Manlius mănˈlēəs [key], ancient Roman gens, chiefly patrician but later containing plebeian families. Marcus Manlius Capitolinus, d. 384? b.c., consul (392 b.c.), 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. b.c., served against the Gauls (361 b.c.), 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. b.c., conquered the Sardinians while consul (235 b.c.), 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.

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