BMCR 2004.04.31

M. Tullius Cicero, Fasc. 17: Orationes in L. Catilinam quattuor. Bibliotheca Teubneriana

, , Orationes in L. Catilinam quattuor. Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana. Munich and Leipzig: K.G. Saur, 2003. lxvi, 108 pages ; 21 cm.. ISBN 3598711875. €68.00.

Gone are the days when a single editor or two editors in partnership would essay to edit Cicero’s opera omnia. Is it that editors have grown less chalcenteric or that the task has grown more complex or perhaps a combination of the two? In any case, since the venerable Bibliotheca Teubneriana has survived the purchase of B.G. Teubner by the Saur Verlag, this is now the fourth fascicle in the Teubner series of Cicero’s speeches from the pen of T. Maslowski (hereafter M.), his previous volumes being the Orationes post reditum (1981), Pro P. Sestio (1986), and Pro M. Caelio and In Vatinium testem (1995), encompassing now eleven of the fifty-eight extant speeches; he can thus qualify by current standards as somewhat chalcenteric.

Nohl (1886) clarified the basic facts: the tradition falls into three classes, the ancestors of which editors are wont to designate with the letters alpha, beta, and gamma. The particular interest of M.’s edition is that it is the first to incorporate with the other witnesses new papyrus evidence, above all the Barcelona papyrus (B) written in Egypt in the 4th-5th century, containing intact 1.29 to the end of the second speech as well as bits from earlier in the first speech (ed. princeps: Roca-Puig (1977)). The papyrus offers several evidently correct readings in places where the medieval text had not been doubted (e.g. rei publicae utilitas for res publica at 2.30 or raedis, lecticis for praediis lectis at 2.20 (see below). It suffers, however, from the limitations of its scribe, hence each of its variants from the rest of the tradition needs to be weighed on its merits; cf. M. pp. XLVIII-IX. Moreover, the precise relations of the three strands of tradition remained to be sorted out.1 M. finds the affiliations of the three witnesses shifting in such a way that a single stemma cannot be drawn up; he arrives instead at separate stemmata, for speeches 1-2, 3, and 4 (p.L). He concludes his discussion of the tradition by emphasizing that in constituting the text ratio et res ipsa trump authority (p.LII). Most readers will welcome M.’s decision, unlike his past practice, to regularize the orthography and relegate orthographic variants of the major witnesses to an appendix (p.LIII).

The text is preceded by a bibliography of editions, articles and books cited in the critical apparatus (pp.LV-LXII), the editions from which the testimonia are cited (pp.LXIII-LXVI), a list of sigla (pp.1-3), then testimonia for the Catilinarians in general (p.4). In addition, each speech is preceded by its own collection of testimonia. These are in general not so much testimonia for the speeches themselves as for events mentioned in the speeches (extracts from Plutarch, Dio etc.; some passages from Sallust would have had an equal claim to inclusion but were, for some reason, omitted). They are thus not testimonia in the traditional sense but materials broadly relevant to the study of the speeches; they might rather have been segregated from testimonia in the strict sense (such as Att. 2.1.3, cited on p.4) and relegated to an appendix. Like other recent Teubner editions, this one includes a separate apparatus collecting allusions to the text by later authors; this is a valuable addition and must have entailed a great deal of work. The critical apparatus is more Teubneriano rather full, indeed, at times, discursive. Some of these notes veer into exegesis and would be looked for rather in a commentary (e.g. on 1.5.52-54, reporting at some length the views of several scholars); here judicious pruning would have been welcome. The attributions of conjectures are generally accurate (insofar as I can check); however, the insertion of iure after suum in 4.13 was first proposed by Nohl, not Bornecque. The volume concludes with a helpful index of names keyed to corresponding RE articles.

The text is generally conservative, often reinstating manuscript readings previously emended or expelled; it is also repunctuated, with a more sparing use of commas than by M.’s mostly German predecessors. The work has been carefully proofread; I have noticed only a couple trivial typos.

The following selection may illustrate M.’s editorial technique.

1.6: -es ita ut uiuis (beta, gamma) yields C.’s favorite clausula (cretic + trochee) and thus deserves preference to the version of alpha and o adopted by M. in which nunc is inserted after ut.

1.8: The tradition is divided: sensistin (alpha) vs. sensistine (beta, gamma). M. prefers the former, apparently based on authority (see his stemma, p.L); but I suspect that latter is what Cicero will have written and that the former form, found also in comedy, is influenced by the elision of the spoken text.

2.3: After defenderent the following is with minor variants transmitted: quam multos qui propter stultitiam non putarent, quam multos qui propter improbitatem faverent? But qui non putarent can in this context hardly be different from qui … non crederent; and the etiam of qui etiam defenderent suggests that this is the climactic item; if they are authentic, the words quam multos qui propter improbitatem faverent should be transposed to follow crederent : then there would be a logical sequence from believing to supporting to defending. But perhaps quam multos qui propter stultitiam … faverent has been added by a reader keen to restore the qualities of stultitia and improbitas (cf. 1.30). Moreover, one doubts that Cicero would have spoken so candidly before the populus about the flaws of the senators; hence these words are, in spite of rhythmical considerations adduced by Zielinski (1904) 202, to be deleted with Madvig.

