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Catón, Philosophy of the Ancient Rome
The objective of this article is to collect and describe the characteristics that constitute the specificity of Catón’s philosophy in ancient Rome, as well as place this at the time in the time.
Ancient Rome is divided into three stages, monarchy, republic and empire. The historical moment in which our study is developed corresponds to the stage of the Republic. Particularly from the second and third Punic war, in which Catón participated, (Mora, 2013) and after the battle of Corinth, in which Greece’s entry into Rome is officially considered (Fernández, 2016).
For the study of the Philosophy of Ancient Rome, two times have been differentiated within the stage of the Republic. The first before contact with Greece and the second after this contact. This is because of the influence that Greek culture had on Rome (Ollero, 1979).
Philosophy became part of Roman education, although Rome being a real military power and strategist did not take it into account. During the I and II D centuries.c. The emperors of that time cultivated philosophy, but the nobility and aristocracy philosophized only by leisure and in a simple way, so there could be no deep philosophical investigation;Philosophy is then necessarily light and eclectic.
The Romans did not see philosophy as a rational reflection but as a norm of life, that is, they did not express it, nor used it to rationalize, investigate, understand and understand what surrounded them, but they resorted to it as a useless matter forpractical wisdom and for social life, feeling more comfortable in the face of moral and psychological problems than the metaphysical and logical.
Within Roman philosophy we find 2 currents, the Hellenizing and that which was strongly opposed to philosophy, the latter was represented by Catón the censor. That opposition was carried out by expulsioning several philosophers that Catón saw as preachers.
There could be no Latin school for philosophy as such, because it was aimed at a minority of people, which by economic, cultural and social factors could develop philosophy and give it boom. In addition to the fact that philosophy was not originally from Rome.
Contact with Greece
After the conquest of Greece by Rome, Greek philosophy began to spread through the Roman Empire, the epicenter of said empire being Rome. The penetration of Hellenic thinking in the Roman world meant the gradual abandonment of traditional beliefs by the highest classes. The Greek models began to be translated and still read in the original texts, this is how Latin philosophy began to take their first steps.
Initial. Although for later translation the Romans had it difficult, since the Greek maintained technoscientific terms and expressions that were abstract when translating from Greek to Latin, that is, that Latin did not maintain enough vocabulary, terms and expressions to decipherto Latin, the latter being compared to Greek a poor language. So for their translation certain philosophers such as Cicero made grafts from Greek to Latin in order to spread philosophy to the different philosophical schools.
Rome not only adopted philosophy in its culture and education, but also art, which they transferred to sculpture as the pose of the "counterpart" (the human figure moves the weight of the body to one of its legs while the other is flexed) and in addition to the 3 column orders (Doric, Ionic and Corinthian) thus creating its own column, the compound column, fusing Ionic with Corinthian. The Greek gods also added to their own gods (Lares gods), in this way with those legends and Greek myths
In ancient Rome we can highlight two philosophical currents: Hellenizing and epicureanism. The first, also known as stoicism, was the current that had the most influence on Catón and the Roman world. This defended that through domain the tranquility and balance of the spirit were achieved. In turn, he considered that the logos is the principle that governs the universe. The stoic wise is free and self-sufficient for his knowledge, he knows how to be restrained in his actions by controlling instincts, and also has moral progress. It is a philosophy that, instead of evading problems, faces them.
According to Catón, Hellenic culture wanted to end the simplicity and temperance of Roman way of life. Given this cultural invasion of Rome, this declared an defender of ancient customs.
Epicureanism, a current defended by Escipion, was the first Greek doctrine that arrived in Rome. The most relevant and most controversial statement made by Epicureans is the following, "the greatest good and purpose of life is pleasure" (intellect’s pleasures).
Let’s focus on Catón’s life. Marcio Porcio Prisco was born in Italy, specifically in a tuscule, the year 234 to.C. And he was a Roman writer, politician and military. He is known as Catón el Viejo because his countrymen went on to call him a little or caton that means wise man, since he had a very good gift of speech and for the ideas he taught to his countrymen.
Catón in his youth decided to join the army and in 209 to.C. He participated in the Battle of Taranto, an old Greek colony to southern Italy. Later he decided to leave for Rome with a neighbor of his, Valerio Flaco, who proposed to start in public life. There he carried out the Cursus Honoram course that was very common among the Romans and was known as the Honors career.
Regarding his professional life, he worked as a lawyer in the forum and was elected first military tribune, later in 204 to.C. He was proclaimed a questioner (army payer) and years later he entered the Senate. In 199 a.C. He was chosen mayor plebeyo and in 197 a.C exercised as governor of Sardinia where he was famous for his business skills and for his savings economy that he scratched in the stingy.
After his successful government of Sardinia, in 195 to.C. Catón was chosen for the highest Roman magistracy: the consulate. His colleague in office was his friend and neighbor of Tuscule, Valerio Flaco. It is said that then Catón managed to conquer about three hundred enemy locations and after his success he decided to return to the capital.
Once there, instead of devoting himself to leisure that his political and military career assured him, he decided to start over and offered as a simple officer or legacy to other generals and provincial governors. At the age of 44 he retired completely from his military careThe gentleman’s positions and to participate in the Senate.
After a while, in 157 to.C. It was sent to Africa to arbitrate among the members of the Carthaginian and number tribes. During this visit he became obsessed with the idea that the city of Carthage, which he disgusted both for his luxury and for his wealth, and that he aroused his xenophobia, was a threat to Rome. Until his death, he finished all his speeches with the words: ‘Delenda est carthago’ (‘Cartago must be destroyed’).
In short, in this work we have investigated, learned, written and commented among the four members of the group about the figure of Catón, in addition to the contributions he gave and his ideas about philosophy in Rome, Roman philosophy occupies a relevant positionIn this essay, although being an extension of Greek philosophy, he played a great cultural role creating the basis of education in the West.
- Fernández, m. A. (2016, August 2). The integration of Greece into the Roman Empire (S. II d.C). Recovered from https: // www.Upo.is/magazines/index.PHP/Italica/ARTICLE/VIEW/1756
- Mora, a. (2013). Catón el Viejo (234-139 A.C): Catón as a defender of the customs of the ancients and their importance in classical antiquity (final degree work). University of Barcelona, Spain.
- Moreno, v., Ramírez, m.AND., Oliva, C., Moreno, e. and others (2019). Catón el Viejo. Search biographies. Recovered from https: // www.Buscabiografias.com/Biography/VerdeTalle/970/caton%20el%20viejo
- National Geographic (October 27, 2016). Catón el Viejo, the incorruptible Roman. National Geographic Spain. Recovered from https: // www.National Geographic.com.es/history/great-repair/caton-el-viejo-eLROMANO-INCORRUBIBLE_6287
- Ollero, d. (1979). Philosophy in Rome. Recovered from http: // intermenta.um.ES/VAR/PLAN/STORAGE/ORIGINAL/APPLICATION/1B4F8B95FCB662AEACA7545DC50E57.PDF