In the third year of the Roman republic the Etruscan king Lars Porsenna besieged Rome, hoping to bring back its last king, Tarquin the Proud. During the siege, a young Roman of noble birth, Gaius Mucius, enters the enemy camp and tries to assassinate king Porsenna. However, instead of killing him, he kills one of his secretaries.
When he is brought before Porsenna, the man shows his contempt for torture and pain by voluntarily placing his right hand in a fire. Impressed by this steadfastness, Porsenna releases him, and Mucius answers to this gentle act by informing the king that there are no less than 300 men in Rome who have sworn to kill Porsenna.
After his return to the city, Mucius is surnamed Scaevola ("left hand") and the Senate rewards him with a grant of land west of the river, the Mucia Prata, "Mucian Meadows".
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