Fabius Maximus


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Related to Fabius Maximus: cunctator, Cato the Elder, Scipio Aemilianus

Fabius Maximus

full name Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, called Cunctator (the delayer). died 203 bc, Roman general and statesman. As commander of the Roman army during the Second Punic War, he withstood Hannibal by his strategy of harassing the Carthaginians while avoiding a pitched battle
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The ancient Romans accepted Fabius Maximus's policy of avoiding battle and relying on fortifications because of the superior tactical skill of Hannibal in combat; Venetians adopted Fabian methods because of the strategic loss of cities and territory after battlefield defeat.
The Roman populace reviled Fabius Maximus for betrayal, cowardice, and acting as the "lackey" of the enemy.
According to Erasmus, the perfect embodiment of the adage was Fabius Maximus, "Old Steady-does-it," the hero who won immortal glory by saving the Roman state.
[122] The latter admired Colonna, the Fabius Maximus of Bicocca, and he regarded Alviano's impetuousity as a fatal flaw.
Whenever the governing councils debated committing the army to battle, Gritti would employ the sort of arguments which impelled his fellow patricians to refer to him as a Fabius Maximus. He repeatedly singled out Alviano as a warrior "not to the purposes of the Republic of Venice, which instead desires a cautious, restrained captain rather than one frantically belligerent." [126] The doge instructed his fellow patricians that Venice needed "seasoned captains not daredevils, those brothers of Bartolomeo Alviano who are too hotheaded in unsheathing the sword." [127]
In conclusion, I quoted the example of Fabius Maximus when opposed to Hannibal.
Following its diplomatic policy of restoring a balance of power, Venice helped cobble together the League of Cognac in 1526 (when Francis I was released from Spain); but emulating the strategy of Fabius Maximus, it choose not to battle for that alliance in the campaigns of Milan, Rome, and Naples from 1526 to 1528.
There is a certain irony in the consideration that Machiavelli, the foremost political thinker who drew lessons from Livy, apparently did not recognize a Fabius Maximus when he encountered one.
One of Machiavelli's speculations related to Fabius Maximus may be usefully applied to Venice and Doge Gritti.
Fabius Maximus (lines 4-6), accusing Sosus of being the primary instigator of the burning of the public records (lines 7-8, 16-18), as well as a damiorgos(89) named [-]miscus of conspiring with the alleged arsonists (lines 21-2).