Roman statesman who lived around 468 B.C.

Cincinnatus was called upon to become dictator so he could lead the Roman troops against the neighboring Aequians. He did so, won the battle, gave up the title and promptly returned to his farm.

Cincinnatus is also the namesake of Ohio town Cincinnati, where a fraternal organization in his honor proposed the name in the 19th century. In a park downtown, you can see a bronze statue of the farmer-dictator. He is posed with one hand on a plow and with the other outstretched, offering back the symbol of his dictatorship: an axe the handle of which is bound in short sticks.

Like Rome, Cincinnati was built on seven hills.

Cincinnatus, Lucius Quinctus, a wealthy patrician in the early days of the Roman Republic, born about 519 B.C. He succeeded Publicola in the consulship, and then retired to cultivate his small estate beyond the Tiber. The messengers of the senate found him at work on his farm when they came to summon him to the dictatorship. He rescued the army from its peril, and then returned quietly to his farm. At the age of 80 he was again appointed dictator to oppose the ambitious designs of Spurius Maelius.


Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

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