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Rome's Last Citizen: The Life and…
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Rome's Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of… (udgave 2014)

af Rob Goodman (Forfatter), Jimmy Soni (Forfatter)

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1172182,819 (4.03)3
Marcus Porcius Cato: aristocrat who walked barefoot and slept on the ground with his troops, political heavyweight who cultivated the image of a Stoic philosopher, a hardnosed defender of tradition who presented himself as a man out of the sacred Roman past-and the last man standing when Rome's Republic fell to tyranny. His blood feud with Caesar began in the chamber of the Senate, played out on the battlefields of a world war, and ended when he took his own life rather than live under a dictator. Centuries of thinkers, writers, and artists have drawn inspiration from Cato's Stoic courage. Saint Augustine and the early Christians were moved and challenged by his example. Dante, in his Divine Comedy, chose Cato to preside over the souls who arrive in Purgatory. George Washington so revered him that he staged a play on Cato's life to revive the spirit of his troops at Valley Forge. Now, in Rome's Last Citizen, Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni deliver the first modern biography of this stirring figure. Cato's life is a gripping tale that resonates deeply with our own turbulent times. He grappled with terrorists, a debt crisis, endemic political corruption, and a huge gulf between the elites and those they governed. In many ways, Cato was the ultimate man of principle-he even chose suicide rather than be used by Caesar as a political pawn. But Cato was also a political failure: his stubbornness sealed his and Rome's defeat, and his lonely end casts a shadow on the recurring hope that a singular leader can transcend the dirty business of politics. Rome's Last Citizen is a timeless story of an uncompromising man in a time of crisis and his lifelong battle to save the Republic.… (mere)
Medlem:la2bkk
Titel:Rome's Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar
Forfattere:Rob Goodman (Forfatter)
Andre forfattere:Jimmy Soni (Forfatter)
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2014), Edition: Reprint, 384 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:***1/2
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Rome's Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar af Rob Goodman

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The authors have a straightforward, concise writing style that makes this biography an easy and interesting read. Although not a fan of Cato, I appreciated the opportunity to see developments at the end of the republic from his perspective.

To the authors credit, they generally made an attempt to present an objective analysis as opposed to simply praising Cato. One minor complaint is the authors failure to cite evidence of atrocities committed by the Optimates against the armies of Caesar. To some extent, Cato should share responsibility given his role as the alleged protector of all Republican rights. This evidence further demonstrates a more complicated and realistic view of Cato the man and not the legend.

Nonetheless, a worthwhile read. ( )
  la2bkk | Sep 12, 2020 |
Fascinating biography of Cato the Younger, overlooked in our days but such a great influence on history, especially that of the U.S. No, he was not a "democrat" [not the political party but the general idea] as we understand it, but tried to hold on to the idea of "libertas" [freedom] and the Roman Republic, which were slipping away in the civil war between Caesar and Pompey, autocrats both. Rather than live under Caesar, in Utica on the African coast, he kills himself, a gruesome drawn-out death as described by Plutarch. A nugget of information I found that I had not known before--every American schoolchild knows the stirring words of Patrick Henry and Nathan Hale. No, they were not original with these men, but cribbed from Addison's Cato, a play VERY popular in the 18th century, with the theme of "death in defense of liberty". Also, the "unalienable rights" section from this play influenced the Declaration of Independence. So, who was Cato? This readable biography gives us the portrait of a stubborn man holding to his Stoic ideals, his probity and his principles, whether they agree with others' or not. All sides of the man are given, so we can reflect on him, the lessons his life teaches, and his importance through the ages.

This quotation from Lucan describes him perfectly: "Victrix causa diis placuit sed victa Catoni" [The victorious cause was dear to the gods, the lost cause to Cato.]

Highly recommended. ( )
  janerawoof | Aug 5, 2015 |
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Marcus Porcius Cato: aristocrat who walked barefoot and slept on the ground with his troops, political heavyweight who cultivated the image of a Stoic philosopher, a hardnosed defender of tradition who presented himself as a man out of the sacred Roman past-and the last man standing when Rome's Republic fell to tyranny. His blood feud with Caesar began in the chamber of the Senate, played out on the battlefields of a world war, and ended when he took his own life rather than live under a dictator. Centuries of thinkers, writers, and artists have drawn inspiration from Cato's Stoic courage. Saint Augustine and the early Christians were moved and challenged by his example. Dante, in his Divine Comedy, chose Cato to preside over the souls who arrive in Purgatory. George Washington so revered him that he staged a play on Cato's life to revive the spirit of his troops at Valley Forge. Now, in Rome's Last Citizen, Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni deliver the first modern biography of this stirring figure. Cato's life is a gripping tale that resonates deeply with our own turbulent times. He grappled with terrorists, a debt crisis, endemic political corruption, and a huge gulf between the elites and those they governed. In many ways, Cato was the ultimate man of principle-he even chose suicide rather than be used by Caesar as a political pawn. But Cato was also a political failure: his stubbornness sealed his and Rome's defeat, and his lonely end casts a shadow on the recurring hope that a singular leader can transcend the dirty business of politics. Rome's Last Citizen is a timeless story of an uncompromising man in a time of crisis and his lifelong battle to save the Republic.

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