Scævola, Caius Mucius

Scævola, Caius Mucius, a patriotic Roman who, when sentenced to be burnt alive by Lars Porsena the Etrurian, then invading Rome, for attempting to murder him, unflinchingly held his right hand in a burning brazier till it was consumed, as a mark of his contempt for the sentence. Porsena, moved by his courage, both pardoned him, and on hearing that 300 as defiant had sworn his death, made peace with Rome and departed. The name Scævola (i.e. left-handed) was given him from the loss of his right hand on the occasion.

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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