Fabius Maximus Cunctator, Quintus

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fabius Maximus Cunctator, Quintus

 

Born 275 B.C.; died 203 B.C. Roman general and political figure.

Fabius Maximus was elected consul five times, in 233, 228, 215, 214, and 209, and dictator twice, in 221 and 217. As dictator, he assumed command of the Roman army after the Romans’ defeat at Lake Trasimenus (Trasimeno) in 217, during the Second Punic War. He devised a new strategy that called for the Romans to avoid engaging in a major battle with Hannibal’s army, while trying to wear the enemy down gradually by depriving it of provisions and forage. The strategy, however, proved unpopular, and Fabius Maximus was removed as commander and thereafter was referred to by the epithet Cunctator (“the Delayer”). After the Romans were defeated at Cannae in 216 as a result of their refusal to apply Fabius Maximus’ delaying tactics, the epithet became an honorary one in Rome.

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