Text #9206"Titus Manlius Torquatus (cos 347 BC)", in .
Titus Manlius Imperiosus Torquatus held three consulships of republican Rome and was also three times Roman Dictator.
His father Lucius was appointed dictator in 363 BC in order to fulfil religious duties, but instead undertook preparations for war. This resulted in strong opposition from the plebeian tribunes and he was brought to trial at the beginning of the next year, after he had resigned the dictatorship. Amongst the charges against him was that he had banished Titus from Rome on account of his speaking difficulties and made him work as a labourer. Upon hearing of these accusations against his father, Titus went to the home of the tribune Marcus Pomponius, where he was expected by the latter to provide further charges and was thus promptly admitted. However, once they were alone, he drew his hidden knife and threatened to stab the tribune unless he made a public oath not to hold an assembly to accuse Lucius Manlius, which Pomponius agreed to and duly performed. Titus Manlius’ reputation grew on account of his filially pious actions, which helped him to be elected as a military tribune later in the year.
In 361 BC, Titus Manlius fought in the army of Titus Quinctius Poenus against the Gauls. When a Gaul of enormous size and strength challenged the Romans to single combat, Manlius accepted the challenge with the approval of Poenus after the rest of the army had held back from responding for a long period of time. Despite being physically inferior, he killed the Gaul with blows to the belly and groin, after which he stripped the corpse of a torc and placed it around his own neck. From this, he gained the agnomen Torquatus, a title that was passed down also to his descendants.
In 340 BC, when Manlius was consul for the third time, Rome realigned itself with the Samnites against the Latins. During the conduct of the war, Manlius and his co-consul, Publius Decius Mus, decided that the old military disciplines would be reinstated, and no man was allowed to leave his post, under penalty of death. Manlius’s son, seeing an opportunity for glory, forgot this stricture, left his post with his friends, and defeated several Latin skirmishers in battle. Having the spoils brought to him, the father cried out in a loud voice and called the legion to assemble. Berating his son, he then handed him over for execution to the horror of all his men. Thus, “Manlian discipline.”
See: Livy (1982). Rome and Italy: Books VI-X of the History of Rome from its Foundation, translated by Betty Radice. Penguin Books. p. 101.