The argument in regard to Marcellus' command was staged in the Flaminian Circus,1
before a great assemblage of the commons and of all classes.
And the tribune of the plebs accused not Marcellus2
merely, but the entire nobility. It was due to their dishonesty and delaying, he said, that Hannibal had Italy as his province for now the tenth year, and had lived longer there than at Carthage.
The Roman people had this fruit from the continuation of Marcellus' command, namely, that his army, twice cut to pieces, had its summer quarters at Venusia in billets!
This speech of the tribune was so completely refuted by Marcellus' statement of his achievements that not only was the bill to abrogate his command rejected, but on the following day all the centuries with great unanimity elected him consul.
Joined with him as colleague was Titus Quinctius Crispinus, who at the time was praetor. On the following day Publius Licinius Crassus Dives, pontifex maximus, Publius Licinius Varus, Sextus Iulius Caesar and Quintus Claudius were elected praetors.
Precisely on these election days the state was concerned in regard to a revolt in Etruria. First steps in that direction were reported in a letter of Gaius Calpurnius, propraetor in charge of the assignment, as being taken by the men of Arretium.
Accordingly Marcellus, the consul-elect, was at once sent thither to look into the matter and, if he thought it important enough, to send for an army and shift the war from Apulia to Etruria. The Etruscans, restrained by the fear of that move, kept quiet.
When legates of the Tarentines sued for peace with freedom and their own laws, the senate answered that they should return when Fabius, the consul, came to Rome.
The Roman Games and the Plebeian Games were repeated that year for one day in each case. The [p. 301]
curule aediles were Lucius Cornelius Caudinus and3
Servius Sulpicius Galba, the plebeian aediles being Gaius Servilius and Quintus Caecilius Metellus.
It was said that legally Servilius had not been tribune of the plebs, nor was he now legally aedile, because his father, of whom it had been believed for nine years that he was slain as one of the three land-commissioners by the Boii near Mutina, was alive, it was now established, and in the hands of the enemy.4