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In Roman history, Cineas was a minister of Thessaly and friend of King Pyrrhus of Epirus.

In the war with Rome, after his victory in the Battle of Heraclea, Pyrrhus sent Cineas to Rome to sue for peace. The Roman Senate would not agree to cease hostilities, mainly because the words of Appius Claudius Caecus who in 280 BC, after he had gone blind, gave a famous speech against Cineas, declaring that Rome would never surrender. This was the first recorded political speech in Latin, and is the source of the saying "every man is the architect of his own fortune" (Latin: quisque faber suae fortunae).

Cineas, however, told Pyrrhus that the Senate was an assemblage of venerable kings and that fighting with them was like fighting against the Hydra.

Cineas was also a man of great memory. One day after arriving in Rome, he could greet each senator and guard by name.