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The original Coriolanus lived during the 5th century BC. He was given the surname as a result of his action in capturing the Volscian town of Corioli in 439 BC. He later turned against Rome and, when his troops threatened the city, Roman matrons, including his wife and mother, were sent to persuade him to call off the attack.

Coriolanus has become better known from the play of the same name which appeared in William Shakespeare's First Folio.

This tragedy revolves around Caius Martius Coriolanus, a brilliant Roman general who ultimately is banished from Rome and leads an assault on that same city. Only the pleadings of his mother stop him from sacking Rome, a change of heart which leads to his destruction.

This is one of Shakespeare's later plays, appearing about 1607.

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