Monday, October 12, 2020

What If the Cataline Conspiracy Had Succeeded?

Once upon a time, I took a class on classical history (Greece, Rome, etc) at the University of Georgia and one of the subjects that came up was the Catiline Conspiracy. This was a failed attempt by a Roman consular candidate Catiline to seize power as a populist demagogue that was foiled by the great Roman orator Cicero (who was one of two consuls), who forced him to flee the city. Cataline and his allies were later defeated in battle in the countryside and the Roman Republic saved...for a time.

But what if the planned coup had gone ahead? Behold the scenario "O Tempora, O Mores! The Cataline Conspiracy Succeeds" in which Cataline murders his enemies in the night and seizes power in the Roman Senate. A young Julius Caesar, who had objected to Cicero's execution without trial of several of the alleged conspirators in real history, brings the Roman priesthood in on Cataline's side and the demagogue's rule is secure.

But Cataline's men did not succeed in killing Cicero, and as Sherlock Holmes might put it, the game is afoot. Many of the personalities of the Republic's final civil wars--Cicero, Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey the Great--all have their parts to play in another round of civil war.

So if you're interested in Roman political history or if you simply enjoy a well-written historical tale in a history that didn't happen, check this out. It's very interesting.

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