Fabius Maximus Rullianus

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Consul 322, 310, 308, 297, 295 bc. Surviving accounts of his career are obscured by factual uncertainties; patriotic and family fictions; supposed clashes with Lucius Papirius Cursor, Appius Claudius Caecus, and even Publius Decius Mus (his colleague in his last three consulships); and apparent duplicates of incidents from the career of Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus (Cunctator). Thus his supposed clash with Lucius Papirius Cursor in 325 (Fabius Pictor fr. 18 P) apparently owes much to Cunctator's quarrel with Marcus Minucius Rufus in 217 and his role as his son's legate in 292 is modelled on actions of both Cunctator and Scipio Africanus. In 322 some sources attributed him major successes in Samnium and Apulia, and a triumph. As dictator in 315 he captured Saticula but was defeated by the Samnites at Lautulae. Diodorus Siculus (19. 101. 3) alone attributes him a second dictatorship in 313 and the capture of Fregellae, Calatia, and Nola. In 310 he reputedly relieved Sutrium and forced Arretium (Artezzo), Cortona, and Perusia (Perugia) to a truce. The allocation of operations in Samnium and Etruria in 308 is uncertain and the prorogation of his command (and victory at Allifae) in 307 are difficult to accept. As censors in 304 he and Decius Mus reputedly reversed the tribal reforms of Appius Claudius Caecus and instituted the formal cavalry parade (transvectio equitum). In 297 and perhaps 296 he campaigned in Samnium, but in 295 he and Decius won a crucial victory over the alliance of Samnites, Etruscans, and Celts at Sentinum. He may be the Q. Fabios depicted in a military scene on an Esquiline tomb frieze.

Andrew Drummond

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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