display | more...

Marcus Furius Camillus (around 400 BC) Roman dictator

Marcus Furius Camillus played an important part in the war between Rome and the Etruscans around 400 BC. As a tribune, a censor and various other occupations, he was a firm backup to the patrician party in these times of heavy struggle between the people on one side and the Senate on the opposite side.

The Senate granted Camillus the dictatorship to end a long and lasting war with the Etruscan people of Veii, just north of Rome. Rome's Senate used this strategy quite often in history because the (temporary) power of one man usually resulted in quick and devastating successes. As happened in this case: Camillus took the city of Veii.

Camillus also led an army in the battle against another important Etruscan city, called Falerii (Roman: Falerium now found at Civita Castellana). A teacher who secretly favoured the Romans took his class of aristocrat children on a walk outside, purposely leading the innocent boys into the hands of the Romans. Camillus 'though denied this cowardly act of betrayal. He took the man's clothes, gave the boys some sticks and ordered them to chase their teacher back to the city. Out of respect, the people of Falerii initiated peace talks, which were completed successfully.

But the people of Rome turned out to be less thankful. Camillus demanded a part of the Veii booty to offer to the Gods, but the greedy Romans filed a law suit after which Camillus went into voluntary exile.

He was asked to battle the Gallic army in 387 as they had invaded Rome. Only the Capitol was left in Roman hands when the newly appointed dictator arrived. The hungry Senate was already waving the white flag, but Camillus took the enemy to battle and defeated the invaders.

Until a high age, Marcus Furius Camillus continued to command the Roman troops in the wars with the Gallic and other neighbouring invaders.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.