The paper focuses on the bee-simile (9. 283–293) and its application to Cato. Via a detailed analysis of the motif, the passage, and the context as well as the inter- and intratextual aspects of Lucan’s Bildsprache (especially with respect to Vergil’s Georgics) the author discusses how the Lucanean Cato can be understood and how he may be assessed with regard to an interpretation of the narrative as a whole. The elaborate simile not only gives a frightening insight into the figure’s character, but also, by evoking the similes previously used for Pompey, it inevitably draws the characters into relation with each other. The famous, but perhaps simplistic idea that Cato, the perfect stoic and republican, is the real ‘hero’of the poem, is challenged.