Gaius Fabricius Luscinus (4th and 3rd century BC) - Roman consul

Gaius Fabricius Luscinus earned his fame as consul (and in various other functions) from 293 to 287 BC during the war of the Romans against the Samnites and their ally Pyrrhus. The anecdotes we now know of Fabricius Luscinus deal with his confrontations with these enemies and have been described in biographies by Roman historian Plutarch. For instance there is the story of Pyrrhus trying to bribe Fabricius Luscinus during peace talks. When it was clear that the Roman would have nothing to do with this, Pyrrhus tried to surprise him by presenting him a horrid elephant, an animal that was completely new to Romans. But Fabricius didn't even bat an eyelid:

Neither your money yesterday, nor this beast to-day, makes any impression upon me
Fabricius according to Plutarch in his work Pyrrhus

Pyrrhus' respect for the Roman consul grew even more after Fabricius talked to his royal philosopher Cineas. Fabricius denied the Epicurean appreciation of the joys of life and told Cineas that the success of Rome lay in this sobriety. Another heroic tale on Fabricius deals with the king's principal physician, who offers to kill his enemy in secret with poison. But the Roman not only refuses, he even tells Pyrrhus:

Gaius Fabricius and Quintus Aemilius consuls of the Romans, to Pyrrhus the king, health. You seem to have made an ill-judgement both of your friends and enemies; you will understand by reading this letter sent to us, that you are at war with honest men, and trust villains and knaves. Nor do we disclose this to you out of any favour to you, but lest your ruin might bring a reproach upon us, as if we had ended the war, by treachery, as not able to do it by force.

Orator Cicero would honour Fabricius for his 'iustitia in hostem' (justifiable action towards the enemy). Church father Augustinus used Fabricius as a fine example to his Christians. Dante Alighieri compared the sober Roman to Mary, who gave birth to Jesus in a stable.

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