Nequitia

250px-Catilina2-Maccari_affresco

This is part 2 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 3 is here.

Alter vero, di boni! quo splendore est? primum nobilitate eadem. num maiore? non. sed virtute. quam ob rem? quod Antonius umbram suam metuit, hic ne leges quidem, natus in patris egestate, educatus in sororiis stupris, corroboratus in caede civium, cuius primus ad rem publicam aditus in equitibus Romanis occidendis fuit (nam illis quos meminimus Gallis, qui tum Titiniorum ac Nanneiorum ac Tanusiorum capita demetebant, Sulla unum Catilinam praefecerat); in quibus ille hominem optimum, Q. Caucilium, sororis suae virum, equitem Romanum, nullarum partium, cum semper natura tum etiam aetate quietum, suis manibus occidit. quid ego nunc dicam petere eum tecum consulatum qui hominem carissimum populo Romano, M. Marium, inspectante populo Romano vitibus per totam urbem ceciderit, ad bustum egerit, ibi omni cruciatu lacerarit, vix vivo et spiranti collum gladio sua dextera secuerit, cum sinistra capillum eius a vertice teneret, caput sua manu tulerit, cum inter digitos eius rivi sanguinis fluerent; qui postea cum histrionibus et cum gladiatoribus ita vixit ut alteros libidinis, alteros facinoris adiutores haberet; qui nullum in locum tam sanctum ac tam religiosum accessit in quo non, etiam si in aliis culpa non esset, tamen ex sua nequitia dedecoris suspicionem relinqueret; qui ex curia Curios et Annios, ab atriis Sapalas et Carvilios, ex equestri ordine Pompilios et Vettios sibi amicissimos comparavit; qui tantum habet audaciae, tantum nequitiae, tantum denique in libidine artis et efficacitatis, ut prope in parentum gremiis praetextatos liberos constuprarit?
(Quintus Tullius Cicero, Commentariolum Petitionis 9-10)

As to the other, good heavens! What is his claim to glory? First, he has the same noble birth. Any greater nobility? No. But he has greater manliness. Why? Only because Antonius is afraid of his own shadow, whereas Catiline does not even fear the law. Born in his father’s beggary, bred in debauchery with his sister, grown up in civil slaughter, his first entry into public life was a massacre of Roman Knights (for Sulla had put Catiline in sole charge of those Gauls we remember, who kept mowing off the heads of Titinius and Nanneius and Tanusius and all). Among them he killed with his own hands his sister’s husband, the excellent Quintus Caucilius, a Roman Knight, neutral in politics, a man always inoffensive by nature and by that time also through advancing age. Need I go on? He to be running for the consulship with you—he who scourged Marcus Marius, the Roman People’s darling, all around the town before the Roman People’s eyes, drove him to the tomb, mangled him there with every torture, and with a sword in his right hand, holding his head of hair in his left, severed the man’s neck as he barely lived and breathed and carried the head in his hand, while rills of blood owed between his fingers! And then he lived with actors and gladiators as his accomplices, the former in lust, the latter in crime—he who could not enter any place so sacred and holy that he did not leave it under suspicion of being polluted by his mere wickedness, even if other people were guiltless; who got as his closest friends from the Senate House men like Curius and Annius, from the auctioneers’ halls men like Sapala and Carvilius, from the Order of Knights men like Pompilius and Vettius; who has such impudence, such wickedness, and besides such skill and efficiency in his lust that he has raped children in smocks practically at their parents’ knees. (tr. David Roy Shackleton Bailey)

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