Laevinus at the beginning of spring set out by ship from Corcyra, rounded the promontory of Leucata, and on reaching Naupactus, made it known by an edict that he would proceed to Anticyra, and that Scopas and the Aetolians should meet him there.
Anticyra is situated in Locris, on the left as one1
enters the Gulf of Corinth.2
it is a short journey by land, a short sail thither from Naupactus.
about two days later the siege began from both sides. more serious was the attack from the sea, because the artillery and engines of all kinds were on the ships, also because it was the Romans who were besieging from that side. and-so within a few days the city surrendered and was turned over to the Aetolians, while the booty fell to the Romans in accordance with the agreement.
a letter was delivered meanwhile to Laevinus informing him that in his absence he had been declared consul, and that his successor, Publius Sulpicius, was on the way. but contracting a long illness there, he came to Rome later than anyone had anticipated.
Marcus Marcellus, having entered upon his3
consulship on the Ides of March, held a session of the senate on that day merely as a matter of custom, declaring that in the absence of his colleague he would do nothing concerning either the state or the provinces.
he knew, he said, that a large number of Sicilians were near the city at the country —places of his detractors; that so far was it from being true that these men were not permitted by him to noise abroad openly at Rome the charges emanating from his personal foes, that he would himself immediately have given them a hearing in the senate but for their pretending no little fear to speak of the consul in the absence of his colleague.
when indeed his colleague should arrive, he said, he would not allow any business to be taken up prior to the question of [p. 103]
bringing the Sicilians before the senate.
almost a levy that Marcus Cornelius5
had conducted all over Sicily, in order that as many as possible might come to Rome to complain of himself. he added that Cornelius had also filled the city with letters falsely stating that there was a war in Sicily, in order to detract from the praise of the speaker.
after winning a reputation for moderation on that day, the consul dismissed the senate. and it seemed that public business would be almost at a standstill until the other consul should come to the city.
inaction, as usual, stirred up talk among the common people.
they kept complaining of the duration of the war and of the devastation of farms around the city, wherever Hannibal had passed with his hostile army; of the draining of Italy by levies, and of armies cut to pieces almost every year;
and of the election to both consulships of men of war, with an excess of spirit and confidence, who even in unruffled peace were capable of stirring up war, and were still less likely in time of war to allow the state a breathing —spell.