Cincinnatus in Roman Biography

Cin-cin-na'tus, (Lucius Quintus,) a celebrated Roman patriot, patrician, and dictator, born about 520 B.C. Having reduced himself to poverty by paying a fine for his son, he was cultivating with his own hands a small farm, when he was chosen consul in 457 B.C. He was a strenuous opponent of the plebeian party. At the end of his official term he returned to his former employment. The Romans, having been unfortunate in war with the /Equi, chose Cincinnatus dictator about the year 456 B.C. He gained a decisive victory, and then abdicated the dictatorship, which he had held only fifteen days. About the age of eighty he again reluctantly acted as dictator, on the occasion of the treason of Spurius Melius, who was promptly defeated and slain. Niebuhr is skeptical as to the cause of his poverty above assigned. See Livv, " History of Rome;" Niebuhr, "History of Rome."

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