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Fabricius, Gaius Luscinus

FABRICIUS, GAIUS LUSCINUS (i.e. "the one-eyed"), Roman general, was the first member of the Fabrician gens who settled in Rome. He migrated to Rome from Aletrium (Livy ix. 43), one of the Hernican towns which was allowed to retain its independence as a reward for not having revolted. In 285 he was one of the ambassadors sent to the Tarentines to dissuade them from making war on the Romans. In 282 (when consul) he defeated the Bruttians and Lucanians, who had besieged Thurii (Livy, Epit. 12). After the defeat of the Romans by Pyrrhus at Heraclea (280), Fabricius was sent to treat for the ransom and exchange of the prisoners. All attempts to bribe him were unsuccessful, and Pyrrhus is said to have been so impressed that he released the prisoners without ransom (Plutarch, Pyrrhus, 18). The story that Pyrrhus attempted to frighten Fabricius by the sight of an elephant is probably a fiction. In 278 Fabricius was elected consul for the second time, and was successful in negotiating terms of peace with Pyrrhus, who sailed away to Sicily. Fabricius afterwards gained a series of victories over the Samnites, the Lucanians and the Bruttians, and on his return to Rome received the honour of a triumph. Notwithstanding the offices he had filled he died poor, and provision had to be made for his daughter out of the funds of the state (Val. Max. iv. 4, 10). Fabricius was regarded by the Romans of later times as a model of ancient simplicity and incorruptible integrity.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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