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Cato the Younger was respected in youth

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Bust of Cato the Younger of Volubilis (Morocco)
Bust of Cato the Younger from Volubilis (Morocco)

Cato the Younger (95-46 BCE) was known as an outstanding politician of ancient Rome in the 1st century BCE. He was the great-grandson of Cato the Elder and imitated his way of being, which was ideal for him. He belonged to the Stoics, living in harmony with integrity and honesty.

Cato the Younger was one of the leaders of the Senate party and an implacable supporter of the republic and ancient Roman customs. He tried, regardless of the course of history, to restore the ancient Roman virtues and customs. In his Senate speeches, he often used the method of parliamentary obstruction, not wanting to let his political opponents speak.
His uncompromising attitude towards any signs of destroying the “republican order” gathered him many supporters, and his resistance to bribery earned him great respect among many Romans.

Plutarch reports that Cato the Younger had great respect among his peers already in his youth. Plutarch tells of a moment from his adolescence as he participated in a military game called “Troy”, in which aristocratic teenagers participated. It was a “growing up” ceremony of sorts, simulating a battle with a wooden weapon that was fought on horseback.

At one point, the event organizer Lucius Cornelius Sulla appointed two leaders. One of them was a boy whose mother was Metella, Sulla’s wife; the boy was recognized by his comrades without any obstacles. The second leader was Pompey’s nephew, Sextus, who, however, was not supported by his group. Sulla asked them who they would like to be their leader; then they all called Cato, to whom Sextus surrendered without hindrance.

Sources
  • Plutarch, Cato the Younger, 3

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