Your RDA of Irony

Lingua Fracas II: Tom Tancredo’s Previous Life

Not every Roman was enamoured with Greek culture. Cato (234-149 B.C.) was a xenophobic bigot who found creative fulfillment as a Censor, an office that became his epithet. He was opposed to Hellenism and strived to protect Rome from such Greek perversions as hygiene and literacy.

He was more successful with his other phobia: Carthage. A veteran of of the Second Punic War, Catomade a grudge into a fixation. When addressing the Roman Senate, he would conclude any and every speech, regardless of the topic, with his signature line “Delenda est Carthago”–“Carthage must be destroyed.” He did successfully stoke Rome’s hatred of Carthage. The year of Cato’s death, Rome declared war on Carthage and eventually destroyed the city, slaughtering or enslaving the populace. As a final gesture, the Romans plowed Carthage’s soil with salt so that nothing might grow there. Cato would have been so pleased.

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