Marcus Fabius Ambustus

Roman official, Marcus Fabius Anbustus, pontifex maximus in 390 BC who, according to tradition, was reponsible for the sack of Rome, the year in which the Gauls captured it. In 391, three men of the Fabii were dispatched as ambassadors to the Gauls when the latter were laying siege to Clusium, Quintus Fabius involved his group in a skirmish, and subsequently killed a Gaulish chieftain to which the Gauls took offense. The Gauls then claimed that the Roman ambassadors, traditionally forbidden to participate in hostilities, had violated the existing international law. They demanded that the ambassadors be surrendered to them, but were rebuffed by the Romans. By way of reply, the Romans elected the three men tribunes with consular power in the following year. The Gauls thereupon marched against Rome and triumphed at the Battle of Allia River, capturing the city.


  • Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia © 1950
  • Encyclopedia Britannica Micropedia, ©1984

    Footnote: According to my two sources, the names provided by the encyclopedias, "Anbustus" (Funk and Wagnalls) contradicts with "Ambustus" (Britannica Micropedia). Both are provided, for reference sake.

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