Cato the Younger 小加图的自杀

大选结束看完罗马共和国后期那些书后就想,千万千万不能有内战啊!否则共和就死定了。
可是看看这一个星期,这一个周末,就觉得对Cato的对抗,自杀有了更深刻的感动。真的面临这种选择,怎么可能不选择战争呢?也许我原先的设想是错的,一旦选出了暴君做共和首领,那么内战就是必然的。一切都太晚了。

Robert Harris 那西塞罗三部曲最后一部里描写庞贝大军全军覆灭后,罗马统一到凯撒手下:

For the first time we tasted life under a dictatorship: there were no freedoms any more; no magistrates, no courts; one existed at the whim of the ruler.

这就是现在我没法继续读”Wolf Hall”的原因,那种全部朝廷大大小小都赔小心取悦一个国君的情形太震撼了。

Cato是元老院里理想主义的领袖。虽然出生贵族但是布衣素食,一丝不苟,坚决不肯为任何事情妥协,不向任何人低头。他只认共和国的原则。西塞罗是个政客,他出身卑微,但是个政治天才,总是想找到两全其美的法子和平解决问题。 在凯撒如日中天的时日里,Cato是唯一敢当众和他叫板的。一度西塞罗曾经私下羡慕又无奈的说Cato只为自己的理想活,不为共和国的将来着想,不是不自私的。

凯撒跨过卢比孔河后,庞贝带着元老院逃离罗马,后来节节退败。庞贝死后。Cato 在北非带着一队反抗军继续和凯撒纠缠,最后战败自杀,Cato选择了特别残忍的剖腹。很多人不解,认为Cato疯了。但是西塞罗不这么想。

Cicero disagreed. “He could have had an easier death. He could have thrown himself from a building, or opened his veins in a warm bath, or taken poison. Instead he chose that particular method –exposing his entrails like a human sacrifice — to demonstrate the strength of his will and his contempt for Caesar. In philosophical terms it was a good death: the death of a man who feared nothing. Indeed I would go so far as to say he died happy. Neither Caesar, nor any moan, nor anything in the world could touch him.”

熟知凯撒性情的西塞罗明知会激怒大首领还是给Cato写了悼词,最后一句总是能让我流泪。

Sinewy in thought and person; indifferent to what men said of him; scornful of glory, titles and decorations, and even more of those who sought them; defender of laws and freedoms; vigilant in the public interest; contemptuous of tyrants, their vulgarities and presumptions; stubborn, infuriating, harsh, dogmatic; a dreamer, a fanatic, a mystic, a solder; willing at the last to tear the very organs from his stomach rather than submit to a conqueror –only the Roman Republic could have bred such a man as Cato, and only in the Roman Republic did such a man as Cato desire to live.