Greece and Rome

Research Article

Cato Censorius

R. E. Smith

A study of the personality of Cato Censorius is both interesting and instructive because of the times in which he lived, a period which began with the Hannibalic War and included those fateful fifty years of the second century which ordered the destiny of Rome herself and indirectly of the whole world. In the shaping of that destiny Cato played a not unimportant part, and the interest of the man lies both in what he did and in his reactions to the events which confronted him. Such a study also throws light on ancient biographical methods. To the ancient mind the personal element was by far the most important for the understanding of history; the individual acquired a correspondingly higher value and importance in the interpretation of movements and events; and in a time when the State was confronted with many problems, the men who strove to deal with them in different ways assumed importance in men's minds as provoking those very problems which they were only trying to solve.