Cato, a surname, signifying the Wise, first given to the Roman Marcus Porcius, known in history as Cato the Censor, and afterward borne by that family of the (plebeian) Porcian gens of which he was the first famous member. I. Mar-ens Porcins, afterward called Priscus, and sur-named Cato and Censorius, a Roman statesman and patriot, born at Tusculum, probably in 234 B. C, died in Rome in 149. His father, the descendant of a family for many generations resident in Latium, died when he was very young, and left him a small estate at a considerable distance from his birthplace, in the territory of the Sabines. Here he spent his early youth in work upon his land, leading a simple life, and studying such subjects as he thought would best advance the career of patriotic service which he had already marked out for himself. When 17 years of age, in 217, he entered the Roman army, and served in the campaign of that year against Hannibal. In 214 he served at Capua, and in 209 he was with Fabius Maximus at Tarentum. During the short periods between his various terms of service he devoted his time to labor on his farm. Near this favorite resort a Roman patrician, Lucius Valerius Flaccus, had a large estate.

Cato was constantly brought into contact with him, and impressed the noble so favorably that the latter begged him to go to Rome with him, and under his patronage, as the custom was, to study law and oratory. Cato consented, and made his entry into the Roman political world with marked success, rapidly acquiring celebrity as a pleader and orator in the forum, and becoming a candidate for the quoestorship, an office which he attained in 205. In this capacity he accompanied Scipio Africanus to Sicily in 204, but went back to Rome before the return of his general, whom he accused to the senate of prodigality and mismanagement. This is the story given by some authorities, though Livy says the inhabitants of Locri were the complainants against Scipio, and does not mention Cato by name as having pleaded their cause. A commission of investigation was the result of the complaint, and Scipio was acquitted. Concerning the next few years of Cato's life we have slight details, but know that he was aedile in 199, and that in 198 he was made praetor, and received the province of Sardinia. Here he showed in his administration and mode of life the economy, simplicity, and impartial justice which distinguished his whole career.

By the frugality of his habits, by his example in public, and his prompt punishment of venality and corrupt practices, he endeavored to combat the introduction of habits of luxury and extravagance from Greece, and to restore the old severity and strength of the Roman character. In 195 he was chosen consul, Lucius Valerius Flaccus, his former patron, being his colleague. It was then customary for one of the consuls to take the governorship of a distant portion of the Roman possessions, and Cato was assigned to that of Hither Spain, a province then in a state of revolt and great disorder. Here he showed remarkable ability as a military leader, suppressed the rebellion, compelled the Spanish cities to destroy the greater part of their fortifications, and restored affairs to their old condition. On his return to Rome in 194 he received the honor of a triumph. In the consulship of Manius Acilius Glabrio, which immediately followed his own, Cato accompanied that officer as legate in his campaign against Anti-ochus in Greece. Here, by a sudden and remarkably difficult march, he decided the principal battle of the war in favor of the Romans, and compelled the retreat of the enemy.

Returning to Rome, he from this time abandoned military life, and resumed his place as a popular orator in the forum and the courts. In 184 he was made censor, again having his old friend Flaccus as his colleague. In the exercise of the censorship Cato gained the most enduring fame of his life. He was now in a position to powerfully oppose the growing corruption, luxury, and immorality at Rome, and to do more than ever toward restoring his old ideals of simplicity and severity of manners. He raised the taxes on luxuries of many kinds, degraded officers for the most trifling acts of levity as well as for actual crimes, and bitterly persecuted those who opposed his acts. He improved the public works of the city, while introducing economy in the contracts, and stopped many abuses of the privileges of the citizens. Now, as during his whole life, he was warmly on the side of the plebeians, and opposed the nobles by every means given him either by his official or personal influence; so that his censorship was a constant struggle with the patricians, both in petty and important matters. In revenge they began against him several prosecutions, but he defended himself successfully in every case from their charges of maladministration.

At the close of his censorship the people caused his statue to be erected and a commemorative inscription to be placed upon its pedestal. Cato now ceased to hold public office, except as a senator, but continued a remarkable activity in political affairs, never relaxing in his opposition to all forms of luxury, and attacking bitterly the vices of the nobles. He was employed in several important cases: in the prosecution of M. Matienus and Publius Furius Philus for maladministration in Spain (171); in the defence of the Rhodians from the charge of treachery toward Rome; and in others of equal moment, He took a leading part in the debates of the senate on all great questions, always favoring a policy intensely hostile to foreigners; his hostility toward all outside nationalities is shown in many familiar anecdotes. The patricians continued to manifest their hatred of him, and as late as 153, when he was 81 years old, Caius Cassius brought against him a serious accusation, the nature of which is not recorded, which compelled him to defend himself, with ultimate success.

