Ea tempestate mihi imperium populi Romani multo maxume miserabile visum est. Cui cum ad occasum ab ortu solis omnia domita armis parerent, domi otium atque divitiae, quae prima mortales putant, adfluerent, fuere tamen cives, qui seque remque publicam obstinatis animis perditum irent. namque duobus senati decretis ex tanta multitudine neque praemio inductus coniurationem patefecerat neque ex castris Catilinae quisquam omnium discesserat: tanta vis morbi atque uti tabes plerosque civium animos invaserat.
(Sallust, Bell. Cat. 36.4-5)
At that time, it seems to me, the empire of the Roman people was in an especially deplorable state. Everything from the rising sun to the setting sun was dominated by and obedient to Roman arms; and at home there was abundant peace and wealth, things that humans consider most important. But nevertheless there were citizens who with unwavering hearts were intent on destroying themselves and their state. Indeed, in spite of two decrees that were passed by the Senate, no one from that great multitude of men was induced to expose the conspiracy and no one at all left the camp of Catiline. Such was the force of the disease that like a plague had invaded the minds of many citizens. (tr. William W. Batstone)
Est in carcere locus, quod Tullianum appellatur, ubi paululum adscenderis ad laevam, circiter duodecim pedes humi depressus. eum muniunt undique parietes atque insuper camera lapideis fornicibus iuncta; sed incultu, tenebris, odore foeda atque terribilis eius facies est. in eum locum postquam demissus est Lentulus, vindices rerum capitalium, quibus praecepta erat, laqueo gulam fregere. ita ille patricius ex gente clarissuma Corneliorum, qui consulare imperium Romae habuerat, dignum moribus factisque suis exitium vitae invenit. de Cethego Statilio Gabinio Caepario eodem modi supplicium sumptum est.
(Sallust, Bell. Cat. 55.3-6)
In the prison, when you have gone up a little to the left, there is a place called the Tullianum which is a depression of about twelve feet into the ground. Walls protect it on all sides and above there is a dome made with stone arches, but squalor, murk, and stench make it hideous and terrible to behold. After Lentulus was sent down into this place, the executioners strangled him with a rope as ordered. Thus that man, an aristocrat from the glorious family of the Cornelii, a man who had held consular power at Rome, found an end that suited his character and his actions. Cethegus, Statilius, Gabinius, and Caeparius were executed in the same way. (tr. William W. Batstone)
Omnes homines, qui sese student praestare ceteris animalibus summa ope niti decet ne vitam silentio transeant veluti pecora, quae natura prona atque ventri oboedientia finxit. sed nostra omnis vis in animo et corpore sita est; animi imperio, corporis servitio magis utimur; alterum nobis cum dis, alterum cum beluis commune est. quo mihi rectius videtur ingeni quam virium opibus gloriam quaerere, et, quoniam vita ipsa qua fruimur brevis est, memoriam nostri quam maxume longam efficere; nam divitiarum et formae gloria fluxa atque fragilis est, virtus clara aeternaque habetur.
(Sallust, Bell. Cat. 1.1-4)
All human beings who want to be superior to the other animals ought to struggle with every resource not to be like cattle passing silently through life. It is natural for the cattle to hang their heads and obey their stomachs, but all our strength is situated in our mind as well as our body: we use the mind more for control, the body for servitude; the one we have in common with the gods, the other with the beasts. And so I think it more upright to seek glory with our inner resources than with our physical strength and, since life is itself brief, to make the memory of our lives as long as possible. I say this because the glory of wealth and physical beauty is fluid and fragile; but virtue is held brilliant and eternal. (tr. William W. Batstone)