Cato the Elder - School District of Clayton

By: Ine Suh
 The Cato family was famous for its conservative roots in
Roman politics
 Cato the Elder and Cato the Younger are the most significant
members of the family
 They struggled to maintain order in Rome during various
periods of the Roman Republic: rise, prosperity, and fall
 Marcus Porcius Cato (234-149 BC)
 Soldier, senator, statesman, and
leader of Roman Conservatives
 Elected consul and censor
 Rival of Scipio Africanus
 Opposed foreign Greek influence;
defended traditional Roman morals
Cato the Elder
 Wrote the first history of Rome Origines in Latin
 Believed Rome had been too lenient on the Carthaginians at
the end of the Second Punic War
 His embassy to Carthage in 153 BC confirmed this rival
country’s prosperity as a threat to Rome
Cato shows his fellow senators some plump Carthaginian figs to remind them that
Carthage had become too prosperous and must be destroyed (Nardo 56).
Ended all speeches in the
Senate with
“Delenda est Carthago”
(Carthage must be destroyed)
Cato the Elder
 His warnings encouraged Rome to fight again
149 BC: Outbreak of the Third Punic War
146 BC: Romans killed Carthaginians and burned the city
 Ruin of Carthage gave Rome full access over the
Mediterranean Sea – became mare nostrum
 Cato’s stance toward Carthage turned Rome into a mighty
military power that dominated Europe and North Africa for
five centuries
 Marcus Porcius Cato or
Cato Uticensis (95-46 BC)
 Great-grandson of Cato the Elder
 Leader of optimates – Roman
conservative party
 Treasurer, tribune, and magistrate
Cato the Younger
 Julius Caesar’s foe
 Fought against Caesar’s power and ruthless ambition
 55 BC in Gaul Cato accused Caesar of war crimes
 Attempted to destroy the triumvirate by making Pompey fight
against Julius Caesar
Fled to North Africa when Caesar defeated Pompey’s forces
 Chose to die for his own
principles rather than to live
under Caesar’s rule
 46 BC: Stabbed himself and
died in the presence of his
family in Utica
 Cicero’s eulogy Cato – Cato the
Younger considered a martyr to Death of Cato of Utica by Charles Brun
the ancient Republic
Rome’s Last Citizen
 Cato’s stance against tyranny and his famous suicide made
him the icon of civic duty and sacrifice
 Became a hero to those who idealized the dying Roman
Republic: Romans were inspired by Cato the Younger and
continued to oppose Caesar’s dictatorship
 44 BC: Julius Caesar was assassinated in a conspiracy led by
the hands of Brutus, Cato the Younger’s son-in-law
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Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2013. Web. 26 Mar. 2013.<>.
Eckstein, Arthur M. “Cato, Marcus Porcius, the Younger.” World Book Advanced. World Book,
2013. Web. 15 March. 2013. <>
Ferrill, Arther. “Cato, Marcus Porcius, the Elder.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2013. Web.
15 March. 2013. <>
Freeman, Philip. Julius Caesar. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008. Print.
Goodman, Rob, and Jimmy Soni. Rome's last citizen: the life and legacy of Cato, mortal enemy of
Caesar. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2012. Print.
Hughes, Robert. Rome: a cultural, visual, and personal history. New York: Random House Inc.,
2011. Print.
Nardo, Don. The Roman Republic. Farmington Hills, MI: Lucent Books, 2006. Print.

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