Catiline or Lucius Sergius Catilina (about 108–62 B.C.), a Roman politician. Almost all that is known of his life comes from the hostile accounts written by the orator Cicero (a political enemy) and Sallust (a Roman historian of the first century B.C.). Catiline belonged to an obscure patrician (noble) family.
In 68 B.C. Catiline became praetor (a magistrate), and in 67 he was made governor of Africa. His ambition to be elected consul in 66 was thwarted because he was under indictment for extortion. He was acquitted in 65 and the following year ran for the consulship with the support of a rich and influential senator, Marcus Licinius Crassus. Catiline lost to Cicero, who received support from the aristocrats.
In 63 B.C. Catiline again tried for the consulship. To gain a following among the poorer classes, he promised in his campaign to abolish debts. He was again defeated, partly through the influence of Cicero and partly because his enemies resorted to bribery.
Embittered by his defeats, Catiline turned to revolution. He conspired with some young patricians to seize the government. When the conspiracy was discovered by Cicero, Catiline fled to Etruria and gathered troops. In early 62, two armies sent by the Senate trapped his forces, and Catiline was killed in battle.