Not Trying to Vie With the 1%

Plutarch, Cato:

“Cato gave to the soldiers who had helped him in this campaign many things, and distributed a pound of silver to each man, saying that it would be better for many of the Romans to return with silver than a few to return with gold. He claims that he received none of the spoils but what he ate and drank, and said, ‘I do not have a problem with those who are trying to benefit from the spoils, but I would rather vie with the noblest men on the field of virtue than with the richest men in the arena of wealth and the greediest in degree of avarice.”

Cato Drawing - Marcus Porcius Cato (234-149 Bc), Roman by Mary Evans Picture Library

τοῖς μέν οὖν στρατιώταις πολλὰ παρὰ τὴν στρατείαν ὠφεληθεῖσιν ἔτι καὶ λίτραν ἀργυρίου κατ᾽ ἄνδρα προσδιένειμεν, εἰπὼν ὡς κρεῖττον εἴη πολλοὺς Ῥωμαίων ἀργύριον ἢ χρυσίον ὀλίγους ἔχοντας ἐπανελθεῖν. εἰς δ᾽ αὑτὸν ἐκ τῶν ἁλισκομένων οὐδὲν ἐλθεῖν λέγει πλὴν ὅσα πέπωκεν ἢ βέβρωκε. ‘καὶ οὐκ αἰτιῶμαι,’ φησί, ‘τοὺς ὠφελεῖσθαι ζητοῦντας ἐκ τούτων, ἀλλὰ βούλομαι μᾶλλον περὶ ἀρετῆς τοῖς ἀρίστοις ἢ περὶ χρημάτων τοῖς πλουσιωτάτοις ἁμιλλᾶσθαι καὶ τοῖς φιλαργυρωτάτοις περὶ φιλαργυρίας.’

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