Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Cato Marcus Porcius

Cato, Marcus Porcius, called after his death, Uticensis, was born in 95 B.C., and inherited much of the harsh, stern, pedantic spirit of his great-grandfather, but, brought up in the house of Livius Drusus, he became very early a priest of Apollo, and having learnt the elements of the Stoic philosophy from Antipater, he modified slightly the roughness of his natural character by shaping it to a Greek ideal. He fought in the ranks against Spartacus, served as a tribune in Macedonia, and returned home to take up the quaestorship. His probity and zeal led to his being entrusted with an appointment in Asia. He is said to have been disgusted in early life with the excesses of Sulla, and his personal acquaintance with the public men of the day led him to condemn them all for corruption and ambition, though he was willing to accord Lucullus a triumph for his military abilities. He resisted the encroachments of Pompey, and as tribune he prosecuted Murena for bribery. Cicero's successful defence of the latter did not prevent Cato from joining heartily in the proceedings against Catiline, and a little later the aristocratic party made a tool of him in thwarting the policy of the triumviri, who sent him on discreditable missions to the king of Cyprus and to Byzantium, his sense of duty forbidding him to refuse. In 54 B.C. he secured the praetorship, and exerted himself to put a stop to bribery, with no better success than to deprive himself of the chance of the consulship. He then conceived that the only way of successfully combating the growing power of Caesar was to support the Pompeian faction. To his utter disgust the cause was abandoned without a struggle in Italy, but he followed his nominal chief to Epirus, though he was not present at the battle of Pharsalia. When Pompeius threw over his party, Cato, with a small remnant of true republicans, crossed to Africa, marched heroically through the Libyan deserts and shut himself up in Utica. He might have surrendered on terms honourable to himself, but he feared lest his followers should suffer. He held the town until they had escaped by sea, and then, retiring to his conch, stabbed himself in 46 B.C. His life was wasted so far as contemporary history was concerned, but he became to future generations a kind of patron saint of Stoicism. Yet there was nothing saintly about him. His philosophy was pure self-regard - not, it is true, of a mean and ignoble description, but of a nature that, despite the professions it made to the contrary, practically excluded all sympathy with fellow mortals and all communion with God.