Marcus Porcius Cato (234 BC, Tusculum – 149 BC) was a Roman statesman, commonly referred to as Censorius (the Censor), Sapiens (the Wise), Priscus (the Ancient), or Major, Cato the Elder, or Cato the Censor, (to distinguish him from his great-grandson, Cato the Younger) known for his conservatism and opposition to Hellenization.

He came of an ancient Plebeian family who all were noted for some military service but not for the discharge of the higher civil offices. He was bred, after the manner of his Latin forefathers, to agriculture, to which he devoted himself when not engaged in military service. But, having attracted the notice of Lucius Valerius Flaccus, he was brought to Rome, and successively held the offices of Cursus Honorum: Military tribune (214 BC), Quaestor (204 BC), Aedile (199 BC), Praetor (198 BC), where he expelled the usurers from Sardinia, Consul (195 BC) together with his old patron, and finally Censor (184 BC), where tried to preserve the mos majorum (“ancestral custom”) and combat "degenerate" Hellenistic influences.

Cato the Elder was also an ancestor of Nero, who was one of the most notorious Roman Emperors.


Marcus Porcius Cato The Elder Poems

Marcus Porcius Cato The Elder Quotes

Carthage must be destroyed. [Delenda est Carthago.]
Marcus Porcius Cato The Elder (234-149 B.C.), Roman statesman. Quoted in Parallel Lives, "Marcus Cato," ch. 27, Plutarch. The words are supposed to be have been repeated by Cato at the end of every speech he made in the senate, after his visit to Carthage in 175 B.C., when he became obsessed by the military threat posed by the city. It was eventually destroyed by Rome at the end of the Third Punic War in 146 B.C., though refounded a hundred years later, becoming an important center of Roman administration under Augustus.
I would much rather have men ask why I have no statue than why I have one.
Marcus Porcius Cato The Elder (234-149 B.C.), Roman statesman. quoted in Parallel Lives, "Marcus Cato," ch. 19, sct. 4, Plutarch.

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