Lives of Cato and Augustus

The Lives of Cato and Augustus

            Cato the Elder was not Augustus - Lives of Cato and Augustus introduction. And so Augustus was not Cato. But they almost had similar lives where in both became important persons in Rome. They were both leaders. They had similarities but, of course, they had differences, too. But the question this paper wants to answer is that how society during those times were affected by their lives?

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Cato the Elder was a zealous pleader and a capable orator. He was a courageous soldier that he showed himself with effective, sure and steadfast and fierce in the battle. He was a very economical person because who drank water on his campaigns instead of vinegar or wine. He would drink vinegar only when he was in raging thirst and he would call for wine only when his strength is failing. He actually went to the market place bare footed.

On the other hand, Augustus delivered a funeral oratory at age of twelve in honor to his grandmother. When he was sixteen years old, he received military prizes. Unlike Cato, Augustus was extravagant. He used all the money he could use for his protection and that of the State. He was not only a leader but he was also a soldier.

Augustus was fierce. There was one instance wherein there were a father and a son who begged for their lives. He said to them that they should cast lots or play mora to come in a decision who should die and who shall watch one’s death. The father was executed because he offered to die so that his son would live but the son died too because he took his own life because he could not withstand his father’s death. And so in this deed, I can say that Augustus was brutal.

To compare, Cato was also violent.  He was actually terrible to his slaves. He cared less for his slaves that he actually paid them not more than fifteen drachmas because he wanted them to become sturdy workers not delicately beautiful slaves. In fact, when his slaves got old, he would sell them because he thought that it was not his duty to feed them when they could not work at all for him anymore. It seemed like he treated his slaves like beast to just dispose them because they could not do any service to him anymore.

Cato and Augustus both built temples that were beneficial to the society.

            Cato threatened the wrong doers and malefactors in his speeches. He loudly cried that the city needs great purification. One best example of it is when Cato expelled Lucius from Senate. Lucius’ brother was very angry that urged Cato to state his reason for expulsing his brother. Cato challenged him to formal trial of the case but Lucius had declined it although he made denials at first.

             Augustus’ colleague, Marcus Lepidus, was stripped by Augustus army. He did granted his life though but he banished him for all time to Cercei.

            Both Cato and Augustus were admired by people of their times. But others were really felt disgusted. Like for example is how Cato treated his servants. Many reacted on these. That Cato was treating his slaves like beasts.

            They are aware that they posed as models to the society. In fact, Cato had an imitator. But they also posed a threat to the society because they were so great people that were not perfect. And as I have said, there was a Cato’s imitator and so thus Augustus had many admirers because of his success.

            It posed a threat to society because they both had flaws. Their extreme discipline and righteousness gave somewhat bad reputation to them although these bad reputations were offset by the things they did successfully for the benefits of Rome. Thus, people of Rome had given them the respect that every great person receives. But still they were not so ever perfect that all their actions and deeds should be patronized and followed therefore posing a threat to the society.

References

The Life of Cato the Elder. Plutarch. Volume II. Retrieved July 25, 2008, from

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Cato_Major*.html

The Life of Augustus. C. Seutonius Tranquillus. Retrieved July 25, 2008, from

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Suetonius/12Caesars/Augustus*.html

 

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