Marcius Coriolanus, Gnaeus

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A Roman aristocrat who supposedly received his cognōmen from his part in the Roman capture of Corioli from the Volsci (493 bc). Acc. to the story, he went into exile when charged with tyrannical conduct and opposing the distribution of corn to the starving plebs. Welcomed by the Volscians of Antium he became their leader in a war against Rome. In two devastating campaigns he captured a series of Latin towns and led his forces to the gates of Rome, where he was persuaded to turn back by his mother Veturia and his wife Volumnia. He was then killed by the Volscians. It is uncertain how much, if any, of this story is based on fact.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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