Cato constantly repeated his admonition “Carthage must be destroyed” (“Delenda est Carthago”), and he lived to see war declared on Carthage in 149.
Cato was of the opinion that Carthage should be destroyed because he didn’t trust them. At the time Rome had already been involved in two very deadly wars with Carthage , referred to as the Punic Wars. In an attempt to remind the senate that Carthage was still around and still a threat. After he died he got his wish.
The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable sina delenda est meaning more, afresh, for the time.
Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam (“Furthermore, I consider that Carthage must be destroyed”), often abbreviated to Carthago delenda est (” Carthage must be destroyed”) or Ceterum censeo, is a Latin oratorical phrase pronounced by Cato the Censor, a politician of the Roman Republic.
The Roman general Scipio Aemilianus (l. 185-129 BCE) besieged Carthage for three years until it fell. After sacking the city, the Romans burned it to the ground, leaving not one stone on top of another.
Battle of Carthage , (146 bce). The destruction of Carthage was an act of Roman aggression prompted as much by motives of revenge for earlier wars as by greed for the rich farming lands around the city. The Carthaginian defeat was total and absolute, instilling fear and horror into Rome’s enemies and allies.
Youth On the Punic Wars. Between the wars. Follower of the old Roman strictness. Path to magistracies. Quaestor. Aedile and praetor. Enactment of the Porcian Laws. Repeal of the Oppian Law.
A noted orator and a follower of the Stoic philosophy, he is remembered for his stubbornness and tenacity (especially in his lengthy conflict with Julius Caesar ), as well as his immunity to bribes, his moral integrity, and his famous distaste for the ubiquitous corruption of the period.
According to tradition, Carthage was founded by the Phoenicians of Tyre in 814 bce; its Phoenician name means “new town.”
In 149 B.C., after Carthage technically broke its treaty with Rome by declaring war against the neighboring state of Numidia, the Romans sent an army to North Africa, beginning the Third Punic War .
He died in 149 B.C. at the age of 85, 3 years before the final destruction of Carthage. As an author, though following in his Origines (Foundation Stories) the Hellenistic foundation stories of Italian cities, Cato was the first Roman historian to write in Latin, thereby inspiring national historiography in Rome.