10 Deeply Personal Historical Rivalries

10. Cato Vs. Caesar: Keep The Rome Fires Burning

Jean-Léon Gérôme [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Cato and Caesar's relationship was already pretty strained by the time Julius became consul (the highest office in Rome). He was forced to choose between a parade in his honour and running for consul, because Cato filibustered the senate so he couldn't do both.

Caesar's time in the senate was marked by a large amount of legislation used to provide land and wealth to the poor, Cato attempted to block most of these acts as he viewed them as politically motivated and an attempt to curry favour amongst the people.

Cato took any opportunity he could to talk about how Caesar was plotting to take over and destroy the republic; and he was kind of right.

When Caesar marched his troops across the Rubicon, eyes fell on Cato who promptly informed the men who had ignored his warnings: 'called it' (or something to that effect).

In 46 BC Cato, in Africa, his troops destroyed from the drawn out Roman Civil War and without hope of defeating Caesar, was offered a pardon by the new tyrant (at the time, the word had fewer terrible connotations).

Rather than admitting Caesar's claim as the one true leader of Rome, Cato committed suicide via a dagger to the stomach. Caesar would eventually get his by means of a dagger too... or several daggers rather.

Contributor

Wesley Cunningham-Burns hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.