Adrian Goldsworthy’s CAESAR: LIFE OF A COLOSSUS, p. 467

The ancient Romans were different from you and me.

This passage describes the death of one of Caesar’s most implacable enemies, Cato:

NOTE to dear blog readers:  This death is extremely graphic!  Best to read on an empty stomach.

(Cato) complained when he noticed that his son and servants had removed his sword, and insisted that they return it, but then went back to his reading.  His choice of work was significant, Plato’s Phaedo, a discussion of the immortality of the soul, but throughout his life he had pursued the study of philosophy.  Finally, without warning, he stopped reading, took up his sword and stabbed himself in the stomach.  The wound was bad, but not immediately mortal, and once they heard the commotion his son and slaves rushed to him.  A doctor was brought and Cato’s wound cleaned and bound up.  However, he had never lacked determination or courage, and once they had gone the forty-eight-year-old tore open the stitches and began tearing out his own entrails.  He was dead before they could restrain him.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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