This week we take a look at a close-up of Cincinnatus, a bronze sculpture with patina completed in 1982 by Eleftherios Karkadoulias. The statue stands in Bicentennial Commons at Sawyer Point, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Cincinnati was named after Cincinnatus, or more correctly, The Society of the Cincinnati. The society was a group of Revolutionary War officers who made a pact to keep in touch after the war. The society’s members included George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and 23 signers of the U.S. Constitution. The society had chapters in all 13 states of the new republic as well as France.
Who was this man that garnered such attention in the fledgling democracy? Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (519 BC — 430 BC), was a Roman statesman who served as both Consul and Dictator. He lived humbly on his small farm until being called to serve Rome as dictator. After the crisis had passed, he gave up his absolute power and returned to his farm. He was considered a model of civic virtue in both ancient Rome and early America. Of course, he was also a staunch opponent of the Plebeians, the class of laborers and craftsmen in Rome–but such things get glossed over for the sake of a good role model.