Back in middle school and high school, my favorite author was the late Colleen McCullough. My mother introduced me to her “Masters of Rome” book series, which consisted of seven chronological historical fiction novels set in the late Roman Republic of the first century B.C. Those novels sparked my fascination with Roman history, and they are probably responsible for my decision to study Latin in high school and history in college.
I recently reflected on a legend from Roman history that I’m guessing few of you know. It is the story of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, the man for whom Cincinnati, Ohio is named.
According to legend, Cincinnatus was a Roman patrician (basically an aristocrat) in the middle of the fifth century B.C. After retiring from politics, Cincinnatus withdrew from Roman society to be a humble farmer on his family’s land. The Roman Republic was going through a rather tumultuous time, however, so Cincinnatus’s retirement did not last.