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Headword: *ku/ntios *kikinna/tos dikta/twr
Adler number: kappa,2732
Translated headword: Quinctius Cincinnatus the dictator
Vetting Status: high
This man had performed well in many previous campaigns and had often received military decorations. And he had so much moderation and self-control as to live in a wretched little hut on a small plot of land and to content himself with the farmer's life. When he was called upon to be dictator,[1] he happened to be working at the plow; and, when they came to him bringing the insignia of the office,[2] he washed the emblems[3] in front of the hearth and went out against the enemy with his personal force, and, when he had brought about a great slaughter of his opponents, on the eleventh day after his departure he returned, having released his friends[4] from the danger that had stood about them and having ravaged the enemy's defenses,[5] and he captured the enemy general and led him in a triumph.[6]
Greek Original:
*ku/ntios *kikinna/tos dikta/twr: ou(=tos pollai=s me\n kai\ pro/teron e)nh/qlhse stratiai=s, polla/kis kekosmhme/nos. ou(/tw de\ h)=n me/trios kai\ sw/frwn, w(s e)pi\ kalu/bh| lupra=| kai\ o)li/gw| gh=s me/trw| zh=n, to\n au)tourgo\n a)gapa=n te bi/on. o(\s dikta/twr proballo/menos e)/tuxe pro\s a)ro/trw| ponou/menos. o(/te de\ a)fi/konto pro\s au)to\n oi( ta\ para/shma th=s a)rxh=s komi/zontes, a)poniya/meno/s te ta\ su/mbola pro\ e(stia/sews th=| oi)kei/a| duna/mei toi=s polemi/ois e)pigi/netai fo/non te polu\n tw=n e)nanti/wn e)rgasa/menos e)pa/neisin e(ndeka/th| meta\ th\n e)/codon h(me/ra|, tou\s me\n oi)kei/ous tou= perista/ntos kindu/nou lusa/menos, tw=n de\ polemi/wn diarpa/sas to\n xa/raka: kai\ to\n strathgo\n tw=n e)nanti/wn de/smion e)pi\ th\n pomph\n kata/gei th\n e)pini/kion.
This entry (lacking, Adler reports, in ms F) is John of Antioch fr.48 FHG (4.566), now 85 Roberto = EV 1.169.11-170.4; cf. lambda 846.
In earlier Greek sources the main surviving authority is Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities (e.g. 10.5.1ff). For Roman references to Cincinnatus, see: Cicero, de Senectute 56, de Finibus 2.12; Columella; Livy 3.26; Valerius Maximus 2.7.7, 4.1.4, 4.4.7.
See OCD(4) under 'dictator' and on 'Quinctius Cincinnatus, Lucius'. Also for a good article on the office of dictator, see web address 1.
[1] More literally this translates: "being put forward as dictator". Cincinnatus' dictatorship is dated to 458 BCE according to tradition.
[2] These insignia would include the fasces which were a symbol of his authority.
[3] "Emblems" translates su/mbola which may refer to the insignia of his office or possibly to other military symbols, perhaps even the legionary standards. Compare LSJ s.v. su/mbolon III 1.
[4] The Greek "tou\s oi)kei/ous" would usually mean either "his friends" or "his relatives", but here it may just mean "his people", since Cincinnatus does not seem to have been related to or particularly friendly with any of the Romans whom he saved from the enemy siege.
[5] "Defenses" here translates xa/rac, which usually means a stake or pole, but here probably stands for Latin vallum or for what vallum represents, that is the defensive line of a camp. Compare LSJ s.v. xa/rac II.
[6] "A triumph" here translates the Greek which would be more literally translated as "the victory parade." Compare LSJ s.v. po/mph II 1b for other uses of the Greek term in place of Latin triumphus.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: agriculture; biography; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; historiography; history; military affairs
Translated by: Abram Ring on 15 February 2005@09:03:27.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (x-ref; cosmetics) on 15 February 2005@10:02:11.
David Whitehead (added more primary sources) on 15 February 2005@11:17:17.
Catharine Roth (moved URL to web link field) on 15 February 2005@15:31:45.
Catharine Roth (added keyword) on 6 October 2005@11:28:33.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 25 March 2008@09:17:04.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 22 March 2013@06:04:58.
David Whitehead on 4 August 2014@07:54:58.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 29 January 2015@10:40:56.
Catharine Roth (updated link) on 13 March 2020@01:57:32.


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