It is undeniable to say that Cicero left an impression upon Sallust and his view of the Catilinarian Conspiracy. Notwithstanding, It is very true to say that Sallust sourced the majority, if not the entirety of his ideas from Cicero. In fact, there are but a few circumstances in which Sallust pioneers his own theory regarding Catiline’s character, and even in these occurrences, they barely contradict a Cicerone interpretation.
Overwhelmingly, Cicero’s influence can be seen to have borne great impact on Sallust’s work. At the most basic level, Sallust is rhetorically reliant on Cicero to the extent they have at times almost un-differentiable language. Cicero, for example, is extraordinarily damning of Catiline: “In the whole of Italy, there is not a single poisoner, gladiator, robber, assassin, parricide, will-forger, cheat, glutton, adulterer, prostitute, corrupter of youth, or youth who has been corrupted, any nasty individual of any kind whatever, who would not be obliged to admit he has been Catiline’s intimate.” In a similarly pernicious manner, Sallust declares that: “Catiline kept himself surrounded by hordes of those…. [Of] every depravity and deed.” Moreover, there remains what can be considered as a tacit concession of the extent of Cicero’s influence by Sallust. Even if at times he doesn’t espouse the same ideals as Cicero, he explicitly endorses that Cicerone perspective and so the judgement can be made that he drew on Cicero’s ideas irrespective of how overtly he uses them. This is particularly manifest in his delight at Cicero’s prevention of “the most heinous crime in the annals of Rome.”
Although it would be true to say that Sallust’s work is not an entirely Cicerone creation, even where Sallust ostensibly personalizes his interpretation of the events, Cicero’s influence is still visible. Even though his work is primarily a tirade against Catiline, Sallust is willing to offer him a sense of Roman virtue that subverts all of Cicero’s most brutal criminations. Catiline, he says died with a “Defiance of spirit,” in which Sallust remembers “his birth and former dignity.” The fact it is rhetorically powerful is possibly Cicerone, but what is far more important is the way in which he uses Catiline’s death as a restoration of Roman virtue both for Rome itself and Catiline the man. In these instances, Cicero’s view is also visible, though not overt. Nonetheless, Sallust’s work can be seen to be almost entirely informed by Cicero’s own perspectives, regardless of whether or not Sallust simply accepts Cicero’s views on the basis of Cicero’s intellectual reputation or any other reason.