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From Dassiers Roman series 1740


Death of Cato,46 BC. Bust in toga facing right. Around the circumference is CATON DUTIQUE. Below the bust are the initials 'I.D.' (Cato Uticensis by Jean Dassier). To the reverse is Cato laid near death on a canopied bed, wounded to his stomach. The book of Phaedo lies open on the bedside table,the sword and poisoned vessel on the floor. In the exergue is MORT DE CATON. A.R. 708. bronze 31mm diameter. Dated from the legendary date of the foundation of Rome using the 'Ab urbe condita' calendar.

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Plenty realistic, this representation of la mort de Caton... I'm tempted to ask Constanius to cite the Latin text that describes the scene, since there seems to be here an insistence on Cato's sticking his hand in the big hole in his gut. Some metaphor about giving his heart to Rome perhaps? (or maybe just some intestine?)


Later edit: from Wikipedia: "In Utica, Cato did not participate in the battle and, unwilling to live in a world led by Caesar and refusing even implicitly to grant Caesar the power to pardon him, he committed suicide. According to Plutarch, Cato attempted to kill himself by stabbing himself with his own sword, but failed to do so due to an injured hand. One of Cato's slaves found him on the ground and called for a physician to stitch up and bandage Cato's wounds. Cato waited until they left him and then tore off the bandages and the stitches with his fingers and pulled out his own intestines, thereby ending his life."


Not so metaphorical after all.

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