4. Q. Fabius
Vibulanus, M. F., K. F., the son of No. 3, is said to have been the only one of the Fabii who survived the destruction of his gens at the Cremera, but he could not have been left behind at Rome on account of his youth, as the legend relates. [See above, No. 2, sub finem.] He was consul in B. C. 467 with Ti. Aemilius Mamercus, when he supported the patrician party against the tribunes.
The latter, having the cooperation of the other consul, made a vigorous effort to carry the agrarian law; but Fabius effected a compromise by proposing that a colony should be founded at Antium, which had been conquered by the Romans in the preceding year.
He subsequently marched against the Aequians, who sued for peace, which was granted them; but they soon afterwards broke it and made an inroad into the Latin territory. (Liv. 3.1
; Dionys. A. R. 9.59
In B. C. 465 Fabius was consul a second time with T. Quintius Capitolinus Barbatus.
He was appointed to carry on the war with the Aequians, which had been continued ever since his first consulship.
The ambassadors whom he sent to the Aequians were treated with contempt, at which the Romans were so much enraged that Quintius marched out of the city with another consular army to support his colleague.
According to Livy the consuls defeated the Aequians, who withdrew from Mount Algidus into their own territory ; but Dionysius says that the battle was not decisive, which is more in accordance with Livy's subsequent narrative, in which it is stated that the Aequians made incursions into the Roman territory for plunder, which were avenged by Fabius devastating the lands of the Aequians. (Liv. 3.2
; Dionys. A. R. 9.61
.) Three years afterwards, B. C. 462, Fabius was appointed Praefectus Urbi, while the two consuls were absent from the city.
The tribune C. Terentillus Arsa took advantage of the absence of the consuls to propose a rogation for appointing five commissioners, who might draw up laws to limit the power of the consuls. Thereupon Fabius called together the senate and inveighed with such vehemence against the rogation and its author, that even both the consuls could not have inspired greater fear. On the advice of his colleagues Terentillus withdrew his proposal. (Liv. 3.9
; Dionys. A. R. 9.69
In B. C. 459 Fabius was consul a third time with L. Cornelius Maluginensis.
In this year he defeated the Volscians, who had laid siege to Antium, and also the Aequians, who had taken Tusculum, and on account of these victories celebrated a triumph on his return to Rome.
In the following year, B. C. 458, when the two consuls marched with their two armies against the Sabines and Aequians, Fabius was left behind with a third for the protection of Rome.
This is the account of Dionysius, but Livy simply says that he was one of the three ambassadors sent in that year to Cloelius Gracchus, the leader of the Aequians. (Liv. 3.22
; Dionys. A. R. 10.20
In B. C. 450 Fabius was elected a member of the second decemvirate, and along with his colleagues continued illegally in power in the following year. Ap. Claudius and Fabius were the two leading members of the second decemvirate, and Fabius supported his colleague in all his tyran nical acts. When the war with the Aequians and Sabines broke out Fabius was appointed to the command with two colleagues, while Appius remained in the city. Fabius must have ordered the murder of L. Siccius [SICCIUS], who was serving in the army against the Sabines, but his name is not mentioned in connection with this foul deed.
This probably arose from Livy and Dionysius having the Annals of Fabius Pictor before them, in which the virtues of the Fabii were extolled and their faults omitted.
After the abolition of the decemvirate and the death of Ap. Claudius and Oppius, Fabius shared the fate of his remaining colleagues; he went into exile and his property was confiscated. (Liv. 3.35
; Dionys. A. R. 10.58
Q. Fabius is said to have married the daughter of Numerius Otacilius of Maleventum on account of her wealth, with the condition that his first child should receive the praenomen of its maternal grandfather ; and it is stated that it was in this way that Numerius became a praenomen in a patrician gens, which it had not been before. (Festus, s. v. Numerius,
pp. 170,173, ed. Müller.) We find however that the elder of his two sons bore the praenomen Marcus, and the younger that of Numerius [Nos. 5 and 6]; but it has been conjectured that the elder may have been a son by a former marriage.