The Decii originated from southern Italia, and were known for their intense loyalty to the Roman Republic. Dating back to 340 BC, whenever there was a major war, the paterfamilias would give his life for the cause. At the First Battle of Vesuvius, Publius Decius Mus the Elder sacrificed himself after a dream which told him that one of the consuls would die. The younger one died in battle at the Battle of Trifanum, riding into enemy lines to inspire his men before he was cut down. The third and last one sacrificed his life at the Battle of Asculum, where he was killed in battle in 279 BC with Pyrrhus of Epirus' forces.