Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Classical Studies

Reader 1

Charles Kesler

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This thesis examines the extent to which George Washington may have intentionally modeled himself upon Cato the Younger, the Roman senator who famously resisted tyranny during the decline of the Roman Republic. Having seen a rendition of Joseph Addison's Cato as a young man and quoting the play throughout his life, Washington was profoundly impacted by the performance and bore many resemblances to the play's protagonist. Though scholars often paint Washington as a near reincarnation of Cato, I will provide both an interpretation of Addison's Cato and evaluate Washington and Cato int their respective historical contexts in order to ultimately conclude that Washington was much more of a reasonable, practical politician than his Roman counterpart.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.