Course Expectations and Objectives

We will read the Sallust's Bellum Catilinae. This course will investigate closely the assigned text, with only sporadic comments on the historical and social background. Emphasis will be on grammar and style. Students are expected to have prepared the assigned text well enough to read it with minimal difficulty and discuss grammatical constructions. The work required is considerable, the rewards commensurate. Our goals are:

1. To read with reasonable ease the passages assigned.
2. To recognize basic rhetorical devices used by Sallust.
3. To articulate a basic understanding of Sallust's historical and rhetorical aims.


The entire text with commentary is available on-line in pdf format:

Bellum Catilinae
Grammatical Commentary

Do not hestitate to make use of a modern edition in order to understand the grammar of the Latin. Not all translations are grammatically faithful to the original. Here are some that may be of use:

Conspiracy of Catiline - English
Conspiracy of Catiline - English with commentary (Perseus)
Conjuration de Catilina - French

An "acceleration" reader exists on-line for Sallust, located here. Some find it useful.

Grammar and Style:

A systematic grammar of Latin is recommended. Bennett's New Latin Grammar or, better, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar. Both are available for on-line purchase. They are also available in on-line editions, but are not formatted for ease of use.

Sallust is famous for brevity, archaisms, novelties of vocabulary, and oddities of syntax and grammar. A separate page lists some of these for aid in reading. Look here.

The Instructor

William L. Carey, Esq.
Blankingship & Keith, P.C.
4020 University Drive, Suite 300
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
703-620-6377 (home)


Additional Resources:

Sallust (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Chronology of Catiline's Conspiracy
Basic Rhetorical Terms (pdf)
Rhetorical Terms