From the introduction:
Rome, 63 BC: a tumultuous year of urban and rural unrest, economic instability, sensational trials, and electoral misconduct. You are a Roman senator. Can you preserve the republic... and yourself?
At the center of the crisis stands Lucius Sergius Catilina or Catiline, a charismatic (and scandal-ridden) nobleman. The year before Catiline lost an election for the consulship, the highest office in Rome, to Marcus Tullius Cicero, a brilliant orator, canny politician, and “new man” (novus homo) — the first member of his family to reach the pinnacle of Roman politics. Now that Catiline has again failed in his quest for the consulship, rumors swirl that he and his followers plot assassinations and arson in Rome, while raising an army in the north. Are the rumors true — is Catiline conspiring to lead a revolution? Or have Catiline’s enemies conspired to thwart desperately needed social and economic reforms by slandering Catiline and his followers?