The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Cato



Cato soon became the subject of biography and panegyric. Shortly after his death appeared Ci­cero's " Cato," which provoked Caesar's " Anti-cato," also called " Anticatones," as it consisted of two books; but the accusations of Caesar appear to have been wholly unfounded, and were not be­lieved by his contemporaries. Works like Cicero's Cato were published by Fabius Gallus, and M. Brutus. In Lucan the character of Cato is a per­sonification of godlike virtue. In modern times, the closing events of Cato's life have been often dramatized. Of the French plays on this subject that of Deschamps (1715) is the best; and few dramas have gained more celebrity than the Cato of Addison. (Plut. Cato Minor; Sail. CatiL 54; Tacit. Hist, iv, 8 ; Cic. ad Alt. i. 18, ii. 9 ; Senec. Ep. 95 ; Val. Max. vi. 2. § 5 ; Lucan, i. 128, ii. 380; Hor. Carm. i. 12. 35, ii. 1,24; Virg. A&n. vi. 841, viii. 670; Juv. xi. 90 ; Drumann's Gesch. Roms, v. p. 153.)

10, 11. PORCIAE. [PORCIA.]

12. M. porcius cato, a son of Cato of Utica [No. 9] by Atilia. He accompanied his father upon his flight from Italy, and was with him at Utica on the night of his death. Caesar pardoned him, and allowed him to possess his father's pro­perty. (Bell. Afr. 89.) After Caesar's death, he attached himself to M. Brutus, his sister's husband, and followed him from Macedonia to Asia. He was a man of warm and sensual temperament, much addicted to illicit gallantry. His long stay in Cappadocia on a visit to Marphadates, who had a very beautiful wife named Psyche, gave occasion to the jest that the young Cato and his host had but one soul (Psyche) between them. (Plut. Cato Minor, 73.) At the battle of Philippi (b. c. 42) he behaved bravely, and sold his life dearly.

13. porcius cato, son of Cato of Utica [No. 9] by Marcia, and therefore half-brother of No. 12. Nothing more is known of him than that, at the commencement of the civil war, he was sent by his father to Munatius Rufus at Bruttium. (Plut. Cato Min. 52.)

14. porcia. [porcia.]

15. A son or daughter of Cato of Utica [No. 9], and a sister or brother of Nos. 13 and 14, as we know that Cato of Utica had three children by Marcia. (Lucan, ii. 331.)

16. C. porcius cato, of uncertain pedigree, perhaps descended from No. 5. He appears in the early part of his life as an opponent of Pom-pey. In b. c. 59, he wanted to accuse A. Gabi-nius of ambitus, but the praetors gave him no opportunity of preferring the accusation against Pompey's favourite. This so vexed him, that he called Pompey privatum dictatorem, and his bold­ness nearly cost him his life. (Cic. ad Qu. Fr. i. 2. § 9.) In b. c. 56, he was tribune of the plebs, and prevented the Romans from assisting Ptolemy Auletes with troops, by getting certain priests to read to the people some Sibylline verses which threatened Rome with danger if such aid were given to a king of Egypt. (Dion Cass. xxxix. 15.) He took the side of Clodius, and Milo in revenge raised a laugh against him in the following man­ner :—Cato used to go about attended by a gang of gladiators, whom he was too poor to support. Milo, learning this, employed a stranger to buy them of him, and then got Racilius the tribune to make a public announcement, " se familiam Cato-


nianam venditurum." (Cic. ad Qu, Fr. ii. 6.) Afterwards he made himself useful to the triumviri by delaying the comitia in order to promote the election of Pompey and Crassus, when they were candidates for the consulship in b. c. 55. In his manoeuvre on this occasion he was assisted by Nonius Sufenas, one of his colleagues in the tri­ bunate. (Dion Cass. xxxvii. 27, 28.) In the following year he and Sufenas were accused of violating the Lex Junia et Licinia and the Lex Fufia, by proposing laws without due notice and on improper days. (Ascon. in Cic. pro Scauro.) Cato was defended by C. Licinius Calvus and M. Scaurus, and obtained an acquittal, which, how­ ever, was chiefly owing to the interest of Pompev. (Cic. ad Ait. iv. 5, 6.) [J. T. G.]"

the reverse Victory in a biga; the obverse of the latter a female head, the reverse Victory sitting.

On the coins of the Porcia gens, we find only the names of C. Cato and M. Cato. Who the former was, is quite uncertain; the latter is M. Cato of Utica. In the two coins annexed the ob­verse of the former represents the head of Pallas,

CATO, VALE'RIUS, a distinguished gramma­rian and poet, who flourished at Rome during the last years of the republic. Some persons asserted, that he was of Gaulish extraction, the freedman of a certain Bursenus; but he himself, in a little work entitled Indignatio^ maintained, that he was pure from all servile stain, that he had lost his father while still under age, and had been stripped of his patrimony during the troubles which attended the usurpation of Sulla. Having studied under Philo-comus with Lucilius for a text-book, he afterwards acted as preceptor to many persons of high station, and was considered particularly successful in train­ing such as had a turn for poetry. In this manner he seems to have accumulated considerable wealth; for we find that at one period he was the possessor of a magnificent abode at Tusculum; but, having fallen into difficulties, he was obliged to yield up this villa to his creditors, and retired to a poor hovel, where the remainder of his life, which was prolonged to extreme old age, was passed in the greatest penury. In addition to various works upon grammatical subjects, he was the author of poems also, of which the Lydia and the Diana, were the most celebrated. The fame thus acquired by him as an author and a teacher is commemo­rated in the following complimentary distich, proba­bly from the pen of some admiring contemporary : " Cato Grammaticus, Latina Siren, Qui solus legit, ac facit poetas."

Suetonius (de Illustr. Gram. 2—9), to whom ex­clusively we are indebted for all these particulars.

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of