Lesson 8.1 Cato


Farming was vital to the Romans. One of the earliest preserved works of Latin prose is a handbook of practical advice on farming by Cato the Elder. Cato fought against Hannibal in the Second Punic War, which lasted from 218 to 201 BC. He famously ended many of his Senate speeches, whatever the topic, with the sentence “Carthago delenda est”: Carthage must be destroyed.

When he wasn’t harshing the senatorial mellow with his big grim head, Cato farmed. Today we’ll look at his advice on buying a praedium, a parcel of agricultural land. We’ll stitch it together piece by piece in a short film. Then you can recap the whole passage.