Copperplate engraving & etching
After Peter Paul Rubens
In 295 B.C. Publius Decius Mus was fighting against a coalition of Samnites and Gauls.
In an elaborate sacrificial ceremony the gods were asked if Decius Mus should sacrifice himself for the sake of Rome.
The High Priest (haruspex) confirms the judgement - death for Decius - by pointing to the liver of the bull that Decius Mus had sacrificed
Decius Mus dedicated himself to the gods of the Underworld and rode, on horseback, to his enemies, who killed him.
The wrath of the gods now was upon the Gauls, who were soundly defeated, after which it was easy to break Samnite resistance too and Rome was saved.
Lower right: Schmuzer Sculpsit.