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Kill Pyrrhus!

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)


Claudius Aelianus mentions that doctor of Pyrrhus – Cineas, wrote a secret letter to the Roman senate and demanded money, promising to murder Pyrrhus using poison. The senators rejected his offer, saying that “for Romans know how to achieve their goals thanks to their bravery and do not fight their enemies with trick, deceit or ambush”. What’s more, they informed Pyrrhus of Cineas offer.

What is worth mentioning, this doctor according to other sources was not Cineas – Plutarch, Aulus Gellius and other writers claims differently. Plutarch does not give the name of the doctor, and Gellius says that his name was Nicias. Finally, it must be emphasized that the claim that the Romans did not fight with deception is a huge exaggeration from Aelianus side.

  • McKeown J. C., A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the World's Greatest Empire, 2010

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