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Cato the Younger

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In the HBO's Rome, Cato is wearing black in the senate. The writer of HBO's Rome refers to Cato wearing black to represent the fall of the Roman Republic. Is this true? What books, or other sources would have this information?

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I'm sure our MPC, or PP, can provide all the sources that tell us of Cato's reason for dressing in a dark toga (with no tunic underneath), but I know of at least one source.


From Plutarch's Lives, Cato the Younger:


"And in general Cato esteemed the customs and manners of men at that time so corrupt, and a reformation in them so necessary, that he thought it requisite, in many things, to go contrary to the ordinary way of the world. Seeing the lightest and gayest purple was then most in fashion, he would always wear that which was the nearest black; and he would often go out of doors, after his morning meal, without either shoes or tunic; not that he sought vain-glory from such novelties, but he would accustom himself to be ashamed only of what deserves shame, and to despise all other sorts of disgrace."


-- Nephele

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He wore 'mourning' to lament what he saw as the erosion of the constitution. He wasn't the first to do this to make a political statement. Cicero is an example of one who tried the tactic to bring attention to his plight. Caesar himself, while it was unlikely he wore black, refused to have his hair cut or shave until he avenged the destruction of a legion in Gaul, as a sign of mourning. I'm not saying that they did this before Cato, but 'putting on mourning' while not a common everyday thing, wasn't that uncommon either.

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