In 150 he began in the senate to urge an immediate declaration of war against Carthage (the third Punic war). With nine other deputies he was sent in that year to investigate the condition of the rival city, and was so impressed by its appearance of power and prosperity that he declared on his return that Rome could no longer permit so powerful an enemy to exist. His hatred of Carthage now became the absorbing passion of his life; he urged upon the people the importance of war, and never rose to speak or give his vote in the senate without adding to whatever else he said, no matter how foreign was the subject, Geterum censeo, Cartthaginem esse delendam ("I vote, moreover, that Carthage must be destroyed"; - a sentiment more familiar in the form Delenda est Carthago, which Cato himself probably never used in formal debates. A part of the last year of his life was spent in aiding the prosecution of S. Sulpicius Galba for treachery; but this, though undoubtedly just, was unsuccessful. Soon after its conclusion Cato died, at the age of 85. - The character of Cato was bitter and severe; in private life, and especially in the treatment of inferiors and slaves, he exhibited the greatest harshness.

His personal morality, tried by a modern standard, was in some respects not so pure as it has been often represented by partial historians. After the death of his first wife Licinia he for a long time cohabited secretly with a female slave, and only married again, when nearly 80, on his son's discovery of his concealed course. But his honesty and patriotism were incorruptible at a time when those around him possessed little of either virtue. His energy was extraordinary, and his frugality, temperance, and simplicity were like those of the early patriots whom he endeavored to imitate. Though opposed to the influence of Greek literature, the principal source of refining education in his time, he possessed considerable culture and literary skill, and left an essay on agriculture (Be Re Rustica), still extant, and the Origines, only fragments of which remain, besides less important works of which we also have a few portions. A collection of these was published in Leipsic, by Jordan, in 1800. - Cato left two sons; one, M. Porcius Cato Licinianus, afterward became a jurist of eminence; the other, M. Porcius Cato Saloni-anus, by his second wife Salonia, was born in his father's 80th year, and lived to become proetor.

II. Marcus Porcius, surnamed Uticen-sis from the place of his death, a Roman statesman, philosopher, and general, great-grandson of the preceding, born in Rome in 95 B. C, died by his own hand at Utica in 46. Having lost his parents when he was very young, he was brought up and educated by his maternal uncle, Marcus Livius Drusus, and after the death of the latter by Sarpedon. As a boy and young man he was conspicuous for his gravity, firmness, and bravery when his anger was aroused. Going with Sarpedon upon one occasion to visit Sulla, and seeing the heads of several famous Romans, victims of the proscription, carried from the tyrant's house, it is said that young Cato asked why no one put an end to the despot; and on being told that none dare do so, he demanded a sword of Sarpedon, that he himself might free his country. Although he received an ample fortune from his father's estate, he imitated his ancestor the Censor in his extreme frugality and simplicity, opposing luxury, practising rigid economy, and strengthening his body by every form of difficult exercise and exposure.

In the corrupt state of Rome in his time, he thus acquired a not undeserved popularity as the advocate of purer customs, and a reputation for moral rectitude such as had formerly distinguished the elder Cato. His first military experience was gained, in 72 B. C, as a volunteer under Gellius Publicola in the war with Spar-tacus, but he did nothing noteworthy in this earliest campaign. In 67 ho became a candidate for the office of military tribune, and was elected in spite of his neglecting the ordinary corrupt means taken to gain the post. With his legion he was stationed in Macedonia, under the propraetor Marcus Rubrius. He was exceedingly popular with his command, and lived with the simplicity of a common soldier among them, always sharing their hardships and difficulties. In his youth he had begun the study of philosophy, and had become a disciple of the Stoics. He continued the practice of their doctrines and the study of their works, and while stationed in Macedonia obtained a leave of absence that he might visit the philosopher Athenodorus Oordylion at Pergamus, whom he persuaded to go back with him when he returned to his legion. At this time Cato lost his brother, Servilius Caepio, to whom he was warmly attached.

