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Title: Cato the Censor and the creation of a paternal paradigm
Author: Browne, Eleanor
ISNI:       0000 0004 6421 8834
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis analyses the relationship between Marcus Porcius Cato Censorius and his eldest son, Marcus Porcius Cato Licinianus, considering its importance for Cato's public image and political career, investigating its place within some of the central cultural debates of the 2nd century BC, and looking at the impact which this relationship had upon received impressions of Cato the Censor as presented by later Latin authors. This is done primarily through the examination of the written works which Cato addressed to Licinianus, the extant fragments of which are presented here, with a translation and commentary, in the first modern edition to treat these texts as a unified project. The subsequent sections of this thesis set the works which Cato addressed to his son within the context of the general cultural debate and individual political competition which engaged Rome's ruling elite during this period; Cato's adoption of a paternal persona within these works is related to the character's popular appeal in the military sphere and on the comic stage; and the didactic pose and agricultural instruction featured in these texts is used to illuminate some of the challenges posed to Cato's successful performance of his duties as censor. A final section considers the reappropriation of Cato's relationship with his son as found in the De officiis of Cicero, the Institutio oratoria of Quintilian, and the anonymous Disticha Catonis. This thesis suggests that the Censor's relationship with his son, and the works which he addressed to the young man, played a more significant part in Cato's public image and political career than has hitherto been acknowledged. These texts illuminate some of the finer points of Cato's clever political strategy and they offer fresh insight into the popular culture and elite competition of the period in which he lived. The relative importance of this relationship within Cato's public life helps to explain the popularity of later images of the Censor as a paternal and educational figure and offers us a better understanding of modern conceptions of Cato.
Supervisor: Leigh, Matthew Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Classical literature--History and criticism ; Education--Rome ; Rome--History--Republic ; 265-30 B.C. ; Rome--Politics and government--265-30 B.C.