the slave of a Roman consular, of whom the following story is related by Aulus Gellius (5.14
) on the authority of Appion Plistonices, who lived in the reigns of Tiberius and Caligula, and who affirmed that he himself had been a witness of the scene :--Androclus was sentenced to be exposed to the wild beasts in the circus; but a lion which was let loose upon him, instead of springing upon his victim, exhibited signs of recognition, and began licking him. Upon inquiry it appeared that Androclus had been compelled by the severity of his master, while in Africa, to run away from him. Having one day taken refuge in a cave from the heat of the sun, a lion entered, apparently in great pain, and seeing him, went up to him and held out his paw. Androclus found that a large thorn had pierced it, which he drew out, and the lion was soon able to use his paw again. They lived together for some time in the cave, the lion catering for his benefactor.
But at last, tired of this savage life, Androclus left the cave, was apprehended by some soldiers, brought to Rome, and condemned to the wild beasts.
He was pardoned, and presented with the lion, which he used to lead about the city.