Decius Mus

(Publius Decius Mus)

d. 340 BC

decius mus
Decius Mus distinguished himself in the First Samnite War, when he rescued the main body of the Roman army from a trap. Three years later as consul with Manlius Torquatus, he led the Romans against the Latins. The night before a decisive battle, both consuls dreamed that the army that lost its leader would be victorious. They made a pact, that whichever side gave way first, the leader would sacrifice himself in battle. The wing under Decius gave way first, and Decius rode to his death in battle, with great ceremony.

Forty-five years later, in 295 B.C. his son, also called Decius Mus, followed his example, and rode to his death in the Battle of Sentium, also against the Samnites. His grandson, also called Decius Mus, sacrificed himself like-wise, in the Pyrrhic wars, in 279 B.C.

Key events during the life of Decius Mus:

343 BC
Rescues Roman army from a trap, while fighting the Samnites.
340 BC
Elected consul with Manlius Torquatus.
340 BC
Sacrifices self for Rome, at the battle of Mt. Vesuvius.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
How Decius Mus Saved Rome  in  Thirty More Famous Stories Retold  by  James Baldwin
Certain Great Romans  in  Stories From Livy  by  Alfred J. Church
Formidable Neighbours  in  Stories from Ancient Rome  by  Alfred J. Church
Disaster at the Caudine Forks  in  The Story of the Romans  by  H. A. Guerber
Dream of the Two Consuls  in  The Story of Rome  by  Mary Macgregor
Battle of Sentium  in  The Story of Rome  by  Mary Macgregor
Anecdotes of the Latin and Samnite Wars  in  Historical Tales: Roman  by  Charles Morris

Image Links

Decius Mus Receiving the Evil Augury
 in Greatest Nations - Rome

Short Biography
Manlius Torquatus Consul who slew his son for a minor disobedience.
Valerius Corvus Defeated a gigantic Gaul in one-on-one combat; lived to be 100.