Gaius Hostilius Mancinus

Politician

72

Who is Gaius Hostilius Mancinus?

Gaius Hostilius Mancinus was a Roman consul in 137 BC. Due to his campaign against Numantia in northern Spain, Plutarch called him "not bad as a man, but most unfortunate of the Romans as a general." During this campaign in the Numantine War, Mancinus was defeated, showing some cowardice, allegedly putting out his fires and trying to flee by night before being surrounded and forced to make peace. According to Plutarch, Tiberius Gracchus was instrumental in bringing about the peace and saving 20,000 Roman soldiers. He returned home something of a hero, but Mancius was put on trial by the Senate, which refused to accept the treaty. While Gracchus and other lieutanants were saved by Scipio Africanus Minor, the Senate decreed that Mancinus be handed over to the Numantines, as some 20 Roman commanders were handed over to the Samnites after the defeat at Caudine Forks in 321 BC. Plutarch does not relate Mancinus' further fate, but Appian noted that he was taken to Spain and handed over naked to the Numantines, but that they refused to accept him.

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Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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