Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus was a Roman patrician, statesman, and military leader of the early Roman Republic who became a legendary figure of Roman virtue— particularly civic virtue —by the time of the late Republic.
Cincinnatus was a conservative opponent of the rights of the plebeians who fell into poverty because of his son's violent opposition to their desire for a written code of equally enforced laws. Despite his old age, he worked his own small farm until an invasion prompted his fellow citizens to call for his leadership. He came from his plough to assume complete control over the state but, upon achieving a swift victory, relinquished his power and its perquisites and returned to his farm. His success and immediate resignation of his near-absolute authority with the end of this crisis has often been cited as an example of outstanding leadership, service to the greater good, civic virtue, humility, and modesty.