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CATO Patriot or Tyrant MARCIUS PORTIUS CATO Marcius Portius Cato commonly referred to as Cato the Elder or Cato the Sensor was definitely a significant figure in Roman History during the 2nd and 1st Centuries BC However his role remains ambiguous was he a man of the people a power hungry tyrant or just a stubborn politician who liked to antagonize people more powerful than he was He is usually remembered for being very forward pushy and blunt in his political dealings History judges him by his unforgiving policy he pushed through the Senate regarding Carthage and its people which ultimately led to the brutal third Punic War However his is actions throughout his political career do more to support a man who was greatly concerned for the overall well-being of Ancient Rome THE CAREER OF MARCUS PORTIUS CATO IN A NUTSHELL Marcus Portius Cato was born a Roman Citizen in 234 BC to a moderately wealthy family He did not descend from the Aristocracy and therefore he was considered a novus homo or a new man At age seventeen he enlisted in the Roman Army to help fight in the 2nd of the Punic Wars with Carthage and its genius General Hannibal who was laying waste to the Armies of the Roman Republic While he served in the Army he moved up in the ranks quite quickly In 214 BC he was promoted to military tribune under the command of such leaders as Fabius Maximus and Marcellus He continued to serve under Claudius Nero thereafter He was not a genius characterized by Hannibal but he was an effective military leader This gave him a basis to work from in his aspirations for political power 204 BC marked the beginning of his political career when he became a Quaestor Following this office he was sent to Sardinia to administer this province as governor 199 BC he was elected a Plebian Aidele this led
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