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What If!?!? What if Cicero hadn't blown the lid off the Catilinarian conspiracy?!?!


Catiline's takeover  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. What happens when Catiline and friends overthrow the Republic (Certainly no modern correlations can be found here)

    • History crinkles itself back together and Caesar ends up taking over, being killed, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad come along and you end up reading this on the toilet or eating a snack like you are right now
    • Rome goes to Hades in a handbasket, loses control of the provinces and becomes something new different and beautiful*Butterfly effect style
    • Something different. More or less profoundness isn't as important as your imagination. Tell us about it!!!

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Welcome, welcome. Come one, come all to the sophomore(ic) edition of our critically acclaimed, rip off of Marvel comics, What If!?!? series!... only with ancients. 

Wait, what?? Marvel kinda did ancient What ifs too?!... ish


(Face, Thor. That's Herakles nimble nymph with the discus)

But that matchup is a different thread. 

Today we are going to look down the barrel of a What If of magnificent proportions!


What if Cicero hadn't caught on to and exposed the Catilinarian conspiracy?!?!


(A disgustingly modern fresco of the conspiracy unfolding)

In a nutshell, the story goes a little something like this; Sallust tells us that Catiline was known as the most ideal and exemplary soldier that the republic could ask for. Catiline always fought in the front of battle and was known for his incredible endurance and ability to endure all extremes of temperature and sleep deprivation... but he also had a secret...

Having grown up in the shadows of Marius and Sulla; He and his friends were going to overthrow Rome's Republic!


We don't know if they had plans in regards to follow through or if they were like the conspirators that took Julius Caesar's life, winging punches against destiny:


(Good luck with that BIG George)

But in as honest and strange a twist history could throw at us, Caesar was deeply implicated and widely believed to have been a main conspirator with Catiline!

JC was able to shake his hips and wink his way out of the debacle that would've killed most men's young political careers. 


(JC got 99 problems, but a Catilinarian conspiracy ain't one of them)

By far my favorite Julius Caesar is the elephant/pontifex. Lifetime. By his truly dedicated and loyal men. But maybe the best part about it... we still truly are unsure what is coming out of the sand against the elephant!? Celtic horn, serpent, one of JC's favorite after hours toys😜? You tell me?


But when Cicero began to rail against Catiline and what he'd been privy to of late, one by one they all left the radicals side. 


(Catiline all by himself at he end of Cicero's speech)

Many assume a large amount of exaggeration from Cicero. And Catiline would nevertheless assemble a sizable army in an attempt to "overthrow" the Republic in January 62 BCE. Only to lead a charge that would cut down every last man including Catiline himself. 

Here's to a man I'd like to have beers with, everyone daring to be great gambles on winning or losing. Catiline gambled and lost. That still makes his balls larger than 99.9999999999⁹9999% of the rest of humanity. He dared to be great. 

Now let's also not forget that Cicero was WELL connected...

Here's a coin from the fateful year of the "not so great" takeover:


Denarius (63 BCE). Rome.
Head of Ceres right, wearing grain wreath; grain ear to left, single grain to right.
Rev: L FVRI / CN F. 
Curule chair between fasces.
Crawford 414/1.
Weight: 3.97 g.
Diameter: 18 mm.

The scene is harrowing. All the more so, as it was done after the fact and more than likely of a descendant:
P. Fonteius P.F. Capito. AR Denarius (55 BC). Rome. Av.: P FONTEIVS P F CAPITO III VIR. Helmeted and draped bust of Mars right, with trophy over shoulder. Rv.: MN FONT TR MIL. Warrior riding horse right, thrusting spear at fallen enemy who is about to slay unarmed captive; helmet and shield to right. Crawford 429/1. Very fine.
Weight: 3.92 g

Per the British Museum, "Republican moneyer, usually identified with the adoptive father of P. Clodius, though without firm evidence. He may also be the Fonteius recorded as Cicero's friend. His coins are inscribed P·FONTEIVS·P·F·CAPITO."


