LCL 467: 282-283
excerptum e libro cornelii nepotis de latinis historicis
1. M.1 Cato, ortus municipio Tusculo, adulescentulus, priusquam honoribus operam daret, versatus est in Sabinis, quod ibi heredium a patre relictum habebat. Inde hortatu L. Valerii Flacci, quem in consulatu censuraque habuit collegam, ut M. Perpenna censorius2 narrare solitus est, Romam 2demigravit in foroque esse coepit. Primum stipendium meruit annorum decem septemque. Q. Fabio M. Claudio consulibus tribunus militum in Sicilia fuit. Inde ut rediit, castra secutus est C.3 Claudii Neronis, magnique opera eius existimata est in proelio apud Senam, quo cecidit Hasdrubal, frater 3Hannibalis. Quaestor obtigit P. Africano consuli, cum quo non pro sortis necessitudine vixit; namque ab eo perpetua dissensit vita. Aedilis plebi factus 4est cum C. Helvio. Praetor provinciam obtinuit Sardiniam, ex qua quaestor superiore tempore ex Africa decedens, Q. Ennium poetam deduxerat, quod non minoris aestimamus quam quemlibet amplissimum Sardiniensem triumphum.
2. Consulatum gessit cum L. Valerio Flacco.
An Extract From The Book Of Cornelius Nepos On Latin Historians
1. Marcus Cato, born in the town of Tusculum, in his early youth, before entering on an official career, lived in the land of the Sabines, since he had there an hereditary property, left him by his father. Then, with the encouragement of Lucius Valerius Flaccus, later his colleague in the consulship and the censorship—as Marcus Perpenna, the ex-censor, was fond of mentioning—he moved to Rome and entered public life. He served his first campaign at the age of215 b.c. seventeen. In the consulate of Quintus Fabius and125 b.c. Marcus Claudius he was tribune of the soldiers in Sicily. On his return from there he joined the army of Gaius Claudius Nero and won high praise in the battle at Sena,1 in which Hasdrubal, the brother of Hannibal, fell. As quaestor the chance of the lot assigned him to the consul Publius Africanus,2 with whom he did not live as the intimacy of their association demanded;3 for he disagreed with him throughout his whole life. He was chosen plebeian aedile199 b.c. with Gaius Helvius. As praetor he was allotted the province of Sardinia, from which at an earlier time,198 b.c. when leaving Africa after his quaestorship, he had brought the poet Ennius to Rome—an act which, in my opinion, was no less glorious than the greatest possible victory in Sardinia.4
2. He was consul with Lucius Valerius Flaccus,195 b.c.
- 1More commonly known as the battle of the Metaurus river, 207 b.c.
- 2P. Scipio Africanus, the conqueror of Hannibal.
- 3The relations of a quaestor to the consul or praetor under whom he served were like those of a son to his father; cf. Cic. Div. in Caec. 61.
- 4That Ennius came back with Cato was mere chance. Cato was bitterly opposed to the tendencies which Ennius represented.