Larry Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Apr 27 15:32:52 UTC 1999

At 11:26 AM -0400 4/27/99, Alan Baragona wrote:
>The only dictionary I can find with this word is the Second Edition of
>Webster's New International (it's not in the Third or any current versions).
>There it means "In the manner of Cato; specif. by suicide (referring to Cato
>of Utica)."
>"Catonic" and the more commonly listed "Catonian" are defined as "Of or
>pertaining to or resembling Cato, esp. Cato the Elder or Cato of Utica, both
>remarkable for austerity of life and manners."
>So we've got two different meanings and two different Catos.
>However, since Cato the Elder was famous for his "repeated injunctions, or
>warnings, or predictions" about Carthage, there's no reason "Catonian" can't
>refer to that aspect of his character, in addition to his austerity,

Right--as I recall, he used to end every speech, on any subject, with the
line "Carthago delenda est" ('Carthage must be destroyed').  As for the
disappearance of 'catonically' between the second and third editions of
Webster's NID, maybe the increased use of 'catatonically' over the same
period, together with the loss of a presumption of classical education,
contributed to its downfall.  ('Catonically' might have looked like a
semi-catatonic attempt to write 'catatonically'.)


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