C. Hosidius C.f. Geta Denarius (19 mm, 2.98 g), 64 BC. Rome. GETA behind, III VIR before, draped bust of Diana right, bow and quiver at shoulder. Reverse: C HOSIDI C F in exergue, the wild boar of Calydon charging right, side pierced by arrow, harried by hound below. Crawford 407/1; Sydenham 904; Hosidia 2. Purchased from Savoca Oct 2021. "The classical myth of the Calydonian boar served to illustrate the need for paying proper respect to the gods and the consequences for not doing so. King Oeneus of Aetolia had forgotten to accord proper rites to the goddess Diana (Artemis), and for this sacrilege she sent a chthonic beast, the wild boar of Calydon, to ravage the Aetolian hinterland. The boar was the bane of the people, destroying vineyards and crops and forcing everyone to take shelter behind their city walls. With starvation ensuing, a hunt was organized, and most of the illustrious heroes of Greece's heroic age took part (with the exception of Hercules who fought his own chthonic beast, the Erymanthean boar). Amongst all these male heroes was one female, the heroine Atalanta, and she won the signal honor of being the first to wound the boar, having pierced its side with an arrow. For this she was awarded its hide. Although the precise meaning is lost to us, it can be assumed that Hosidius employed the type of the Caledonian boar to illustrate a claimed descent from one of the heroes involved in the hunt, perhaps from Atalanta herself."

However, in later years this women would be the Cicero to Cicero's Catiline!


Marc Antony's umpteenth wife, Fulvia, famously was the main reason for Cicero's murder. Cicero spoke out against her and, then, hubby Marc Antony. Even spitting so much shade that he stated in one of his major speeches that Marc just married her for her money!


She had the last laugh though. By sticking pins into his severed head's tongue. One for each insult he garnered with her name!


Here is the sometimes heroic, sometimes depraved but 100% one of the women I'd like very most in history to spend a day... and a night 😉, with on my favorite coin of her:


Eumenea as Fulvia

AE Phrygia, (Bronze, 9.11g, 23mm) ca 41-40 BC.

Obv: Draped bust of Fulvia as winged Nike right

Rev: FOULOUIANWN / ZMERTORIGOS FILWNIDOU, Athena advancing left, holding spear in right hand, shield on left arm.

Ref: RPC I 3139; SNG Copenhagen -; BMC Phrygia pg. 213, 20; SNG von Aulock -; Laffaille -. Purchased from Numismad July 2022 

And I've barely scratched the surface of the fascinating faucet lease share all coins, thoughts, laughs et al about this incredibly pivotal time in the Roman Republic's history!


Edited by Ryro
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  • Ryro changed the title to What If!?!? What if Cicero hadn't blown the lid off the Catilinarian conspiracy?!?!
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The Republic was doomed from the murder of the Gracchi on, albeit it staggered on for another hundred-odd (very odd!) years. Cataline imo is equidistant between a red herring and a symptom. I fear for ours for the same reasons; the utterly contemptible Cato = Mitch Mcconnell.

Edited by Phil Davis
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9 hours ago, Etcherdude said:

The Catiline Conspiracy is described in some detail in this book.CFB9B552-3007-4B3C-BB8F-700A0A8F92A7.jpeg.a4c4e0d113befe25c29936c68526b30a.jpeg

100% Where the idea for this thread came from😋 pretty sure Mary beats out my celebrity crush on Scarlett Johanson hich  I'd like to spend a night in Rome with.

One of the amazing documentaries she's been in has her talking Roman sling bullets. As you may know, sling bullets often had inscriptions and even commentary on them. Mrs Beard picks one up and read it, "I'm aiming for Fulvia's Clitorus." Without batting an eye. Almost tongue in cheek with, as she'd say, a cheeky smile. As raunchy yet as a matter a statement a Roman man could convey, but she's in on the joke...ahhhh, Mary. 

Here are some of the other classics


My best sling bullet isn't so nasty. It has a either Hera or Hero and lightningbolt on the reverse, surely asking the gods to ensure20220927_164539.jpg.643f6463765cad6e9a663c76d5ed9406.jpg20220927_164557.jpg.848dca73a9766d7b0169044c9eb83b7f.jpg20220927_164316.jpg.3930f50e853b523cfbec69b3834b4bcc.jpg

And a well used one from Spain with no discernable markings:



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