Catiline and the tabulae novae Slogan

Dymskaya Daria D.

It is generally assumed that Catiline used the slogan of tabulae novae during his electoral campaign in 63 BC. The paper argues that he could not resort to such an agitation: since he was not a magistrate, he had no right to call a contio to make a tabulae novae proposal and even if Catiline or any of his associates did so, this would not benefit him because only wellto-do people most likely had time and wealth to participate in assemblies. Moreover, public agitation for tabulae novae would harm Catiline’s reputation in the eyes of the ruling elite while his best interest was not to get on their bad side. This is why it seems plausible that he could privately promise his friends certain advantages in case he got elected, but nothing beyond that. As for Sullan veterans, it is highly probable that Catiline secured their votes not with promises of cancellation of debts, but with his personal merits.

Keywords: Roman Republic, tabulae novae, Catilinarian conspiracy, Cicero

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