2.12: M. adopts quid ut (ah) for the transmitted qui ut, though he qualifies the latter as “fort. recte” in the apparatus. I doubt either one is right: quid would be expected as a transition to an immediately following question (see examples at Kühner-Stegmann (1966) II 498); as a connecting relative to the preceding sentence qui would refer to Catiline, but it has no following verb, and an anacoluthon seems at odds with the otherwise straightforward style. The obelus seems indicated unless a better solution can be found.

2.19: M. sets in the text his own maxima in multitudine, and this seems to be the best conjecture so far offered. It effects a minimally invasive restoration of three points that should make the conspirators doubt of their eventual success: the spirit of the boni, the widespread concordia, and the large number of troops available; it also provides a convincing explanation of the corruption, in being misread as m with concomitant change of the following multitudine to accusative for concord.

2.20: Here Cicero describes the forms of extravagance indulged in by the Sullan veterans; among the things that delight them one reads in most editions praediis lectis“choice farms”, but these were presumably provided them by Sulla, not things they have since wasted their money on, and one might have expected the superlative (cf. 4.13 feminae lectissimae). A further objection is that the transmitted text here is actually lecticis. This makes it very likely that B’s raedis (for praediis) is correct; M. pertinently cites Att. 6.1.25 in confirmation, where the same sequence raeda … et lectica et familia magna occurs.

2.21: M. prefers the more weakly attested defetigati instead of the recomposed form defatigati; he refers to TLL V 1, 286,10, which merely notes that the form with vowel weakening is often transmitted. Certainly our lexica should be more sensitive to possible semantic distinctions within such pairs, but in this case there seems no good reason to doubt that the reading of the archetype represents Cicero’s spelling.

2.26: Quae cum ita sint, Quirites, vos, quem ad modem iam antea dixi, vestra tecta custodiis vigiliisque defendite. Cicero has so far said nothing of the kind in this speech, hence Muretus wanted to delete dixi. M., however, accepts Sternkopf’s defense that dixi is anticipated and really refers to Cicero’s provisions described in the second half of the sentence. This is implausible, especially in light of iam antea; probably Cicero is not referring to anything said in this speech but to previous admonitions such as resulted in the posting of the nocturnum praesidium Palati (1.1) and would be repeated again at 3.29.

3.16: neque manus neque lingua deerat, though attested only in ah, constitutes a rhythmic clausula and thus deserves preference to the unrhythmical neque lingua neque manus deerat (Schol Gron. CAV beta, gamma) adopted by M.

3.22: M. retains the dangling nominative illa Allobrogum sollicitatio, iam, deleted by Mommsen and variously emended by editors. But in spite of the defense by Ercole (1893) 139-40, cited by M., one expects an exclamation in accusative, not nominative (cf. Kühner-Stegmann (1966) I 272-3).

3.23: M. adopts gamma’s et erepti (which is omitted by beta; alpha and o have erepti alone) and breaks up the series sine caede, sine sanguine, sine exercitu, sine dimicatione with strong punctuation after sanguine. But sine sanguine is unrhythmical; better to keep all four prepositional phrases together and add punctuation only after the ditrochaic (dimi)catione with the self-contained sentence togati me uno togato duce et imperator vicistis as the sequel; cf. the similar list of four items with anaphora of sine at Sul. 33.

3.24: Unlike most recent editors, M. retains eiecit ex urbe, deleted by Lambinus for destroying the careful balance of the sentence. Though it is universally transmitted (with variation in word order), it is jarring, especially with eiecit ex civitate following. One suspects that a variant for the latter, entered in the margin, ultimately crept into the text.

3.26: M. prefers postulabo (alpha, l, gamma) to postulo (sbx), but there is a certain pause here before the following prepositional phrase; the better clausula ( mentum laudis postulo : type omni debebitur : 9.7% frequency) therefore deserves preference (cf. also 4.23).

3.29: On rhythmical grounds Quirites, albeit better transmitted as the last word of the speech, should be rejected; it is not a sought clausula in itself and must be preceded by a pause, whereas the alternative ending prouidebo yields a trochee + spondee. M. cites as parallel Quirites transmitted as the last word at Red. pop. 1 but commonly emended with Madvig to qua re as a beginning for the following sentence (a solution also adopted by M. in his 1981 edition, a sign of this editor’s growing conservatism).

4.2: M. rightly adopts Reis’s sella curulis sedes honoris for the transmitted sedes honoris sella curulis, though the latter two words are often deleted (with Muretus) as a gloss (e.g., by Clark and by Bornecque in the Budé edn.). Given that the previous items in this list of places where C. has been unsafe have had a descriptive phrase appended, the same is surely needed for this climactic point. A saltation error can have led to the initial omission of sella curulis, which will then have been falsely reinserted.