Hearing of his having an attack of illness at a Thracian town, Cato hurried to meet him, but did not arrive in time to see him alive. He was overcome with grief, and, after celebrating Caepio's funeral with great splendor, set sail for Koine on the ship bearing his brother's ashes. After several years of study in Rome, where Athenodorus was still his companion, he was elected quaes-tor in G5, and so distinguished his administration of the office by honesty, economy, and rigid justice, that he left it at the expiration of his term with his popularity greatly increased. A journey to Asia, as to the date of which authorities disagree, probably took place about this time. He visited King Deiotarus of Gala-tia, who received him with many marks of respect, but offered him presents, which so disgusted Cato that he pursued his journey the day after his arrival. Pompey, then in the East, also received him with respect, but without cordiality. In 63 Cato was elected tribune, consenting to be a candidate after having once refused, in order to defeat certain plans of Pompey, who was already plotting for the control of the state. In the same year, and in the consulship of Cicero, the Catilinarian conspiracy occurred.

Cato voted for the death of the conspirators, and conferred on Cicero the title of pater patriae. The great conflict for power between Caesar and Pompey was now beginning. Cato, with the purest patriotism, not only opposed them both by every means in his power, but constantly warned the people of the danger of the state's falling under the control of any one man. His patriotism, however, was greater than his political ability, and he was easily outgeneralled by Caesar, who in spite of his opposition carried almost every end he had in view. Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus, to finally rid themselves of his interference with their plans, determined to send him against Ptolemy, king of Cyprus, although no possible cause for war existed, and to annex the island to the Roman possessions. Cato sent a message to Ptolemy telling him of the determination; and Ptolemy, rather than oppose Rome, poisoned himself, leaving Cato to take peaceful possession of his kingdom. This he did, returning to Rome in 56. In the next year he opposed the election of Pompey and Crassus to the consulship, but without success. He was exposed to great danger in the election riots, and was even wounded.

In 55 also he was defeated in the election for praetor, in great part because he refused to employ bribery to gain the office. During the next year he was again a candidate, and this time he was elected. As praetor he devoted himself to the suppression of the prevailing corruption, and made himself so unpopular by his severe prosecutions for bribery that he was even attacked in the streets by a mob, which he with difficulty succeeded in quieting. In 52 he supported the proposition to make Pompey sole consul; but repenting the next year of his share in giving him power, he himself became a candidate for the consulship, only to be defeated by two rivals, in the interest of Pompey and Caesar. In 49, when the civil war began, and Caesar approached the city with his army, Cato, after resisting by every means in his power the plans of the great leader, left Rome with the consuls, and went to Campania, where for some time he seemed to completely despair of the preservation of the state. He was soon, however, intrusted with the defence of Sicily, but abandoned it on the approach of Caesar's army, and hurried to Pompey's camp at Dyrrhachium. He was left in charge of this during the battle of Pharsalia (48), but on Caesar's victory he again withdrew his troops, and set sail with them for Corcyra, whence he continued his journey to Africa, to join Pompey. But he did not arrive until after Pompey's assassination, and took refuge in Cyrene, the inhabitants of which consented to admit him with his command.

In 47 he again marched out of the city, and across the desert, to join Q. Metellus Scipio, to whom he yielded the command of his troops, advising him, however, not to risk an immediate engagement. Scipio persisted in doing so, and was defeated at Thapsus in April, 46. Utica alone, of all the African towns, held out against Caesar; and even its inhabitants could not be persuaded by Cato longer to resist the conqueror. Cato had now no refuge; but he exhibited the greatest calmness. He made arrangements for the flight of his friends from the city, and for giving them an opportunity to make terms with Caesar; but he himself remained behind, and resolved to die by his own hand rather than fall into the power of the enemy. He spent the last day of his life in pleasant intercourse with those about him, and at night retired early to his room, where he for a long time lay upon his bed reading Plato's "Phae-do." Then, drawing his sword, he stabbed himself, and fell to the floor, the noise arousing his friends, who hastened to bandage his wound. Hut he tore the bandages away, and almost immediately expired. The people of Utica buried him with every honor, and erected a statue to his memory.

Caesar is said to have cried out, on hearing of his suicide, "Cato, I begrudge thee thy death, since thou hast begrudged me the glory of sparing thy life." As a man and a statesman Cato was pure, sincere, and conscientious to a degree most remarkable in his time; he had not the harshness of his ancestor the Censor, yet he possessed unusual firmness. In politics, however, he had little skill, and his expedients to defeat his opponents, though never corrupt, were almost always clumsy and ill-advised. As a general he exhibited little ability. - He was twice married: first to Attilia, a daughter of Serranus, who bore him two children, but was divorced for adultery; second to Marcia, by whom he had three children. Singularly enough, he is recorded to have lent or yielded his second wife to his friend Quintus Horten-sius, about 56 B. C, with her father's consent; taking her back after his friend's death, and living with her as before.