Free spirits: Sallust and the citation of Catiline

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Sallust's account of Catiline's first speech contains a verbal echo of Cicero's First Catilinarian (BC 20.9 ∼ Cat. 1.1). By raising the question of whether Catiline or Cicero counts as the author of the phrase, Sallust invites attention to the double nature of historiography as at once a literary representation of reality and a part of the historical processes it documents. Hearing Catiline as author points up the historicity of texts: the phrase itself changes meaning and significance as it is appropriated by a sequence of authors. An awareness of Cicero as source recalls the textuality of history: the struggles to control the meaning of actions and language staged through intertextuality overlap with actual political conflicts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-66
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Journal of Philology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Classics
  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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