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The Jugurthine War & The Conspiracy of…

The Jugurthine War & The Conspiracy of Catiline

by Sallust

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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This volume contains two different Essays, a biography of a king of Numidia, and a political polemic against a foe of Pompey's. The biography is valuable, covering an example of anti-Roman nationalism, and a good source for North Africa in the Roman era. The other essay is an example of the kind of effort a Roman attorney would put forth in the law courts, trying to gain a conviction. Both are interesting to the historian. ( )
  DinadansFriend | May 4, 2016 |
With a few changes in names, the whole story of "The Jugurthine War" can perhaps be transplanted from 110 BC Rome to the 20th century, or any other period in history, when there are global/central super powers, local tyrants/warlords and puppet governments.

"The Conspiracy of Catiline" is a tale of political intrigue and class struggle instigated by lust-crazed individuals. It complements Cicero's account of the event in his orations "Against Cataline".

Sallust explains, from a rather cynical perspective, the cause and effect of historical events, and the motives of the individuals involved. He also makes interesting contrasts between political foes of the period: Gaius Marius and Sulla, the former an equestrian, known more for his military achievements than statesmanship, the latter a patrician who excels in both generalship and statesmanship, a forerunner of Julius Caesar, who in turn is contrasted with Cato the Younger, one generous and lenient and the other righteous and unrelenting. ( )
  booksontrial | Jan 4, 2013 |
Edition: // Descr: 240 p. 18 cm. // Series: The Penguin Classics Call No. { 878 S3 7 } Series Edited by Betty Radice and Robert Baldick Translated with an Introduction by S.A. Handford Contains Maps, Select Bibliography, and Index. // //
  ColgateClassics | Oct 26, 2012 |
This book presents Sallust's well written accounts of two lesser known but interesting events in Republican Rome- the war with Jugurtha and the Catilinian conspiracy. Sallust's description of the former is the most important source material known. As to the latter, only Cicero's account is as important.

Jugurtha, rebel king of Numidia in North Africa, was the grandson of Massinissa- an important Roman ally during the 2nd Punic War with Carthage. Sallust describes in readable fashion the general themes of the war. First, Roman victory in battle but inability to strike a complete blow against Jugurtha's cavalry and guerilla style tactics. Second, sharp negotiations and diplomacy (sometimes bribery) by which Rome ultimately secured the assistance of Mauritanian king Bocchus (Jugurtha's father-in-law) to betray Jugurtha. Perhaps most interesting is the involvement by Marius and Sulla, both of whom were destined for greatness at a later date.

Catiline was a colorful politician who, after several failed attempts at the consulship, conspired with various disaffected Roman elements in an unsuccessful attempt to gain power (he even went so far as to contact a tribe of Gauls in Northen Italy). After his plot was discovered, Sallust describes fascinating orations for clemency (by a young Julius Caesar) and against (by Cicero). Ultimately, Cicero's camp prevailed, and many conspirators were executed. Catiline was destroyed along with his army by a Roman legion shortly thereafter. To this day historians dispute the extent of the conspiracy (some even claim Caesar's involvement or at least knowledge) and Catiline's true motivations.

In my opinion, Sallust is one of most interesting of the ancient historians. Recommended reading. ( )
1 vote la2bkk | Aug 18, 2011 |
I studied Latin for four years in high school. Additionally, I was always terribly interested in history. So it came a complete shock to me when I read this book - a fairly significant uprising, a minor war Rome fought, that I had never heard mentioned. Fifteen years later, perhaps I understand why this is so. I can hardly recall anything of the details though I remember finding it pleasant enough to read at the time. For anyone interested in Roman history, this is worth reading. ( )
  AlexTheHunn | Aug 30, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sallustprimary authorall editionscalculated
Handford, S. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Catilina and Jugurtha - different events, different persons, different works. So please don't combine all of them even if some publishers put the two between the same covers - because not all of them do!
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