CATO, Marcus Porcius, called (to dis tinguish him from the censor, his great grand father) CATO OF UTICA and CATO THE YOUNGER, Roman patriot : b. Rome 95 B.c.; d. Utica, North Africa, 46 B.C. He formed an intimacy with the Stoic Antipater of Tyre, and maintained through life the principles of the Stoic philoso phy. His first appearance in public was against the tribunes of the people, who wished to null down a basilica erected by the censor, Cato, which was in their way. On this occasion he displayed that powerful eloquence which after ward rendered him so formidable, and won the cause. He served his first campaign as a volunteer in the war against Spartacus, and highly distinguished himself. He served as military tribune in Macedonia in 67 B.c. When his term expired he went to Asia, and brought back the Stoic Athenodorus with him to Rome. He was made qurestor in 65 B.C., and executed his difficult trust with the strictest integrity, while he had the spirit to prosecute the public officers for their acts of extortion and violence. His conduct gained him the admiration and love of the Romans, so that, on the last day of his qucestorship, he was escorted to his house by the whole assembly of the people. The fame of his virtue spread far and wide. In the games of Flora the dancing-girls were not allowed to lay aside their garments as long as Cato was present. The troubles of the state did not permit him to remain in seclusion. The example of Sulla in usurping supreme power was followed by many ambitious men, whose mutual dissensions were all that saved the tottering constitution from immediate ruin. Crassus hoped to purchase the sovereignty with his gold; Pompey expected that it would be voluntarily conferred upon him; and Caesar united himself to both and made use of the wealth of the one and the reputation of the other to attain his own objects. By keeping aloof from all parties Cato served the Common wealth with sagacity and courage; but he often injured the cause which he was trying to bene fit by the inflexibility of his character. In 63 B.C. he was chosen tribune of the people.
About this time the conspiracy of Catiline broke out. Cato supported Cicero, then con sul, with all his power, first gave Mtn publicly the name of "father of his country,* and urged, in a fine speech preserved by Sallust, the rigor ous punishment of the traitors. He opposed the proposition of Metellus Nepos to recall Pompey from Asia, and give him the com mand against Catiline, and very nearly lost his life in a riot excited against him on this ac count by his colleague and Calla. After the return of Pompey he frustrated many of his ambitious plans, and first predicted the conse quences of his union with Crassus and Caesar. The triumvirate, in order to remove him to a distance, had him sent to Cyprus, of which he took possession on behalf of Rome (58-57). Compelled to obey, he executed his commission with so much address that he enriched the treasury with a larger sum than had ever been deposited in it by any private man. In the meantime he continued his opposition to the triumvirate. Endeavoring to prevent the pas
sage of the Tribonian law, for investing the triumvirs with extraordinary powers, he was drawn into tumults, and even personal conflict. Being praetor in 54 a.c., he carried into execution a law against bribery that displeased all parties. After the death of Crassus the civil commotions increased, and Cato, as the only means of preventing greater evils, pro posed that Pompey should be made sole consul, contrary to the constitution, which proposition was adopted. The year following, 51 B.c., Cato lost the consulship by refusing to employ bribery to procure a majority. In 49 'Lc. the civil war • broke out. Cato, then proprietor in Sicily, on the arrival of Curio with three of Caesar's legions, departed for the camp of Pompey at Dyrrachium. He had always hoped to prevent the war by negotiation; and when it broke out he put on mourning in token of his grief. Pompey, having been victorious at Dyrrachium, left Cato behind to guard the military chest and magazine, while he pushed after his rival. For this reason Cato was not present at the battle of Pharsalia, after which he sailed with his troops to Cyrene, Africa. Here he learned that Pompey's father-in-law, Scipio Metellus, had gone to Juba, Icing of Mauritania, where Varus had collected a. siderable force. Cato immediately set off to join him, and after undergoing every hardship reached Utica, where the two armies effected a junction 47 B.c. The soldiers wished him to be their general, but he gave this office to Scipio, and took command in Utica, while Scipio and Labienus marched out against Caesar. Cato had advised them to protract the war, but they ventured an engagement, in which they were defeated, and Africa submitted to the victor. Cato had at first determined to defend himself to the last, with the senators in the place, but abandoned this plan, and despairing of the Commonwealth, and unwilling to live under the despotism of Caesar, resolved to die. Oh the evening before the day which he had axed upon for executing his resolution, he tool a tranquil meal, and discussed various philoso h ical subjects. He then retired to his sham er and read the 'Phwdo' of Plato. Anticipati his intentions, his friends had taken away is sword. He sent for it, and in spite of the teas and entreaties of his friends persisted in h purpose, advised those present to submit to Caesar, and dismissed all but the philosophers Demetrius and Apollonius, whom he asked if they knew any way by which he could continue to live without being false to his principles.
Weeping silently they left him. He then re ceived his sword joyfully, again read Phwdo,) made calm inquiries for departing friends, slept awhile, and when left alone stabbed himself. His people rushed in, and finding him in a swoon bound up his wounds; but, on coming to himself, he tore off the bandages and expired. The Uticans buried him honorably, and erected a statue to him. Caesar, when he heard the news of his death, exclaimed, "I grudge thee thy death, since thou 'bast grudged me the honor of sparing thy life."