Marcus Furius Camillus

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Camillus, Marcus Furius


Lived from circa 447 to 365 B.C. Roman general and politician of patrician descent.

Camillus was a censor, dictator five times, and tribune with consular power six times. According to Roman legends, Camillus captured the Etruscan city of Veii after a siege that lasted ten years (406–396). Accused by plebeian tribunes of appropriating the booty, Camillus went voluntarily into exile. After Rome was defeated by the Gauls (390 or 387), he returned from exile and defeated the Gauls; this earned him the honorary title of paterpatriae, father of his country. In the 380’s Camillus fought successful wars against the Aequi, Volscians, and Etruscans, and he repulsed a new attack of the Gauls in 367.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Marcus Furius Camillus, sometimes called the "Second Founder of Rome," epitomized the virtuous heroism of the Roman Republic at its peak.
In Discourses III.30 he claims that military commanders and guards of cities should avoid arming the people "tumultuously," and follow instead the example of Marcus Furius Camillus, the Roman consul and military commander who never "permitted a multitude to take up arms except with a certain order and a certain mode." (110) They should enroll and select their soldiers and officers with care, and establish where they should assemble and where they should go.

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