Old Values and Greek Culture The first century BC was a time when Roman society went through dramatic changes. Rome was no longer a rural community or a Mediterranean state, it was now a capital of a huge empire, a centre of the known world. Triumph over Cartages was a hard victory for Romans in the sense that it has made Rome the only dominating power among the weaker neighbors that finally were to become a part of the Empire.
There were even voices in Rome that called not to ruin Carthage to keep Rome “in a good form” through competition. Yet Carthage has been ruined, and Rome faced a choice between the old and a new way of life. Cato and Traditional Ideal The conflict between two lifestyles has been embodied in the contrast between views of Cato and Scipio. Cato represented the good old Roman values of hard work and modesty.
Being himself a son of a peasant Cato demonstrated strong virtues that allowed him to take an important place in the social hierarchy. This was still a society that appreciated moderation and honesty both in men as warriors and women as wives and mothers. In his relations with the society Cato acted as a strongman who nobly helped the week in their litigations. He did not take money for his help, yet a person whom he helped traditionally became Cato’s client, undertaking an obligation to support Cato in his further political career.