*Caius or Gaius Fabricius Luscinus (3rd century B.C.)

Gaius Fabricius Luscinus
Caption: Roman statesman Gaius Fabricius Luscinus is depicted here negotiating with the seated King Pyrrhus of Epirus over prisoners the king’s army had captured in a battle with Rome. The king was so impressed with Fabricius’ refusal to accept a bribe during the negotiations that he let all the prisoners go without the customary ransom fees. Later the Roman armies defeated Pyrrhus, giving Rome control of the entire Italian peninsula.

Gaius Fabricius Luscinus, [l-sī′nəs] (flourished 3rd century B.C.). Roman statesman and general, celebrated for his honesty and integrity. He was elected consul in 282 B.C., in which year he defeated the the Boii, Etruscans. He later defeated the Samnites, Lucanians and Bruttians, ancient Italian peoples who were laying siege to the Roman city of Thurii in southern Italy.

After the Greeks defeated the Romans at Heraclea in 280, Fabricius was dispatched as ambassador to Pyrrhus, victorious king of the Greek city-state of Epirus, to negotiate for the ransoming of Roman prisoners.

Before releasing the prisoners, Pyrrhus sought to bribe Fabricius in the hope that the ambassador would use his influence to obtain for Epirus favorable conditions of peace from the Romans. Fabricius scorned the bribe, however, and Pyrrhus was so impressed that he issued orders for the prisoners to be liberated without the payment of ransom. He is also reputed to have reported to Pyrrhus the offer of a traitor to kill him. Fabricius was consul again in 278, when he succeeded in negotiating peace with Pyrrhus. Two years later, as censor, he carried out with vigor the old Roman laws designed to curb extravagance in private life. For his victories over the Lucanians, Bruttians, and Samnites, he was honored with a triumph.

He is distinguished by his old Roman virtues and simplicity.

* The New World Family Encyclopedia, ©1955 lists "Caius Fabricius".


  • Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia, ©1950
  • The New World Family Encyclopedia, ©1955
  • Encyclopedia International, ©1966 (Grolier Inc.)
  • Gaius-Fabricius-Luscinus, Britannica
  • Fabricius Luscinus, Gaius
  • Gaius Fabricius Luscinus
  • A Pyrrhic Victory
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