Course Hero Logo
Literature Study GuidesThe First Oration Against Catiline

The First Oration against Catiline | Study Guide


Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "The First Oration against Catiline Study Guide." Course Hero. 8 Nov. 2019. Web. 27 Jan. 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2019, November 8). The First Oration against Catiline Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "The First Oration against Catiline Study Guide." November 8, 2019. Accessed January 27, 2023.


Course Hero, "The First Oration against Catiline Study Guide," November 8, 2019, accessed January 27, 2023,




Year Delivered

63 BCE


Primary Source


Argument, History

At a Glance

  • In 63 BCE Marcus Tullius Cicero was elected one of Rome's two consuls, the highest civilian officials in the republic. He defeated senator Lucius Sergius Catilina (Catiline) in the election.
  • Catiline, unable to attain his revolutionary goals through elected office, began to gather armed supporters to overthrow the city. Cicero discovered this plan and denounced Catiline in a series of speeches in the Roman Senate.
  • Cicero's first speech, on November 8th, 63 BCE, made public what Cicero knew about Catiline's conspiracy. He urged Catiline to leave the city, and Catiline did so the same night. Catiline was eventually executed, along with his coconspirators.
  • Cicero was hailed as a hero for defeating Catiline.
  • Cicero's speeches, or orations, against Catiline are famous for the force of their rhetoric and their skill at manipulating the emotions of an audience, especially in rousing them to anger.
  • They are also a vital source of how politics were conducted in the late Roman Republic (509–27 BCE). Because of the survival of Cicero's speeches, the Catiline conspiracy against Rome is one of the better documented events in the ancient world.

About the Title

"The First Oration Against Catiline," also called the first Catilinarian, is the first speech given by Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BCE–43 BCE) accusing a senator, Lucius Sergius Catilina (c. 108 BCE–62 BCE), of treason. An oration is an complex speech that is executed in a formal and dignified way. Catilina is generally known in English by the name Catiline. The first oration was followed by a second, third, and fourth, as Cicero called on the Roman Senate to expel, oppose, and, finally, to execute Catiline and his followers.


This study guide for Cicero's The First Oration against Catiline offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

Buy this book from
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The First Oration against Catiline? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!