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Cato the Elder
(full name: Marcus Porcius Cato; also commonly known as: Cato the Censor)
Ancient Roman statesman, orator and writer

(234-139 BC)



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Delenda est Carthago.
Carthage must be destroyed.
-- Quoted in: Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia (Natural History), bk. 15, ch. 74, and in: Florus, Epitome, bk. 1, pt. 31. Cato was a Roman senator and after visiting Carthage in 175 BC, he would conclude every speech he made in the Senate with these words. Carthage was destroyed by Rome following the Third Punic War in 146 BC.

In all my life I have repented but of three things: that I have trusted a woman with a secret, that I went by sea when I might have gone by land, and that I passed a day in idleness.
-- Quoted in: Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia (Natural History)

A farm is like a man: however great the income, if there is extravagance, there is but little left.
-- De Agri Cultura [On Agriculture], bk. 2, sect. 6

Even though work stops, expenses run on.
-- De Agri Cultura [On Agriculture], bk. 39, sect. 2

Orator vir bonus dicendi peritus.
An orator is a good man, skilled in speaking.
-- Quoted in: Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, bk. 12, pt. 1, sect. 1 (H. E. Butler, tr.)

Rem tene; verba sequentur.
Grasp the subject; the words will follow.
-- Quoted in Caius Julius Victor, Ars Rhetorica, 'De inventione'

Alll mankind rules its women, and we rule all mankind, but our women rule us.
-- Quoted in: Plutarch, Regum et imperatorum apophthegmata, pt. 198d (F. C. Babbitt, tr.)

I like to see a young man blush rather than turn pale.
-- Quoted in: Plutarch, Lives, 'Cato', 19

I would much rather have men ask why I have no statue than why I have one.
-- Quoted in: Plutarch, Lives, 'Cato', 19

Do not buy what you want, but what you need; what you do not need is dear at a farthing.
-- Reliquiae [Remains]


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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