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a branch of the Porcius family of ancient Rome. The most famous representatives of the family are Cato the Elder and Cato the Younger.
Cato the Elder (or Cato the Censor; Marcus Porcius Cato Major). Born 234 B.C., in Tusculum; died 149 B.C. in Rome. Roman writer, founder of Roman prose literature, and statesman.
Cato the Elder served in the Second Punic War and was a praetor in Sardinia in 198 B.C. While serving as consul in Spain in 195, he suppressed an uprising of the local tribes. Cato was the first Roman historian who wrote in Latin. He is the author of Origins, a work that elucidates the history of Rome from the founding of the city to the Second Punic War, a great number of speeches and letters, a collection of sayings of famous people, and other works that have survived only in fragments. Cato compiled a kind of encyclopedia written in the form of precepts to his son Marcus (it has not survived). His treatise On Agriculture, which has survived in full (written about 160 b.c.; Russian translation, 1950), contains information on the organization of slaveholding estates, the development of wine-making, horticulture, and olive growing in Italy, and ancient customs and superstitions.
An implacable enemy of Carthage, Cato ended every speech in the Senate with a phrase that has become proverbial: “And yet I believe that Carthage must be destroyed” (“Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam”).
WORKSIn Oratorum romanorum fragmenta, 2nd éd., vol. 1. Edited by E. Malcovati. Turin, 1955.
De agricultura. Edited by Z. Mazzarino. Leipzig, 1962.
In Russian translation:
“Iz rechi za rodostsev.” In Rimskaia literatura v izbr. perevodakh. Compiled by S. P. Kondrat’ev. Moscow, 1939.
REFERENCESKienast, D. Cato der Censor. Heidelberg, 1954.
De Regibus, L. Il Censore e l’Africano. Genoa, 1959.
Los, Z. Rzym na rozdozu: Studium monograficzne o Katone Starszem. Warsaw, 1960.
Cato the Younger (or Cato of Utica; Marcus Porcius Cato Minor). Born 95 B.C.; died 46 B.C., in Utica. Roman politician. Great-grandson of Cato the Elder.
Cato the Younger was people’s tribune in 62 b.c. and praetorin 54. He demanded the execution of Catiline’s followers. Duringthe first triumvirate (60–53) Cato opposed the triumvirs, espe-cially Caesar. In the civil war of 49^45, Cato supported Pompey.After Pompey’s defeat at Pharsalus in 48, Cato led the forces of the Pompeians in Africa. He committed suicide after Caesar’svictory at Thapsus (46 B.C.).