Roman Badass of the week : Episode 2. ‘I would put my hand in the fire!’

Hey guys, it’s Gully again with my Badass of the week!
I am french and I have lived in Rome for about 10 years now.
During those years being part of this wonderful city, I ran into different stories, legends and people that I had never heard about while I was in France.
Here is why I write about it .Chances are, you’ve never heard about it too.
Every week on Friday, I will post about a Roman Badass of my choice that changed History.

Roman Badass of the Week Ep.2 :  GAIUS MUCIUS SCAEVOLA

This dude is such a Badass that he even got a familiar expression used in all latin countries after his actions.
We are in the 4th century B.C. Rome is (guess what!) at war against Clusium.
The Clusian King, Lars Porsena, is winning and starts to lay siege to Rome. It doesn’t look good for the Romans.
At this point, the Roman Senate has an idea : why don’t we send one of our guys to sneak into the Clusian Camp and murder Porsena. Easy Peasy.
Gaius Mucius Cordus was a volunteer for the mission so he got out of Rome with the intention to get the head of the Clusian King.
There was a problem though, it was pay-day for the soldiers in the etruscan camp and people were dressed quite the same. At that point, a well dressed guy starts to talk to the etruscan soldier on a raised platform.
Gaius Mucius Cordus was certain the guy talking was Porsena so he attacked and killed the dude in front of everyone.
When he got captured, he realized he killed Porsena’s Scribe by mistake and famously declared : “I am Gaius Mucius, a citizen of Rome. I came here as an enemy to kill my enemy, and I am as ready to die as I am to kill. We Romans act bravely and, when adversity strikes, we suffer bravely.”
He also declared that he was the first of three hundred Roman youths to volunteer for the task of assassinating Porsena at the risk of losing their own lives.


And here is where the ultimate Badass gesture happened.
He said “watch !” .Our Hero thrust his right hand into a fire which was lit for a sacrifice. He added “so that you know how cheap the body is to men who have their eye on great glory”
He obviously didn’t show any indication of pain while doing it…
Shocked at the youth’s bravery, Porsena dismissed him from the Etruscan camp, free to return to Rome. He told “Go back, since you do more harm to yourself than me”. At the same time, the king also sent ambassadors to Rome to offer peace.
Gaius Mucius Cordus took his name from Gaius Mucius Scaevola, meaning “left-handed” . He didn’t have his right hand anymore and all his descendants got the surname ‘Scaevola’.
Mucius was granted farming land on the right-hand bank of the Tiber, later known as the Mucia Prata (Mucian Meadows)
Nowadays, we  have a saying if you’re very sure of something, you ‘would put your hand in the fire’.
Rome is immortal, after this harsh period due to the virus, Rome will rise again, ready to welcome you.
We will be ready to show you everything the city has to offer!
Tourism may get sick but never dies, we would put our hands in the fire! 🙂
See you next Friday!

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