Saturday, June 11, 2011


J. F. Stout (ed.), Cicero: In Catilinam I-IV (first published 1911). London: Bristol Classical Press, 2009. Pp. 156. ISBN 9781853997198. £12.99 (pb).

Reviewed by Antonio Ramírez de Verger, Universidad de Huelva (

Version at BMCR home site


The full authorship of this volume is specified in the prefatory note: "In this edition the notes on the first of the Speeches against Catiline were provided by T. T. Jeffery, M. A., and T. R. Mills, M. A., and the notes on the third Speech by A. W. Young, M. A., and W. F. Masom, M. A. These have been revised and the notes on the second and fourth Speeches written by J. F. Stout, M. A."

The book consists of an Introduction (1-16), the Latin text under thematic headings in English (2-72), the Notes (73-146) and an Index of Proper Names (146-156). The volume does not include other indexes such as appear in other school editions in the same collection (cf., for example, its Cicero, In Catilinam I & II by H. E. Gould & J. L. Whiteley or its Vergil, Aeneid I by K. Maclennan), that is, indexes of grammatical and literary terms and a vocabulary list at the end.

The introduction, brief, clear and concise, is spread over 6 sections: 1. "Marcus Tullius Cicero," a brief biography (1-5); 2. "Sketch of Roman History" (5-8); 3. "History of the Catilinarian Conspiracies" (8-13); 4. "Remarks on the Catilinarian Conspiracies" (13-14); 5. "Illegality of the Execution of the Conspirators by Order of the Senate" (14-15); and 6. "Chronological Table" (15-16).

At no point is it stated which edition has been followed by Stout (St.). The Latin text has been adapted for school use by eliminating accusatives in –is (complures/compluris, partes/partis, omnes/omnis, cives/civis, hostes/hostis), opting for consonantal assimilations (illecebris irretisses/inlecebris inretisses, illustrata/inlustrata) and avoiding less classical forms (vulnero/volnero). Much use is also made of punctuation marks, no doubt in order to make the text easier to understand, though I do not feel it is necessary to place a comma after verbs followed by a conjunction and subordinate clause (e.g., II 4.1 decrevit quondam senatus, ut) or verbs taking the acc.+inf. structure (VI 15.3 qui nesciat, te ... stetisse). Nor do I think there is any need to repeat the question mark so often in, for instance, IX 22.1-3 or 24.2427.

Reading over the Latin text of the first speech against Catiline, it is surprising to come across the omission of iam diu before machinaris (I 2.19) and of nunc before vivis (II 6.31). At VIII 19.8 St. opts for qui (βγ, Maslowski, Dyck) rather than quia (α, Clark) and at IX 24.29 he reads sacrarium scelerum from the family α, even though the papyrus Barcinonensis (cf. editio princeps by R. Roca Puig, Ciceró. Catilinàries (I et II in Cat.) Papyri Barcinonenses, Barcelona, 1977, p. 106) champions the reading sacrarium simply, as followed by Maslowski and Dyck. X 26.13 has the reading ferentur, but this must be an erratum as the notes have feruntur (p. 93). Finally, it is preferable to keep the readings of the best manuscripts, as Malinowski and Dyck do, at II 4.11 (eius modi [CAV] rather than huiusce modi [ah]) and at XIII 31.4 (hic si BCAVβxt and not quod si [ahuo, St.] or nunc si [Clark, who also proposed hoc si in the app. crit.]).

The notes, which are generally grammatical or deal with translation or historical matters, but hardly ever literary questions, maintain the standards of clarity and concision that characterize the collection. One would have liked to see some attention paid to the style and rhythm of Ciceronian Latin, which is totally ignored here. For this students and teachers will have to turn to the essential commentary by Andrew R. Dyck (Cambridge, 2008).1


1.   This review has been translated from the Spanish by J. J. Zoltowski. Thanks are due to the Spanish MEC (FFI2008-01843) and the Junta de Andalucía (HUM-4534) for their financial support.

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