Cato (the younger)

(Marcus Porcius Cato)

95–46 BC

Cato the Younger
Cato the Younger was known for being utterly honest and incorruptible in an age of graft and bribery. Although he at all times acted from principle and promoted the best ideals of republican Rome, he was not universally popular due to his uncompromising positions. He was an implacable enemy of Julius Caesar because he understood that Caesar's vision of empire would mean the destruction of the republic. He tried to implicate Caesar in the Catiline Conspiracy, and it was not unlikely that he was, in fact, involved. Cato was therefore exiled by Clodius to Cyprus. He continued to oppose Caesar, and sided with Pompey in the civil war, although he was in Africa during the great contest at Pharsalia. He based himself at Utica in Africa, staying there for two more years after Pompey was killed, but when his colleague lost an important battle at Thapsus, he released all his troops, bade his followers to make peace with Caesar, and committed suicide.

Key events during the life of Cato the Younger:

71 BC
Served in army to put down the slave revolt of Spartacus.
67 BC
Served as military tribune in Macedonia.
65 BC
Served as quaestor, or public treasurer. Gained exceptional reputation for honest dealing.
63 BC
Elected tribune. Assisted Cicero. Accused Caesar of complicity in the Catiline Conspiracy.
59 BC
Forced by Clodius to accept governorship of Cypress.
54 BC
Elected praetor. Tries to force the recall of Caesar from Gaul.
49 BC
Supports Pompey in civil war against Caesar. Sets up base at Utica in Africa.
46 BC
Committs suicide after defeat at Thapsus.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Cato, Brutus, and Porcia  in  Roman Life in the Days of Cicero  by  Alfred J. Church
Man Who Seldom Laughed  in  Tales of the Romans: The Children's Plutarch  by  F. J. Gould
Cato the Younger  in  Our Young Folks' Plutarch  by  Rosalie Kaufman
Cato Dies Rather Than Yield to Caesar  in  The Story of Rome  by  Mary Macgregor

Image Links

Porcia, and Marcus Porcius Cato
 in Roman Life in the Days of Cicero

Short Biography
Cicero Orator. Leader of aristocratic party. Put down Catiline conspiracy. Well known writer.
Julius Caesar Conquered Gaul, prevailed in civil war. Mastermind of Roman empire. Killed by senators.
Pompey Very renowned general. Defeated pirates. Led opposition to Caesar in civil war.
Metellus Scipio Colleague of Cato at Utica.