The Roman Republic of antiquity operated on the basis of separation of powers with checks and balances, and a strong aversion to the concentration of authority. Except in times of national emergency, no single individual was allowed to wield absolute power over his fellow citizens.
The retired patrician and military leader Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus was called from his farm in 458BC to assume the mantle of Dictator and, despite his old age, again, twenty years later. With the crisis averted, Cincinnatus relinquished all power and the perks which came with it, and returned to his plow.
The man’s name remains symbolic, from that day to this. A synonym for outstanding leadership, selfless service and civic virtue.
Of all the General officers who fought for American Independence, there is but one true Cincinnatus. A man who risked his life in the cause of Liberty, and truly retired from public life.
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