Catiline (KA-teh-lin), also referred to as Lucius Sergius Catilina (LEW-shee-uhs SUR-jee-uhs ka-teh-LI-nuh), a patrician traitor. Power-mad, bloodthirsty, venomous, and given to monstrous crimes, he corrupts others and draws them to his party of followers, with which he hopes to control Rome. His inhumanity is disclosed in his sacrifice of a slave and a hideous, perverted communion of the conspirators in which they drink the slave’s blood. He is, fortunately for Rome, indiscreet and hasty. Failing to win a consulate by election, he hastens his attempted revolution before his preparations are complete. His death demonstrates his reckless courage.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero (MAHR-kuhs TUH-lee-uhs SIH-seh-roh), a “new man,” not an established aristocrat. Able and self-confident, he wins a consulate and uses his governmental position and oratorical powers to save Rome from Catiline’s conspiracy. He is willing to use dubious characters as spies, and with information furnished by them he forces Catiline into premature action and consequent defeat. A cautious politician, he does not force the hands of sympathizers with the subversives, and he sends to execution only those active in the conspiracy. Caesar and Crassus thereby survive as threats to Rome’s future.
Caius Julius Caesar
Caius Julius Caesar (GAY-yuhs JEW-lee-uhs SEE-zur), who potentially is more dangerous to Rome than any of the active conspirators. He is too shrewd to make an open break with the republic until he sees how matters are likely to resolve. When Catiline is goaded into premature action by Cicero, Caesar refrains from joining the conspirators openly. He pleads in vain for moderation in punishing the arrested conspirators and prophetically warns Cicero of his fate.
Publius Lentulus (PUHB-lee-uhs
(The entire section is 926 words.)