mind and of body,

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sed male que pravo ingenio. Intestina bella, caedes, rapinae, civilis discordia fuere grata huic

but (of) a bad and depraved disposition. Intestine wars, slaughters, rapines, civil discord were agreeable to this

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ab adolescentia; quo ibi exercuit suam juventutem. Corpus patiens inediae,

(man) from (his) youth; and there (in them) he exercised his youth. His body (was) patient of hunger

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algoris, vigiliae, supra quam est credibile cuiquam: animus andax, subdolus,

of cold, of watchfulness (want of sleep), beyond than (what) is credible to anyone: (his) mind adventurous, crafty.

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varius, simulator ac dissimulator cujuslibet rei, appetens alieni, profusus sui; ardens in

changeable, a counterfeiter and dissembler of any thing, desirous of another's (property), lavish of his own; ardent in

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cupiditatibus; satis eloquentiae, parum sapientiae: vastus animus semper cupiebat immoderata,

desires; (he had) sufficient of eloquence, little of wisdom: (his) vast mind always did desire extravagant

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incredibilia, nimis alta. Post dominationem Lucii Sullae, maxuma lubido republicae

Incredible, (and) too high (things). After the domination (usurpation) of Lucius Sylla, a very great lust of the republic

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capiundae invaserat hunc, neque habebat quidquam pensi quibus

to be taken (of seizing the republic) had seized him, nor had he any of thought [nor did he care] by what

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modis assequeretur id, dum pararet regnum sibi. Ferox animus agitabatur magis que

means he might attain, while he should procure the kingdom for himself. (His) Fierce mind was agitated more and

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magis indies, inopia familiaris rei, at conscientia scelerum; utraque quae auxerat

more daily, from want of familiar thing (private property), and a consciousness of crimes; both which be had increased

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his artibus, quas memoravi supra. praeterea corrupti mores civitatis incitabant,

by those arts (practices), which I have recorded above moreover the corrupt manners of the state did incite (him),

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quos, luxuria atque avaritia, pessuma mala, ac diversa inter se, vexabant.

which (manners), luxury and avarice, the worst evils and different between themselves, did harass (did pervert).

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Res ipsa videtur hortari, quoniam tempus admonuit de moribus civitatis,

The thing (subject) self seems to exhort (me), since time (occasion) has reminded (me) of the manners of the state,

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repetere supra, de disserere paucis instituta majorum domi que militiae,

to retrace above [farther back] and discuss in a far (words) the institutions of (our) ancestors at home and abroad [in war],

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quomodo habuerint rempublicum, que quantam reliquerint, et disserere

in what manner they may have had (managed) the republic, and how great they may have left (they left it), and [to discuss]

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ut paulatim immutata, facta sit pessuma ac flagitiosissuma ex

how by degrees having been changed, it may have been made (it became) the worst and most disgraceful from (having been)

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pulcherruma. Trojani, sicut ego accepi, initio,

the fairest. The Trojans, as I have received (have heard), in the beginning,

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condidere atque habuere urbem Romam; qui, Aenea duce, profugi vagabantur

(first) built and had (inhabited) the city Rome; who, Aeneas (being their) leader, [as] exiles did wander

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incertis sedibus; que cum his Aborigines, agreste genus hominum, sine legibus,

in uncertain seats (having no fixed habitation); and with these the Aborigines, a rustic race of men, without laws,

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liberum atque solutum. Postquam hi convenere ibi in una moenia dispari

free and loosed (unrestrained). After that they assembled there into one (the same) walls (city) of different

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genere, dissimili lingua, viventes alius alio more, est incredibile memoratu, quam facile

race, of dissimilar language, living one (each) in a different custom, it is incredible to be recorded, how easily

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coaluerint. Sed postquam res eorum aucta civibus, moribus,

they may have coalesced (they incorporated). But after that thing (state) of them having been increased by citizens, morals

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agris, videbatur satis prospera, que satia pollens, invidia, orta est ex opulentia

(moral institutions), lands did appear sufficiently prosperous, and sufficiently powerful, envy arose out of opulence,

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sicuti pleraque mortalium habentur. Igitur reges que finitimi populi

as most of mortal (things) are had (are conducted), kings and neighboring peoples (people) (began)

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tentare bello. Pauci ex amicis esse auxilio. Nam caeteri, perculsi metu, aberant

to try (them) in war. A few of (their) friends to be for aid (brought them aid). For the rest, stricken with fear, kept aloof

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a periculis. At Romani, intenti domi que militiae, festinare, parare, alius

from dangers. But the Romans, intent at home and of war (abroad), (began) to hasten, to prepare, the other (one)

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hortari alium ire obviam hostibus; tegere libertatem, patriam, que parentes armis.

to exhort another to go towards the enemies; to protect Liberty, (their) country, and parents with arms.

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