CINEAS, a Thessalian, the chief adviser of Pyrrhus, king of Epirus. He studied oratory in Athens, and was regarded as the most eloquent man of his age. He tried to dissuade Pyrrhus from invading Italy, and after the defeat of the Romans at Heraclea (280 B.C.) was sent to Rome to discuss terms of peace. These terms, which are said by Appian (De Rebus Samniticis, 10, 11) to have included the freedom of the Greeks in Italy and the restoration to the Bruttians, Apulians and Samnites of all that had been taken from them, were rejected chiefly through the vehement and patriotic speech of the aged Appius Claudius Caecus the censor. The withdrawal of Pyrrhus from Italy was demanded, and Cineas returned to his master with the report that Rome was a temple and its senate an assembly of kings. Two years later Cineas was sent to renew negotiations with Rome on easier terms. The result was a cessation of hostilities, and Cineas crossed over to Sicily, to prepare the ground for Pyrrhus's campaign. Nothing more is heard of him. He is said to have made an epitome of the Tactica of Aeneas, probably referred to by Cicero, who speaks of a Cineas as the author of a treatise De Re Militari.
See Plutarch, Pyrrhus, 11-21; Justin xviii. 2; Eutropius ii. 12; Cicero, Ad Fam. ix. 25.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)