Lucius Siccius Dentatus

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Lucius Sicinius Dentatus (514 BC?-450 BC?) was a Roman soldier, primus pilus and tribune, famed for his martial bravery. He was a champion of the plebeians in their struggle with the patricians. His cognomen Dentatus means "born with teeth".

Dionysius of Halicarnassus gives him the crucial role in a battle between the consul Titus Romilius Rocus Vaticanus and the Aequi. Sent on a suicide mission against the enemy camp, instead he captured it while the main force was inconclusively fighting the enemy; Siccius' achievement panicked the Aequians and sent them fleeing from the field, and achieved victory for the Romans. The following year, after Romilius stepped down from office and Siccius was elected Plebian Tribune, he successfully prosecuted the former consul for injuries against the state, inflicting a fine of 10,000 asses.[1]

Honours[edit]

According to Pliny the Elder, over his lifetime Siccius had fought in 120 battles, received 45 honourable wounds and several civic crowns; in addition, he won the Grass Crown. Siccius was eight times champion in single combat, with forty five scars on the front of his body and none on the rear. He is reported to have been awarded no less than eighteen hastae purae, twenty-five phalerae, 83 torques, more than 160 armillae, and twenty six coronae, of which fourteen were coronae civicae awarded for saving the life of a Roman citizen, eight coronae aureae, three coronae murales, and one corona obsidionalis or corona graminea, the highest honour for valour, awarded for the deliverer of a besieged army.[2]

After his tribunate, he was murdered for his opposition to the Decemvirs.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, X.36-49
  2. ^ Pliny the Elder, Naturalis historia, XXII. v
  • George Ronald Watson, The Roman Soldier, pp 116. ISBN 0-500-27376-6 Thames and Hudson