2. Q. Fabius
Maximus, Q. F. M. N., son of the preceding, acquired the agnomen of GURGES, or the Glutton, from the dissoluteness of his youth. His mature manhood atoned for his early irregularties. (Macr. 2.9
; comp. Juv. Sat.
6.267, 11.40.) In B. C. 295 Fabius was curule aedile, and filed certain matrons of noble birth for their disorderly life; and with the produce of the fines built a temple to Venus near the Circus Maxilnus. (Liv. 10.31
; Victor. Region.
He was consul in B. C. 292, and was completely defeated by the Pentrian Samnites.
The adversaries of the Fabian house, the Papirian and Appian parties, took advantage of this defeat to exasperate the people against Fabius, and he escaped degradation from the consulate only through his father's offer to serve as his lieutenant for the remainder of the war. Victory returned with the elder Fabius to the Roman arms.
In a second battle the consul retrieved his reputation, stormed several Samnite towns, and was rewarded with a triumph of which the most remarkable feature was old Fabius riding beside his son's chariot. (Plut. Fab. 24
; Dionys. A. R. 16.15
; Oros. 3.22
; Eutrop. 2.9
.) For his success in this campaign Fabius dedicated a shrine to Venus obsequens,
because the goddess had been obsequious to his prayers. (Serv. ad Aen. 1.720
.) In B. C. 291 Fabius remained as proconsul in Samnium.
He was besieging Cominium when the consul, L. Postumius Megellus, arbitrarily and violently drove him from the army and (Dionys. A. R. 16.16
.) The Fasti ascribe a triumph Fabius for his proconsulate.
He was consul for the second time in B. C. 276, when he obtained a triunph de Samnitibus Lucancis et Bruttiis
(Fasti). Shortly afterwards he went as legatus from the senate to Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt.
The presents which Fabius and his colleagues received from the Egyptian monarch they deposited in the public treasury on their return to Rome.
But a decree of the senate directed that the ambassadors should retain them. (V. Max. 4.3.10
; comp. Dio Cass. Fr.
147; Liv. Epit.
xiv.; Zonar. 8.6
.) Fabius was slain in his third consulship, while engaged in quelling some disturbances at Vulsinii in Etruria. (Zonar. 8.7
; Flor. 1.21
; Obseq. 27; comp. Vict. Vir. 111.
36.) Like his father and grandfather, Fabius Gurges was princeps senatus. (Plin. Nat. 7.41