An Exemplary Leader Throughout his lifetime, Marco Porcius Cato built himself up from his birth into a man of great stature and honor in Rome. Regarded as a “novus homo” or “new man,” Cato the Elder required qualities that brought him above and beyond, so he could compete with those already born into power. At a young age, Cato inherited property from the death of his father, where he spent most of his childhood. Early in life, he surpassed all the prior military accomplishments of his family line by earning great honors; through this he exemplified his modesty by carrying his own battle gear, helping to prepare the food, and giving himself the same rations that those below him were fed. Cato took the lack of possessions and physical fitness his military lifestyle provided him, and continued to live healthily, strongly and modestly throughout his years serving Rome. Respected for his willingness and ability to commit himself to a cause, Cato often found himself defending common men in court. This
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