All about Marcus Minucius Rufus


     Marcus Minucius Rufus was Mercato grandfather (in the Spartacus series) and although he is mentioned a few times by his grandson in the series, in fact, he existed and was very important in his time, check it out.


     Marcus Minúcius Rufus born on an unknown date - Canne, August 2, 216 B.C. was a politician from the Minúcia people family of the Roman Republic elected consul in 221 B.C. with Publio Cornélio Cipião Asina. He was appointed dictator in 217 B.C., but resigned his post. He was elected consul in 221 BC with Publius Cornélio Cipião Asina and the two carried out a campaign against the Istrians, who were defeated, but not decisively.


     In 217 B.C., the second year of the Second Punic War, he was appointed by the Senate as the cavalry master of the dictator Fábio Máximo. He was one of the main exponents among the young soldiers who were unhappy with Fábio Máximo's tactics, as he did not approve of the guerrilla war that "the Protractor" was leading to face the Carthaginians because he believed that it did not produce the great victories expected by the Romans


     Minucius got the opportunity to command the Roman troops when Fabio was recalled to Rome for religious reasons and quickly launched the troops against a group of Carthaginians who were on a food search mission. He managed to defeat them and extolled his victory in Rome. The news of this skirmish was received in Rome as of a great victory and tribune of the commoner Marco Metílio or, according to other sources, Caio Terêncio Varrão (the future consul of 216 BC), proposed a law to grant Minucio the same position as Fabio . The law was passed quickly, granting two people at the same time for the first time in its history the position of Roman dictator. 

     Minúcio proposes to Fábio that they alternate daily in charge, but Fábio argues that, if there were conflicting strategies, it would be best to divide the army. Minucius chose to divide the army, taking over from legions number II and III and two other legions of allies. He camped a mile and a half south of Fábio's camp, possibly in the same place where Hannibal's temporary camp was located.

     Hannibal, knowing the impatience of the new dictator, set a trap for him by attracting his army to a hill and then surrounding him. At first, Minucius sent only a few men, but soon he was forced to send more and more forces until his entire army was engaged in battle. If Fábio had not intervened by attacking Hannibal's rear, Minúcio would certainly be defeated. Recognizing Fábio's superior command and tactics, Minúcio resigned.

     It is said that Hannibal, seeing Fábio coming down the hill, would have said: "The cloud that he used to observe from the top of the mountain finally turned into a stormy rain".


     The following year, tired of Fábio Máximo's strategy, the senators elect Caio Terêncio Varrão and Lúcio Emílio Paulo consuls expecting a total confrontation. New legions were formed and, combined with troops of allies, an army of 86,000 soldiers and knights was mobilized. Cneu Servílio Gêmino, consul of the previous year, was already serving in Fábio's army and continued his service when the new consuls arrived, but Marco Atílio Régulo, the other consul, already very old, was ordered to return to Rome and Marco Minúcio Rufo was summoned to serve in his place in the great army.

     The result was Hannibal's victory at the Battle of Canas, a complete disaster for the Romans, including Minucius, who died in combat.

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