Cato (the censor)
(Marcus Priscus Cato)234–149 BC
|PATRIOTISM OF THE WOMEN OF CARTHAGE|
Marcus Priscus, surnamed Cato, was an upright and eminent Roman statesman who
was most influential between the second and third Punic Wars. He fought in the Second Punic War,
and held various offices including the consulship before being elected censor in 184 B.C.. He was
a great champion of the old Roman virtues of simplicity, honesty, courage, and patriotism and he
opposed the increasing sophistication and decadence that had crept into Roman society, mostly due
to Greek influence. He worked hard to rebuild Rome after the ravages of the Punic War, undertaking
many building projects, and improving sewer systems and aqueducts. He lived very frugally and was highly
industrious. He wrote many influential books, (some of which are now lost), including a history of Rome,
a treatise on agriculture, and many essays on various topics.
Cato is also renowned for his utter hatred of Carthage. For many years, he ended every public speech
with the phrase "delenda carthago est", meaning "Carthage must be destroyed."
Key events during the life of Cato the Elder:
||Fought in Second Punic War against Carthage.
||Elected censor. Sought to restrict the seats in the Senate to honorable and worthy men.
||Roman hero of second Punic War. Led armies in Spain and Africa. Defeated Hannibal at Zama.
||Led Rome against Macedonia at the Battle of Pydna and was victorious.