4.4: M. prints the transmitted ut comperi legatos Allobrogum … in Galliam ad suos civis eodemque itinere cum litteris mandatisque ad Catilinam esse missos. The difficulty, as pointed out by Nohl (1886), is that it later emerges that the letter to Catiline was entrusted to Volturcius, not the Allobroges (8, 12); he accordingly transposed cum litteris mandatisque to follow immediately upon ad suos civis. M., however, seeks to defend the transmitted text (app. crit. ad loc.) by arguing that it is not expressly said that the letter to Catiline was entrusted to the Gauls; but surely the reader of the transmitted text must connect cum litteris mandatisque with the immediately following ad Catilinam. If one does not want to adopt Nohl’s transposition, Ciceronian negligence would appear to be the one possible justification of the transmitted text.

4.8: (of the detention of the captured city conspirators in various communities throughout Italy as proposed by Caesar): ego enim suscipiam et, ut spero, reperiam qui id quod … statueritis non putet esse suae dignitatis recusare. So runs the transmitted text, printed by M. But this is a decision that will have to be taken in several different communities; Cicero therefore surely means that he will find “the kind of men” who would take that view. Only that will satisfy the requirements of Caesar’s plan, and Ernesti’s putent strongly commends itself.

4.11: a much debated passage; transmitted is p.R. (alpha), p.R. exsolvitis (sb, with s iterating p.R. afterward), p.R. eripiam i, defendetis gamma. M. adopts Kornitzer’s conjecture prohibebo based on the premise that p.R. is the remnant of a word beginning with the letters pr. If, however, restoration is to begin at the earliest recoverable stage of the transmission and if, as M.’s stemma (p.L) asserts, beta has a direct line to the archetype in this speech, then the reading of its main representatives here (sb; i’s reading looks like a misguided conjecture) deserves greater weight. Clearly its second person ending is a perseverative error from the preceding malueritis, but the verb itself can be retained if changed with Madvig to exsolvet; populus Romanus can then be retained as subject. This also entails omitting, with sb, a before crudelitate, but that is hardly a difficulty given the state of the transmission. It is surprising that M. has not adopted this minimally invasive solution.

4.13: ad evertenda rei publicae fundamenta, though attested only in a, probably deserves preference over ad evertenda fundamenta rei publicae (beta, gamma), adopted by M. Variety is served by having rei publicae embedded in the gerundive-noun phrase, rather than follow its limited noun as in de summa rei publicae just above; in addition, the phrase should be marked by a secondary pause prior to the following Gallos accersit (hence the ditrochaic ending of the former is attractive).

Ibid.: nimis aliquid severe (beta, x) and nimis aliquid severius (alpha, gamma) are the available alternatives. M. adopts the former, but the phenomena are best explained (with Eberhard) on the assumption that severius is original and that the comparative form was first explicated by addition of nimis (perhaps in light of the following nimis uehementes) and then changed to the positive severe.

4.16: hosce homines ordinesque (sbx), a phrase that yields a ditrochaic closing rhythm, is probably right2 rather than the unrhythmical hosce ordines atque homines (V) adopted by M. The confusion in the manuscripts here is traceable to a saltation error from hosce to ordinesque; it was then noticed that homines had been skipped, and it was reinserted simply after ordinesque (in gamma the -que was dropped, but not in Aa). At the same time the resulting juxtaposition of hosce ordinis led to the “correction” of hosce to huiusce (Aa, gamma); i at least had the grace to remove the -que from ordines and reattach it to homines. If this analysis is right, then the reading of V is, in spite of its 10th century date, an isolated rewriting (to make sense out of hosce ordinesque homines) that is to be rejected.

I have given most space to points of disagreement, but even from this selection of passages it is clear that M. offers some good solutions (see above on 2.19-20, 30, 4.2) as well as decisions that can be queried on grounds of sense, rhetorical balance or prose rhythm. His edition does provide, however, a full account of materials relevant to constituting the text, including the papyrus evidence and later citations, with appropriate references to the relevant secondary literature; he has thus earned the thanks of all scholars interested in this timeless corpus.3

Works Cited

Ercole, P. (1893). “Ancora di un passo dubbio nella III Catilinaria (IX.22),” RFIC 21: 137-41.

Hutchinson, G.O. (1995). “Rhythm, Style, and Meaning in Cicero’s Prose,” CQ 89: 485-99.

Kühner, R., and C. Stegmann (1966). Ausführliche Grammatik der lateinischen Sprache, 2: Satzlehre. 2 vols. With corrections to the 4th ed. by A. Thierfelder. Darmstadt.

Nohl, H., ed. (1886). Ciceros Catilinarische Reden, after Fr. Richter and A. Eberhard. Leipzig-Berlin.

Reynolds, L.D., ed. (1983). Texts and Transmission: A Survey of the Latin Classics. Oxford.

Roca-Puig, ed. (1977). Ciceró, Catilinàries (I et II in Cat.). Papyri Barcinonenses. Barcelona.

Zielinski, T. (1904). Das Clauselgesetz in Ciceros Reden. Leipzig.


1. Cf. R.H. Rouse and M.D. Reeve in Reynolds (1983) 62 n. 41 and 64.

2. If so, this passage exemplifies “rhythmic close followed by an unrhythmic verb,” on which cf. Hutchinson (1995) 494-96.

3. My thinking on several of these passages has benefited from discussion with E.J. Kenney.