Manlius măn´lēəs [key], ancient Roman gens, chiefly patrician but later containing plebeian families.
Marcus Manlius Capitolinus, d. 384? BC, consul (392 BC), took refuge in the Capitol when Rome was taken (c.389) by the Gauls. Aroused by the cackling of the sacred geese at night, he repulsed the Gauls from the hill. According to legend, he defended plebeian debtors from harsh patrician creditors, and the following year he was impeached for high treason and thrown from the Tarpeian Rock by the tribunes. Titus Manlius Imperiosus Torquatus, fl. 4th cent. BC, served against the Gauls (361 BC), one of whom he slew in single combat. He took the Gaul's torque, or collar, hence his name Torquatus. He was dictator twice more, and three times consul. In 340, with his colleague, Publius Decius Mus, he defeated the Latins near Vesuvius and at Trifanum. He killed his own son for disobeying express orders not to engage in single combat with the enemy. Some of his story is legendary. Titus Manlius Torquatus, fl. 3d cent. BC, conquered the Sardinians while consul (235 BC), subsequently becoming censor (231), consul (224), and dictator (210). He opposed the ransoming of Roman prisoners taken at the battle of Cannae (216), and he defeated (215) a large Carthaginian force in Sardinia.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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