2. P. Cornelius
Rufinus, P. F., probably son of the preceding, was twice consul and once dictator.
He was consul for the first time in B. C. 290, with M'. Curious Dentatus, and in conjunction with his colleague brought the Samnite war to a conclusion, and obtained a triumph in consequence. [DENTATUS.] He was consul a second time in B. C. 277, with C. Junius Brutus Bubulcus, and carried on the war against the Samnites and the Gireeks in Southern Italy, who were now deprived of the powerful protection of Pyrrhus.
The chief event of his second consulship was the capture of the important town of Croton. Rufinus bore a bad character on account of his avarice and dis honesty, but he was at the same time one of the most distinguished generals of his time; and accordingly C. Fabricius, his personal enemy, is said to have supported his application for his second consulship in B. C. 277, because the Romans stood in need of a general of experience and skill on account of their war with Pyrrhus.
But as Pyrrhus had left Italy in the middle of the preceding year, Niebuhr remarks (llist. of Rome,
vol. iii. note 903) that the support of Fabricius must refer to his first consulship, or perhaps with even more probability to his dictatorship, the year of which is not mentioned, but which Niebuhr refers to B. C. 280, after the defeat of the Romans at the Siris. In B. C. 275, Rufinus was expelled from the senate by the censors C. Fabricius and Q, Aemiilius Papus, on account of his possessing ten pounds of silver plate. (Liv. Epit. 11
; Eutrop. 2.9
; Cic. de Orat. 2.66
; Quint. Inst. 12.1.43
; Gel. 4.8
; Dio Cass. Fragm.
37; Veil. Pat. 2.17 ; Frontin. Strat.
3.6.4; Zonar. 8.6
; Liv. Epit. 14
; Cell. 17.21; V. Max. 2.9.4
; Macr. 1.17
; Plut. Sull. 1
.) Rufinus is said to have lost his sight in sleep, while dreaming of this misfortune. (Plin. Nat. 7.50
, s. 51.) His grandson was the first of the family who assumed the surname of Sulla. [SULLA.]